On Testimony and Beyond
- SWIP CH, Society for Women in Philosophy Switzerland
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This workshop aims to explore different dimensions of socially acquiring and sharing epistemic goods. In contemporary social epistemology, there is a strong focus on how true beliefs, justified beliefs, and knowledge can be acquired through testimony: Under what conditions did I acquire knowledge by accepting someone’s testimony? How can we recognize which testifiers are trustworthy, and under what conditions are testifiers unjustly seen as not trustworthy? This research takes seriously that a lot of our knowledge is second-hand, and deals with an important aspect of our epistemic life.
However, the strong focus on testimony also carries the risk of painting an impoverished picture of the rich ways in which we can learn from others. What are the aims of practices such as teaching, giving advice, being a role model, or practical demonstration? Under what conditions will they be successful in helping others improve their (epistemic) lives? For example, what roles can and do epistemic virtues, emotions, or attention play in such exchanges? Can these kinds of interactions help us make progress even in situations where testimony is typically seen as not appropriate, like moral understanding?
November 5, 2020, 3:00pm CET