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lecture_10_2x2 - Announcements and Such Two Songs By...

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Announcements and Such Two Songs — By Request “Sweet Virginia”, from Exile on Main Street , by The Rolling Stones. “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime”, from Classics: The Early Years , by Neil Diamond . Today: Testimony I’ll only do one (limited) lecture on Testimony. I may not even get through all my slides today. Make sure you read all the testimony stuff… First, a leftover from last time… Is reason powerful enough to be able to provide what even introspection seems not to: indefeasible justification (the “holy grail”!)? There may be truths that are so simple and luminously self-evident that they cannot be unjustifiably believed (when properly considered) For instance, that ( p ) 1 = 1. It’s hard to see how one could comprehendingly consider p , and yet unjustifiably believe p . One might believe p (in part) for bad reasons, but that wouldn’t undermine the justification reason provides, when one adequately understands p. Not all a priori justification is indefeasible. Some Difficulties and Strengths of the Classical View VIII The Power of Reason & Indefeasible Justification I Plausible skeptical arguments might be able to defeat a priori justification (even in the strict sense) — even for certain logical truths. Moreover, indefeasible justification may sometimes occur even for a posteriori claims. Consider the proposition that-“Branden exists”. This may be the kind of proposition that I (cannot help but) indefeasibly justifiably believe. But, surely, “Branden exists” doesn’t express a necessary truth, much less an a priori truth! Whatever my justification is for believing that Branden exists (what is it?), it doesn’t seem defeasible. But, it also doesn’t seem a priori . Defeasibility & skepticism to be discussed later… Some Difficulties and Strengths of the Classical View VIII The Power of Reason & Indefeasible Justification II Testimony is perhaps the most important social (as opposed to individual , like perception, etc .) source of justified beliefs and knowledge. We use the word “testimony” in a broad sense: S testifies that p iff S asserts p (or attests to p ) with the intention of (thereby) conveying information ( e.g. , that p ) to someone else . So, all testifying is asserting (or saying), but not conversely (one may assert p ’s without intending to convey any information to another person). Normally, “testifying” is a rather heavy word. But, for us, it is much less formal and more general. Basically, it involves telling and being told ( p ’s). Testimony I Some Preliminaries
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One might think testimony only grounds belief indirectly via an inference . I might reason as: S testified that p . S is a (sufficiently) credible testifier (re p ).
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