A Critical Introduction to Testimony by Axel Gelfert

By Axel Gelfert

The epistemology of testimony is a quickly constructing region in modern analytic philosophy. during this first thorough survey of the new debate at the topic, Axel Gelfert offers an in-depth advent to what has develop into one of many liveliest debates in modern epistemology.

Covering latest literature and significant debates, A severe advent to Testimony discusses the epistemic prestige of testimony-based ideals, relates alterations to appropriate advancements in different parts and provides a serious standpoint on present and destiny learn traits. Devoting house to either the functions of social epistemology and the bigger conceptual problems with wisdom, Gelfert not just introduces the epistemology of testimony; he bargains an updated advent to epistemology. built with a mixture of examine questions, examples, and proposals for additional analyzing, scholars of latest epistemology will locate this a competent consultant to learning testimony as a resource of knowledge.

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A working knowledge of one’s social environment, and of the pathways by which we receive the testimony of others, will therefore have an important role to play in deciding whether to accept or reject a given claim. 4. Broad and narrow definitions of testimony Having presented a number of examples of testimony and having noted some of the peculiarities that afflict different kinds of testimony, let us now look at how philosophers have tried to give some unity to this diversity. In particular, we will be looking at broad and narrow definitions of testimony, and their respective shortcomings, before exploring alternative (intermediate) views in the next section.

And is directed to those who are in need of evidence on the matter. (Coady 1992: 42) Although explicitly put forward as a definition of ‘natural testimony’, intended to capture ‘the conventions governing the speech act of testifying’, the narrow view remains indebted to formal conceptions of testimony – not least by assimilating testimony to the (legal) category of ‘evidence’. Talk of ‘evidence’ suggests that an objective relationship of support must exist, or must at least be presumed by the hearer to hold, between the act of stating that p and it actually being the case that p.

Talk of ‘evidence’ suggests that an objective relationship of support must exist, or must at least be presumed by the hearer to hold, between the act of stating that p and it actually being the case that p. ) Upon closer inspection, the narrow view in its above formulation might be deemed to contain some redundancy. Clause (3), in particular, is the conjunction of two conditions, since it demands both relevance to an open WHAT IS TESTIMONY? 33 question and targeted presentation of the testimony to those ‘in need of evidence on the matter’.

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