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Lackey, Jennfer, , . Testimony and the Infant/Child Objection
2005, Philosophical Studies 126(2): 163-190.
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by:

Abstract: One of the central problems afflicting reductionism in the epistemology of testimony is the apparent fact that infants and small children are not cognitively capable of having the inductively based positive reasons required by this view. 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 reductionism. In this paper, however, I argue that if this objection undermines reductionism, then a variant of it similarly undermines non-reductionism. Thus, considerations about the cognitive capacities of infants and small children do not effectively discriminate between these two competing theories of testimonial justification.

Comment: It is a good paper in terms of elucidating the debates between reductionism and non-reductionism. In particular, it critically examines a central problem for reductionism. Suitable as a further reading for teachings on testimony in a course on epistemology.

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Lackey, Jennifer, , . It takes two to tango: beyond reductionism and non-reductionism in the epistemology of testimony
2006, In Jennifer Lackey & Ernest Sosa (eds.), The Epistemology of Testimony. Oxford University Press. pp. 160--89.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

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 non-reductionism. While reductionists argue that testimonial justification is reducible to sense perception, memory, and inductive inference, non-reductionists 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.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Lackey, Jennifer, , . The Epistemology of Testimony: Introduction
2006, In Jennifer Lackey & Ernest Sosa (eds.), The Epistemology of Testimony. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-24.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

Introduction: Our dependence on testimony is as deep as it is ubiquitous. We rely on the reports of others for our beliefs about the food we eat, the medicine we ingest, the products we buy, the geography of the world, discoveries in science, historical information, and many other areas that play crucial roles in both our practical and our intellectual lives. Even many of our most important beliefs about ourselves were learned at an earlier time from our parents and caretakers, such as the date of our birth, the identity of our parents, our ethnic backgrounds, and so on. Were we to refrain from accepting the testimony of others, our lives would be impoverished in startling and debilitating ways.

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