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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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Positive Reasons, Defeaters, and the Infant/Child Objection

Positive Reasons, Defeaters, and the Infant/Child Objection

(p.195) 7 Positive Reasons, Defeaters, and the Infant/Child Objection
Learning from Words

Jennifer Lackey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter is devoted to defending dualism from an objection that is often regarded by non-reductionists as decisive against requiring positive reasons for testimonial justification or warrant: namely, the apparent fact that infants and young children are not cognitively capable of having such positive reasons, yet clearly possess testimonial knowledge. Since non-reductionism does not impose a requirement of this sort, it is thought to avoid this problem and is therefore taken to have a significant advantage over both dualism and reductionism. It is argued that if this ‘Infant/Child Objection’ indeed undermines dualism and reductionism, then a variant of it similarly undermines non-reductionism. Thus, considerations about the cognitive capacities of infants and young children do not effectively discriminate between these three competing theories of testimonial justification or warrant.

Keywords:   children, cognitive capacities, dualism, infants, justification, non-reductionism, reductionism, testimony, warrant

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