Process and Environment in Testimonial Belief‐Formation

Sanford C. Goldberg

in Relying on Others

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199593248
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594625 | DOI:
Process and Environment in Testimonial Belief‐Formation

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This chapter assesses a very traditional conception of the epistemological significance of testimony, according to which particular testimonies and their properties (including their reliability properties) are to be regarded as features of the hearer's local environment. On the view in question, unreliable testimony can constitute a Gettier condition, but this exhausts the epistemic significance of the testimony. The chapter argues that this traditional conception does not square with the belief‐dependent nature of testimonial belief‐formation. Given this nature, testimony and its reliability properties are better seen, not as aspects of the hearer's “merely local” environment, but rather as part of the very testimonial belief‐forming process itself.

Keywords: testimony; gettier case; belief‐dependence; local environment

Chapter.  7975 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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