It Takes Two to Tango: Beyond Reductionism and Non-Reductionism in the Epistemology of Testimony

Jennifer Lackey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

How precisely do we successfully acquire justified belief from either the spoken or written word of others? This question is at the center of the epistemology of testimony, and the current philosophical literature contains only two general options for answering it: reductionism and nonreductionism. While reductionists argue that testimonial justification is reducible to sense perception, memory, and inductive inference, nonreductionists maintain that testimony is just as basic epistemically as these other sources. This chapter challenges the current terms of the debate by, first, showing that there are serious problems afflicting both reductionism and non-reductionism and by, second, suggesting an alternate, hybrid, view of testimonial justification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Epistemology of Testimony
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191706110
ISBN (Print)9780199276011
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • Non-reductionism
  • Reductionism
  • Testimonial justification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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