Download e-book for kindle: A Critical Introduction to Testimony by Axel Gelfert

By Axel Gelfert

ISBN-10: 1441193502

ISBN-13: 9781441193506

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

Covering latest literature and significant debates, A severe creation to Testimony discusses the epistemic prestige of testimony-based ideals, relates adjustments to proper advancements in different components and provides a serious point of view on present and destiny examine developments. Devoting area to either the purposes of social epistemology and the bigger conceptual problems with wisdom, Gelfert not just introduces the epistemology of testimony; he deals an up to date creation to epistemology. built with a mixture of research questions, examples, and recommendations for extra studying, scholars of latest epistemology will locate this a competent consultant to learning testimony as a resource of knowledge.

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Acceptance and rejection, unfortunately, are only imperfectly correlated with the truth or falsity of the testimonial claim in question – if we were perfect ‘truth-detectors’, there would be no epistemological problem of testimony in the first place. Instead, we are well aware that we sometimes erroneously reject perfectly valid testimony, whereas on other occasions we take on trust testimony which – intentionally or not – is false. The general question arising from our epistemic predicament – which balance to strike between belief expansion and error avoidance – in the case of testimony becomes the challenge of striking the right balance between testimonial acceptance and rejection.

This suggests that a 34 A CRITICAL INTRODUCTION TO TESTIMONY workable definition of testimony – one that is true to our intuitions about what properly constitutes testimonial acts of communication, and is at the same time informative – is to be found somewhere in the middle. There is, of course, no guarantee that any single set of conditions will successfully delineate the category of testimony – our intuitions about what is, and is not, testimony might simply be too volatile, or different people might have divergent views on whether a particular example is, or is not, an instance of testimony, or testimony might turn out not to be a unitary category at all.

Graham 1997: 227) In essence, the moderate view weakens the strict conditions of the narrow view by relativizing them to the speaker’s beliefs and intentions: no longer does S ’s act of stating that p have to stand in an objective evidentiary relationship, it only needs to be offered as such; in a similar move, the demand for objective competence, authority or credentials on the part of the speaker has been replaced by S ’s intention to be perceived as competent, authoritative and credible by his audience.

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A Critical Introduction to Testimony by Axel Gelfert

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