Is Testimonial Knowledge Second-Hand Knowledge?

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Abstract

Fricker (2006a) has proposed that a hearer’s knowledge that p acquired through trusting a speaker requires the speaker to know that p, and that therefore testimonial knowledge through trust is necessarily second-hand knowledge. In this paper, I argue that Fricker’s view is problematic for four reasons: firstly, Fricker’s dismissal of a central challenge to the second-handedness of testimonial knowledge is based on a significant misrepresentation of this challenge; secondly, on closer scrutiny an important distinction Fricker wants to draw is compromised by her account of trust; thirdly, Fricker’s conception of trust is at odds with our natural understanding of this notion; fourthly, the reasons Fricker cites in support of her view are not sufficient to single out her view as the correct one, since rival views can also accommodate the relevant data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-918
Number of pages20
JournalErkenntnis
Volume81
Issue number4
Early online date30 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

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