Testimony and Context, 7th May 2016 - 8th May 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in or organising a conference


In acquiring knowledge from others we rely on speakers to be reliable and honest, and we rely on our own ability to understand what we have been told. Most research in the epistemology of testimony focuses on the former reliance. However, our ability to communicate successfully is no less important. Moreover, given the widespread context sensitivity of natural language it is puzzling that we seem able to reliably acquire testimonial knowledge. Thus, a complete epistemology of testimony will consider not only the epistemology of our reliance on others, but also the epistemology of linguistic communication. This conference brings together epistemologists and philosophers of language to explore the epistemology of testimony in light of the complexities of linguistic communication. Topics addressed include:

What are the conditions for communicative success?

What are the implications of semantic minimalism, radical contextualism, or speech act pluralism for the epistemology of testimony?

How reliable is linguistic communication?

Does contextual knowledge contribute to the justificatory status of testimonial beliefs?

What are the implications of the semantic internalism/externalism debate for the epistemology of testimony?

Can implicit or non-literal communication be a source of testimonial knowledge?
Period7 May 20168 May 2016
Event typeWorkshop
LocationSt Andrews, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational