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Chapter 2 introduces an “information economy” framework for approaching the epistemology of testimony. It is argued that, in a well-designed epistemic community, the norms governing information acquisition and information distribution will be different. This is because the dominant concern of information acquisition is quality control, whereas the dominant concern of information distribution is to provide access. The central idea, then, is to understand knowledge generation in terms of the norms governing information acquisition and to understand knowledge transmission in terms of the norms governing information distribution. The reason for adopting this approach is its explanatory power. In particular, the framework (a) explains a range of cases in the testimony literature; (b) provides a principled understanding of the transmission–generation distinction; and (c) explains the truth behind various and conflicting positions in the epistemology of testimony. Moreover, the framework nicely integrates with other plausible positions in epistemology, the philosophy of language, action theory, social science, and cognitive science.
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