Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Philosophical Writings$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

P. F. Strawson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199587292

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587292.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 March 2019

Knowing From Words

Knowing From Words

(p.186) 16 Knowing From Words
Philosophical Writings

P. F. Strawson

Oxford University Press

A great part of our systems of belief rests upon testimony. The question is whether we are to regard testimony, so understood, as a direct and immediate source of belief based upon it or whether we are to regard belief so based as being, in the last resort, essentially the product of other, more fundamental sources of knowledge, or, in brief again, is testimony, as a source of knowledge (or belief), reducible to these other sources? This chapter argues that in any community of language-users, perception, memory, and testimony are not only equally essential to the construction of the belief-or-knowledge-systems of its members. It is also true that all three are on an equal footing in that there is no possibility of a general reductive analysis of any one of the three in terms of the others, supplemented by inference. The interdependence of all does not entail the reducibility of any. If we (often) know, directly and immediately, what our eyes tell us, then we (often) know, no less directly and immediately, what other people tell us.

Keywords:   belief, testimony, knowledge, perception, memory

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .