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Learning from WordsTestimony as a Source of Knowledge$
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Jennifer Lackey

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199219162

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199219162.001.0001

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Rejecting Transmission

Rejecting Transmission

(p.37) 2 Rejecting Transmission
Learning from Words

Jennifer Lackey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The focus of this chapter is a view dominating discussion in the current epistemological literature — the Belief View of Testimony — according to which transmission lies at the heart of testimonial exchanges. According to the necessity claim of this thesis, a hearer knows (believes with justification/warrant) that p, on the basis of a speaker's testimony that p, only if the speaker herself knows (believes with justification/warrant) that p. According to the sufficiency claim of this thesis, if a speaker knows (believes with justification/warrant) that p, and a hearer comes to believe that p, on the basis of the content of this speaker's testimony that p without possessing any relevant defeaters, then the hearer also knows (believes with justification/warrant) that p. This chapter argues, first, that unreliable believers can nonetheless be reliable testifiers, thereby showing that the necessity claim is false and, second, that reliable believers can nonetheless be unreliable testifiers, thereby showing that the sufficiency claim is false.

Keywords:   Belief View of Testimony, defeaters, justification, knowledge, reliable believers, reliable testifiers, testimony, transmission, unreliable believers, unreliable testifiers

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