Learning from Words by Jennifer Lackey
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Learning from Words
By Jennifer Lackey

Learning from Words

Testimony as a Source of Knowledge

By (author) See other recent books by Jennifer Lackey
Format: Hardback

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Learning from Words by Jennifer Lackey

Book Description

Testimony is an invaluable source of knowledge. We rely on the reports of those around us for everything from the ingredients in our food and medicine to the identity of our family members. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the epistemology of testimony. Despite the multitude of views offered, a single thesis is nearly universally accepted: testimonial knowledge is acquired through the process of transmission from speaker to hearer. In this book, Jennifer Lackey shows that this thesis is false and, hence, that the literature on testimony has been shaped at its core by a view that is fundamentally misguided. She then defends a detailed alternative to this conception of testimony: whereas the views currently dominant focus on the epistemic status of what speakers believe, Lackey advances a theory that instead centers on what speakers say. The upshot is that, strictly speaking, we do not learn from one another's beliefs - we learn from one another's words. Once this shift in focus is in place, Lackey goes on to argue that, though positive reasons are necessary for testimonial knowledge, testimony itself is an irreducible epistemic source. This leads to the development of a theory that gives proper credence to testimony's epistemologically dual nature: both the speaker and the hearer must make a positive epistemic contribution to testimonial knowledge. The resulting view not only reveals that testimony has the capacity to generate knowledge, but it also gives appropriate weight to our nature as both socially indebted and individually rational creatures. The approach found in this book will, then, represent a radical departure from the views currently dominating the epistemology of testimony, and thus is intended to reshape our understanding of the deep and ubiquitous reliance we have on the testimony of those around us.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199219162
ISBN-10: 0199219168
Format: Hardback
(242mm x 163mm x 23mm)
Pages: 308
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 28-Feb-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


Books By Author Jennifer Lackey

Essays in Collective Epistemology by Jennifer Lackey Essays in Collective Epistemology, Paperback (December 2016)

We often talk about groups believing, knowing, and testifying. Epistemic claims of this sort are of significant consequence, given that they bear on the moral and legal responsibilities of collective entities. A team of leading experts in the field present new, cutting edge theories, insights, and approaches in collective epistemology.

Epistemology of Disagreement by Jennifer Lackey Epistemology of Disagreement, Paperback (January 2016)

This is a collective study of the epistemic significance of disagreement: twelve contributors explore rival responses to the problems that it raises for philosophy. They develop our understanding of epistemic phenomena that are central to any thoughtful engagement with others' beliefs.

Learning from Words by Jennifer Lackey Learning from Words, Paperback (March 2010)

Jennifer Lackey reshapes the vigorous current debate on testimony by showing that the standard view of the transmission of knowledge by testimony is fundamentally misguided. Her radical new theory holds that testimony is itself an irreducible source of new knowledge, to which both speaker and hearer contribute.

Biography of Wheat by Jennifer Lackey Biography of Wheat, Paperback (September 2007)

The growing of wheat as a staple food source made permanent settlements possible, particularly for settlers moving West. This book teaches how one of the world's most important food crops is grown, harvested, sold, and processed. It is for ages 7-14.

» View all books by Jennifer Lackey

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Author Biography - Jennifer Lackey

Jennifer Lackey is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University.

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Recent books by Jennifer Lackey close
Essays in Collective Epistemology by Jennifer Lackey
Epistemology of Disagreement by Jennifer Lackey
Essays in Collective Epistemology by Jennifer Lackey
Epistemology of Disagreement by Jennifer Lackey
Learning from Words by Jennifer Lackey
Biography of Wheat by Jennifer Lackey
Jacques Cartier by Jennifer Lackey
Epistemology of Testimony by Jennifer Lackey
Epistemology of Testimony by Jennifer Lackey
»
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