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On the Rationality of our Response to Testimony

Faulkner, P. (2002) On the Rationality of our Response to Testimony. Synthese, 131 (3). pp. 353-370. ISSN 1573-0964


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The assumption that we largely lack reasons for accepting testimony has dominated its epistemology. Given the further assumption that whatever reasons we do have are insufficient to justify our testimonial beliefs, many conclude that any account of testimonial knowledge must allow credulity to be justified. In this paper I argue that both of these assumptions are false. Our responses to testimony are guided by our background beliefs as to the testimony as a type, the testimonial situation, the testifier''s character and the truth of the proposition testified to. These beliefs provide reasons for our responses. Thus, we usually do have reasons, in the sense of propositions believed, for accepting testimony and these reasons can provide evidence for the testimonial beliefs we form.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Synthese. This paper has been peer-reviewed but does not include the final publisher proof-corrections or journal pagination..
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Philosophy (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2005
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2014 11:46
Published Version: http://springerlink.metapress.com/openurl.asp?genr...
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1023/A:1016116728471
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/737

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