Volume 75, 2018
Theories of Knowledge and Epistemology
The Justification of Testimony and Intellectual Virtues
There are two levels in the problem about the justification of testimony. The first level is about justification of testimony in general: Is testimony as a source or type of knowledge reliable and independent? Two opposite positions have been proposed in philosophical literature: reductionism and non-reductionism. For to this level, I propose a communitarian non-reductionism in contrast to traditional or individualist non-reductionism. It is also a restricted non-reductionism. The second level is about the justification of testimony in particular: How do we justify our acceptance of testimonial beliefs? Do we justify them in a direct way as we do in the cases of perception, introspection and memory, or, in an inferential way? The former position is known as fundamentalism and the latter inferentialism. For the particular level, I develop a position of virtue fundamentalism. I understand the meaning of intellectual virtues based on the view of virtue responsibilism. In summary, I call the communitarian non-reductionism and virtue fundamentalism in the sense of virtue responsibilism together a virtue account of the justification of testimony.