Evidence of Evidence and Testimonial Reductionism

Abstract: An objection to reductionism in the epistemology of testimony that is often repeated but rarely defended in detail is that there is not enough positive evidence to provide the non-testimonial, positive reasons reductionism requires. Thus, on pain of testimonial skepticism, reductionism must be rejected. Call this argument the ‘Not Enough Evidence Objection’ (or ‘NEEO’). I will defend reductionism about testimonial evidence against the NEEO by arguing that we typically have non-testimonial positive reasons in the form of evidence about our testifier’s evidence. With a higher-level evidence principle borrowed from recent work on the epistemology of disagreement, I argue that, granting some plausible assumptions about conversational norms, the NEEO is unsound.

Full Text: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S1742360012000251