A Critical Introduction to Testimony by Axel Gelfert PDF

By Axel Gelfert

ISBN-10: 1441193502

ISBN-13: 9781441193506

The epistemology of testimony is a quickly constructing zone in modern analytic philosophy. during this first thorough survey of the hot debate at the topic, Axel Gelfert offers an in-depth advent to what has develop into one of many liveliest debates in modern epistemology.

Covering latest literature and significant debates, A serious creation to Testimony discusses the epistemic prestige of testimony-based ideals, relates adjustments to proper advancements in different parts and provides a severe viewpoint on present and destiny learn tendencies. Devoting area to either the functions of social epistemology and the bigger conceptual problems with wisdom, Gelfert not just introduces the epistemology of testimony; he deals an up to date creation to epistemology. built with a mixture of learn questions, examples, and recommendations for extra analyzing, scholars of latest epistemology will locate this a competent consultant to learning testimony as a resource of knowledge.

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What matters for the purposes of our discussion here is the fact that assessing the testimony of others will often involve determining whether they are our epistemic peers, or whether they are epistemically inferior – or superior – to us. Where specialized factual knowledge is concerned, it would be misguided to rely on epistemic peers alone: in such cases, we actively seek out experts. Expert testimony is fast becoming an important element in policymaking, and even at an individual level we rely on the specialized expertise of others – for example, whenever we see our family doctor for treatment.

Chapter 2, remains a good starting point for any qualitative characterization of the various kinds of testimony we encounter in different (formal and informal) contexts. In addition to the definitional issues discussed in this chapter, a parallel debate has arisen concerning the status of testimony and knowledge as natural or social kinds. Kusch (2002a) sketches a communitarian theory that views testimony primarily as a vehicle for assigning to others the social status of ‘being a knower’; by contrast, Michaelian (2008) argues that testimony is likely a natural kind and that, for this very reason, it is likely necessarily reliable.

Content and source are thus deeply intertwined in our testimonial practices. WHAT IS TESTIMONY? 2. Kinds of reporters Just as there is a wide range of kinds of testimonial content, there is great diversity with respect to testimonial sources. As is to be expected, the kinds of reporters we encounter in testimonial exchanges will vary with the kinds of reports we expect, or hope, to receive. A first important class of testifiers consists of our epistemic peers. Recall that we earlier identified as one core feature of mundane knowledge that it concerns matters about which we can reasonably expect the vast majority of people to be competent.

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