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Title: Reconsidering the role of inference to the best explanation in the epistemology of testimony
Authors: Gelfert, A. 
Keywords: Abduction
Epistemic justification
Inference to the best explanation
Issue Date: Dec-2010
Citation: Gelfert, A. (2010-12). Reconsidering the role of inference to the best explanation in the epistemology of testimony. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4) : 386-396. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In his work on the epistemology of testimony, Peter Lipton developed an account of testimonial inference that aimed at descriptive adequacy as well as justificatory sophistication. According to 'testimonial inference to the best explanation' (TIBE), we accept what a speaker tells us because the truth of her claim figures in the best explanation of the fact that she made it. In this paper, I argue for a modification of this picture. In particular, I argue that IBE plays a dual role in the management and justification of testimony. On the one hand, the coherence and success of our testimony-based projects provides general abductive support for a default stance of testimonial acceptance; on the other hand, we are justified in rejecting specific testimonial claims whenever the best explanation of the instances of testimony we encounter entails, or makes probable, the falsity or unreliability of the testimony in question. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
ISSN: 00393681
DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.10.001
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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