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The Seas of Language$
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Michael Dummett

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198236214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198236212.001.0001

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Testimony and Memory

Testimony and Memory

(p.411) 17 Testimony and Memory
The Seas of Language

Michael Dummett (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Testimony should not be regarded as a source, and still less as a ground, of knowledge: it is the transmission from one individual to another of knowledge acquired by whatever means. A sceptic cannot admit memory, but not testimony, as a channel for the transmission of knowledge, for the analogy between them is too close. The idea that it is unreasonable to believe something to be so on the sole basis of having been told that it is so is as myopic as the idea that it is unreasonable to believe something to have been so on the sole basis of remembering it as having been so. Lying should be treated as an abnormal phænomenon in linguistic practice, since otherwise words could not mean what they do mean.

Keywords:   Davidson knowledge, memory, testimony, truthfulness

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