Relying on Others: An Essay in Epistemology

Paperback | October 27, 2012

bySanford C. Goldberg

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Sanford Goldberg investigates the role that others play in our attempts to acquire knowledge of the world. Two main forms of this reliance are examined: testimony cases, where a subject aims to acquire knowledge through accepting what another tells her; and cases involving "coverage", where asubject aims to acquire knowledge of something by reasoning that if things were not so she would have heard about it by now. Goldberg argues that these cases challenge some cherished assumptions in epistemology. Testimony cases challenge the assumption, prominent in reliabilist epistemology, thatthe processes through which beliefs are formed never extend beyond the boundaries of the individual believer. And both sorts of case challenge the idea that, insofar knowledge is a cognitive achievement, it is an achievement that belongs to the knowing subject herself. Goldberg uses results of this sort to question the broadly individualistic orthodoxy within reliabilist epistemology, and to explore what a non-orthodox reliabilist epistemology would look like. The resulting theory is a social-reliabilist epistemology - one that results from the application ofreliabilist criteria to situations in which belief-fixation involves epistemic reliance on others. Sanford Goldberg presents an important contribution both to the reliability literature in general epistemology and to the social epistemology of testimony and related topics.

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Sanford Goldberg investigates the role that others play in our attempts to acquire knowledge of the world. Two main forms of this reliance are examined: testimony cases, where a subject aims to acquire knowledge through accepting what another tells her; and cases involving "coverage", where asubject aims to acquire knowledge of somethi...

Sanford C. Goldberg is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Northwestern University. His research is primarily in the areas of epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language.

other books by Sanford C. Goldberg

Externalism, Self-Knowledge, and Skepticism: New Essays
Externalism, Self-Knowledge, and Skepticism: New Essays

Kobo ebook|Aug 21 2015

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:228 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.49 inPublished:October 27, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199659370

ISBN - 13:9780199659371

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Testimony and Knowledge Individualism2. Orthodox Reliabilism and Testimony's Epistemic Significance3. Process and Environment in Testimonial Belief-Formation4. Epistemic Reliance and the Extendedness Hypothesis5. Objections to the Extendedness Hypothesis6. If that were true I would have heard about it by now7. Reliabilism as Social EpistemologyBibliography

Editorial Reviews

Review from previous edition: "a lucid exercise of philosophical analysis into some of the most exciting contemporary epistemological debates" --Metapsychology