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David Hume's Reductionist Epistemology of Testimony

Faulkner, P. (1998) David Hume's Reductionist Epistemology of Testimony. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 79 (4). pp. 302-313. ISSN 1468-0114


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David Hume advances a reductionist epistemology of testimony: testimonial beliefs are justified on the basis of beliefs formed from other sources. This reduction, however, has been misunderstood. Testimonial beliefs are not justified in a manner identical to ordinary empirical beliefs; it is true, they are justified by observation of the conjunction between testimony and its truth, but the nature of the conjunctions has been misunderstood. The observation of these conjunctions provides us with our knowledge of human nature and it is this knowledge which justifies our testimonial beliefs. Hume gives a naturalistic rather than a sceptical account of testimony.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 1998 University of Southern California and Blackwell Publishers Ltd. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. 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 11:44
Published Version: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref...
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-0114.00065
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/739

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