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The Epistemology of Testimony$
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Jennifer Lackey and Ernest Sosa

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276011.001.0001

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Reductionism and the Distinctiveness of Testimonial Knowledge

Reductionism and the Distinctiveness of Testimonial Knowledge

(p.127) 6 Reductionism and the Distinctiveness of Testimonial Knowledge
The Epistemology of Testimony

Sanford C. Goldberg (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter aims to correct two common and related misconceptions in discussions of the epistemology of testimony. The first misconception is that testimonial knowledge is an epistemically distinct kind of knowledge only if there are testimony-specific epistemic principles implicated in the justification of beliefs formed through testimony. The second misconception is that anyone who endorses a reductionist position regarding the epistemic status of testimony, and so denies the existence of testimony-specific epistemic principles, ipso facto ought to be hostile to the hypothesis that testimonial knowledge is epistemically distinctive. The chapter argues against both misconceptions by arguing for the distinctiveness hypothesis in a way that involves no premise any reductionist should want to deny.

Keywords:   testimony, testimonial knowledge, reductionism

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