Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-m9kch Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-24T19:57:06.848Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

LOOKING BEYOND REDUCTIONISM AND ANTI-REDUCTIONISM

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 October 2018

Abstract

Under which conditions are we epistemically justified to believe that what other people tell us is true? Traditionally, the answer has either been reductionist or anti-reductionist: Either our justification reduces to non-testimonial reasons, or we have a presumptive, though defeasible, right to believe what we are told. However, different cases pull in different directions. Intuitively, someone asking for the time is subject to different epistemic standards than a surgeon consulting a colleague before a dangerous operation. Following this line of thought, this paper develops an account of testimonial justification that captures our reductionist as well as our anti-reductionist intuitions. It is argued that the speaker's commitment to an epistemic norm, as well as the hearer's understanding of that norm, gives the hearer a presumptive right to believe what she is told. However, this justification doesn't apply to situations with high practical risks. Here, the hearer needs reductive reasons to believe that her interlocutor is especially qualified to give her the desired information.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Audi, R. 2004. ‘The A Priori Authority of Testimony.’ In Sosa, E. and Villanueva, E. (eds), Epistemology: Philosophical Issues, Vol. 14, pp. 1834. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Audi, R. 2013. ‘Testimony as a Social Foundation of Knowledge.’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 87(3): 507–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burge, T. 1993. ‘Content Preservation.’ Cognition Through Understanding: Philosophical Essays, Vol. 3, pp. 229–53. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Coady, C. A. J. 1992. Testimony: A Philosophical Study. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Cohen, S. 1999. ‘Contextualism, Skepticism, and the Structure of Reasons.’ Philosophical Perspectives, 13: 5789.Google Scholar
Craig, E. 1990. Knowledge and the State of Nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Davidson, D. 1963. ‘Actions, Reasons, and Causes.’ Journal of Philosophy, 60(23): 685700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeRose, K. 2002. ‘Assertion, Knowledge, and Context.’ Philosophical Review, 111(2): 167203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeRose, K. 2009. The Case for Contextualism, Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fantl, J. and McGrath, M. 2002. ‘Evidence, Pragmatics, and Justification.’ Philosophical Review, 111(1): 6794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fantl, J. and McGrath, M. 2007. ‘On Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology.’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 75(3): 558–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Faulkner, P. 2011. Knowledge on Trust. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Foley, R. 2001. Intellectual Trust in Oneself and Others. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fricker, E. 1994. ‘Against Gullibility.’ In Matilal, B. and Chakrabarti, A. (eds), Knowing from Words: Western and Indian Philosophical Analysis of Understanding and Testimony, pp. 125–62. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fricker, E. 1995. ‘Telling and Trusting: Reductionism and Anti-Reductionism in the Epistemology of Testimony.’ Mind, 104(414): 393411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Freedman, K. 2015. ‘Testimony and Epistemic Risk: The Dependence Account.’ Social Epistemology, 29(3): 251–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldberg, S. 2011. ‘Putting the Norm of Assertion to Work: The Case of Testimony.’ In Brown, J. and Capellen, H. (eds), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays, pp. 175–95. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldberg, S. 2015. Assertion: On the Philosophical Significance of Assertoric Speech. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Goldberg, S. and Henderson, D. 2006. ‘Monitoring and Anti-Reductionism in the Epistemology of Testimony.’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 72(3): 600–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Graham, P. 2006. ‘Testimonial Justification: Inferential or Non-Inferential?Philosophical Quarterly, 56(222): 8495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Graham, P. 2010. ‘Testimonial Entitlement and the Function of Comprehension.’ In Haddock, A., Millar, A. and Pritchard, D. (eds), Social Epistemology, pp. 148–74. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Greco, J. 2013. ‘Knowledge, Testimony, and Action.’ In Henning, T. and Schweikard, D. (eds), Knowledge, Virtue, and Action: Essays on Putting Epistemic Virtues to Work, pp. 1529. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
Greco, J. 2015. ‘Testimonial Knowledge and the Flow of Information.’ In Greco, J. and Henderson, D. (eds), Epistemic Evaluation, pp. 274–90. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grice, P. 1989. Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Hawthorne, J. 2004. Knowledge and Lotteries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Hawthorne, J. and Stanley, J. 2008. ‘Knowledge and Action.’ Journal of Philosophy, 105(10): 571–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henderson, D. 2011. ‘Gate-Keeping Contextualism.’ Episteme, 8(1): 8398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hinchman, E. 2014. ‘Assurance and Warrant.’ Philosophers’ Imprint, 14(17): 158.Google Scholar
Hume, D. 1748 [1999]. An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding. Beauchamp, T. (ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnson, C. 2015. ‘Testimony and the Constitutive Norm of Assertion.’ International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 23(3): 356–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kenyon, T. 2012. ‘The Informational Richness of Testimonial Contexts.’ Philosophical Quarterly, 63(250): 5880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Koenig, M. and Echols, C. 2003. ‘Infants’ Understanding of False Labeling Events: The Referential Roles of Words and the Speakers Who Use Them.’ Cognition, 87(3): 179208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Koenig, M., Clément, F. and Harris, P. 2004. ‘Trust in Testimony: Children's Use of True and False Statements.’ Psychological Science, 15(10): 694–8.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kusch, M. 2002. ‘Testimony in Communitarian Epistemology.’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 33(2): 335–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lackey, J. 2006. ‘It Takes Two to Tango: Beyond Reductionism and Non-Reductionism in the Epistemology of Testimony.’ In Lackey, J. and Sosa, E. (eds), The Epistemology of Testimony, pp. 160–89. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lackey, J. 2008. Learning from Words: Testimony as a Source of Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lawlor, K. 2013. Assurance: An Austinian View of Knowledge and Knowledge Claims. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nickel, P. 2013. ‘Testimonial Entitlement, Norms of Assertion and Privacy.’ Episteme, 10(2): 207–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Owens, D. 2006. ‘Testimony and Assertion.’ Philosophical Studies, 130(1): 105–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Perrine, T. 2014. ‘In Defense of Non-Reductionism in the Epistemology of Testimony.’ Synthese, 191(14): 3227–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Plantinga, A. 1993. Warrant and Proper Function. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pritchard, D. 2004. ‘The Epistemology of Testimony.’ In Sosa, E. and Villanueva, E. (eds), Epistemology: Philosophical Issues, Volume 14, pp. 326–48. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Pritchard, D. 2005. Epistemic Luck. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rakoczy, H. and Tomasello, M. 2009. ‘Done Wrong or Said Wrong? Young Children Understand the Normative Direction of Fit of Different Speech Acts.’ Cognition, 113(2): 205–12.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Reid, T. 1785 [2002]. Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man. Brookes, D. (ed.). University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
Ross, A. 1986. ‘Why Do We Believe What We are Told?Ratio, 28(1): 6988.Google Scholar
Searle, J. R. 1969. Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stanley, J. 2005. Knowledge and Practical Interests. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Cleve, J. 2006. ‘Reid on the Credit of Human Testimony.’ In Lackey, J. and Sosa, E. (eds), The Epistemology of Testimony, pp. 5074. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Williams, B. 2002. Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Williamson, T. 2000. Knowledge and its Limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar