Testimony

Edited by Peter Graham (University of California, Riverside)
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History/traditions: Testimony

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  1. Do Your Own Research.Nathan Ballantyne, Jared B. Celniker & David Dunning - 2024 - Social Epistemology 38 (3):302-317.
    This article evaluates an emerging element in popular debate and inquiry: DYOR. (Haven’t heard of the acronym? Then Do Your Own Research.) The slogan is flexible and versatile. It is used frequently on social media platforms about topics from medical science to financial investing to conspiracy theories. Using conceptual and empirical resources drawn from philosophy and psychology, we examine key questions about the slogan’s operation in human cognition and epistemic culture.
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  2. Deepfakes: A Survey and Introduction to the Topical Collection.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - forthcoming - Synthese.
    Deepfakes are extremely realistic audio/video media. They are produced via a complex machine-learning process, one that centrally involves training an algorithm on thousands of audio/video recordings of an object or person, S, with the aim of either creating entirely new audio/video media of S or else altering existing audio/video media of S. Deepfakes are widely predicted to have deleterious consequences (principally, moral and epistemic ones) for both individuals and various of our social practices and institutions. In this introduction to the (...)
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  3. The puzzle of plausible deniability.Andrew Peet - 2024 - Synthese 203 (5):1-20.
    How is it that a speaker _S_ can at once make it obvious to an audience _A_ that she intends to communicate some proposition _p_, and yet at the same time retain plausible deniability with respect to this intention? The answer is that _S_ can bring it about that _A_ has a high justified credence that ‘_S_ intended _p_’ without putting _A_ in a position to know that ‘_S_ intended _p_’. In order to achieve this _S_ has to exploit a (...)
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  4. Simulación y testimonio: a propósito de la posibilidad de conocer a través de otros en el metaverso.Felipe Álvarez - 2023 - Cuadernos de Beauchef 7 (2):161-178.
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  5. New experts on the web?Nicola Mößner - forthcoming - In Philosophische Digitalisierungsforschung (I). Verständigung Verantwortung Vernunft.
    During the Covid-19 pandemic, a considerable amount of people seem to have been lured into believing in conspiracy theories. These people deliberately disregard expert advice by virologists and physicians concerning social behaviour that is aimed at reducing the number of new infections. Disregarding traditional experts and their advice is just one example of what, in the philosophy of science, is referred to as a crisis of expertise – the phenomenon whereby people seem to have lost their trust in traditional expert (...)
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  6. The emotional impact of baseless discrediting of knowledge: An empirical investigation of epistemic injustice.Laura Niemi, Natalia Washington, Clifford Workman, de Brigard Felipe & Migdalia Arcila-Valenzuela - 2024 - Acta Psychologica 244.
    According to theoretical work on epistemic injustice, baseless discrediting of the knowledge of people with marginalized social identities is a central driver of prejudice and discrimination. Discrediting of knowledge may sometimes be subtle, but it is pernicious, inducing chronic stress and coping strategies such as emotional avoidance. In this research, we sought to deepen the understanding of epistemic injustice’s impact by examining emotional responses to being discredited and assessing if marginalized social group membership predicts these responses. We conducted a novel (...)
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  7. Proper Address and Epistemic Conditions for Acting on Sexual Consent.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Lauritz Aastrup Munch - 2023 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 52 (1):69-100.
    Philosophy &Public Affairs, Volume 52, Issue 1, Page 69-100, Winter 2024.
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  8. Science Based on Artificial Intelligence Need not Pose a Social Epistemological Problem.Uwe Peters - 2024 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 13 (1).
    It has been argued that our currently most satisfactory social epistemology of science can’t account for science that is based on artificial intelligence (AI) because this social epistemology requires trust between scientists that can take full responsibility for the research tools they use, and scientists can’t take full responsibility for the AI tools they use since these systems are epistemically opaque. I think this argument overlooks that much AI-based science can be done without opaque models, and that agents can take (...)
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  9. An a priori shift in non-reductionist accounts of testimony.Gabriel Malagutti - 2024 - Dissertation, University of Lisbon
    Non-reductionism is the main framework in the epistemology of testimony. It states that absence of negative evidence is sufficient to justify testimonial acceptance. Lackey (2006; 2008) has put forward the strongest objection to non-reductionism. A case where in the total absence of negative evidence, one is still unjustified in accepting the speaker’s testimony. The goal of this research is to assess if, and how, non-reductionism can reply to the case. I will argue that most non-reductionist accounts appeal to background information (...)
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  10. Standpoint Epistemology and the Epistemology of Deference (3rd edition).Emily Tilton & Briana Toole - forthcoming - In Kurt Sylvan, Sosa Ernest, Dancy Jonathan & Steup Matthias (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology. Wiley Blackwell.
    Standpoint epistemology has been linked with increasing calls for deference to the socially marginalized. As we understand it, deference involves recognizing someone else as better positioned than we are, either to investigate or to answer some question, and then accepting their judgment as our own. We connect contemporary calls for deference to old objections that standpoint epistemology wrongly reifies differences between groups. We also argue that while deferential epistemic norms present themselves as a solution to longstanding injustices, habitual deference prevents (...)
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  11. Bootstrapping and Persuasive Argumentation.Guido Melchior - forthcoming - Argumentation.
    That bootstrapping and Moorean reasoning fail to instantiate persuasive argumentation is an often informally presented but not systematically developed view. In this paper, I will argue that this unpersuasiveness is not determined by principles of justification transmission but by two straightforward principles of rationality, understood as a concept of internal coherence. First, it is rational for S to believe the conclusion of an argument because of the argument, only if S believes sufficiently many premises of the argument. Second, if S (...)
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  12. Trauma, trust, & competent testimony.Seth Goldwasser & Alison Springle - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 37 (1):167-195.
    Public discourse implicitly appeals to what we call the “Traumatic Untrustworthiness Argument” (TUA). To motivate, articulate, and assess the TUA, we appeal to Hawley’s (2019) commitment account of trust and trustworthiness. On Hawley’s account, being trustworthy consists in the successful avoidance of unfulfilled commitments and involves three components: the actual avoidance of unfulfilled commitments, sincerity in one’s taking on elective commitments, and competence in fulfilling commitments one has incurred. In contexts of testimony, what’s at issue is the speaker’s competence and (...)
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  13. Testimonial Epistemic Rights in Online Spaces.Kenneth Boyd - 2022 - Philosophical Topics 50 (2):105-126.
    According to many theories of testimony, acts of testimony confer certain epistemic rights upon recipients, e.g., the right for the recipient to complain or otherwise hold the testifier responsible should the content of that testimony turn out to be false, and the right to “pass the epistemic buck”, such that the recipient can redirect relevant challenges they may encounter back to the testifier. While these discussions do not explicitly exclude testimonial acts that occur online, they do not specifically address them, (...)
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  14. Deference or critical engagement: How should healthcare practitioners use Clinical Ethics Guidance?Ben Davies & Joshua Parker - forthcoming - Monash Bioethics Review:1-15.
    Healthcare practitioners have access to a range of ethical guidance. However, the normative role of this guidance in ethical decision-making is underexplored. This paper considers two ways that healthcare practitioners could approach ethics guidance. We first outline the idea of deference to ethics guidance, showing how an attitude of deference raises three key problems: moral value; moral understanding; and moral error. Drawing on philosophical literature, we then advocate an alternative framing of ethics guidance as a form of moral testimony by (...)
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  15. Effective Filtering: Language Comprehension and Testimonial Entitlement.J. P. Grodniewicz - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (1):291-311.
    It is often suggested that we are equipped with a set of cognitive tools that help us to filter out unreliable testimony. But are these tools effective? I answer this question in two steps. Firstly, I argue that they are not real-time effective. The process of filtering, which takes place simultaneously with or right after language comprehension, does not prevent a particular hearer on a particular occasion from forming beliefs based on false testimony. Secondly, I argue that they are long-term (...)
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  16. Hot-cold empathy gaps and the grounds of authenticity.Grace Helton & Christopher Register - 2023 - Synthese 202 (5):1-24.
    Hot-cold empathy gaps are a pervasive phenomena wherein one’s predictions about others tend to skew ‘in the direction’ of one’s own current visceral states. For instance, when one predicts how hungry someone else is, one’s prediction will tend to reflect one’s own current hunger state. These gaps also obtain intrapersonally, when one attempts to predict what one oneself would do at a different time. In this paper, we do three things: We draw on empirical evidence to argue that so-called hot-cold (...)
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  17. Default Positions in Clinical Ethics.Parker Crutchfield, Tyler Gibb & Michael Redinger - 2023 - Journal of Clinical Ethics 34 (3):258-269.
    Default positions, predetermined starting points that aid in complex decision-making, are common in clinical medicine. In this article, we identify and critically examine common default positions in clinical ethics practice. Whether default positions ought to be held is an important normative question, but here we are primarily interested in the descriptive, rather than normative, properties of default positions. We argue that default positions in clinical ethics function to protect and promote important values in medicine—respect for persons, utility, and justice. Further, (...)
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  18. Epistemology of Conversation: First essays.Waldomiro Silva Filho (ed.) - forthcoming - Cham: Springer.
    Conversation, dialogue, reasonable disagreement, and the acquisition of knowledge through the words of others, all of this has always been at the center of philosophers’ concerns since the emergence of philosophy in Ancient Greece. It is also important to recognize that in contemporary philosophy, marked by the linguistic turn, there is a wealth of intellectual production on ethical, psycho-linguistic, logical-linguistic, and pragmatic aspects of the conversation. Despite all this, this is the first collection of texts dedicated exclusively to the strictly (...)
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  19. Promising by Normative Assurance.Luca Passi - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):1004-1023.
    This paper develops a new theory of the morality of promissory obligations. T. M. Scanlon notoriously argued that promising consists in assuring the promisee that we will do something. I disagree. I argue that it is true that promising consists in assuring the promisee, but what the promisor gives to the promisee is not an assurance that they will do something, but that the normative situation is in a certain way.
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  20. Language.Joseph Shieber - 2023 - In Aaron Garrett & James A. Harris (eds.), Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Volume 2: Method, Metaphysics, Mind, Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 327-364.
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  21. Evidence, Testimony, and Trust: How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Exacerbating the Crisis of Trust in Science.Clarisse Paron - 2021 - The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude de L'éthique Appliquée 6:1-18.
    In this paper, I consider an example of fast science produced in the early stages of the pandemic and the lasting effects of the study on public safety and trust in science. Due to pressures intrinsic to contemporary science and from the pandemic to produce research on COVID quickly, studies on COVID-19 that did not meet rigorous scientific standards were used to form public health policies and recommendations. I argue that the fast science produced for COVID-19, which caused many public (...)
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  22. El debate en torno al reduccionismo y antireduccionismo de la justificación en la epistemología del testimonio.Felipe Álvarez - 2022 - Cazamoscas 12 (13):38-48.
    En este trabajo pretendo señalar en qué consiste el debate entre reduccionismo y antireduccionismo respecto de la justificación testimonial en la epistemología del testimonio. Para esto, se procederá de la siguiente manera: se expondrá las consideraciones epistemológicas de Hume y Reid sobre el testimonio para dar cuenta del reduccionismo y el antireducionismo en filosofía de la modernidad-temprana; por otra parte, se expondrá cómo se ha desarrollado dicho debate en la epistemología contemporánea. De esta manera, se pretende presentar una visión sistemática (...)
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  23. The representational structure of linguistic understanding.J. P. Grodniewicz - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The nature of linguistic understanding is a much-debated topic. Among the issues that have been discussed, two questions have recently received a lot of attention: (Q1) ‘Are states of understanding direct (i.e. represent solely what is said) or indirect (i.e. represent what is said as being said/asserted)?’ and (Q2) ‘What kind of mental attitude is linguistic understanding (e.g. knowledge, belief, seeming)?’ This paper argues that, contrary to what is commonly assumed, there is no straightforward answer to either of these questions. (...)
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  24. Trust, Distrust, and ‘Medical Gaslighting’.Elizabeth Barnes - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (3):649-676.
    When are we obligated to believe someone? To what extent are people authorities about their own experiences? What kind of harm might we enact when we doubt? Questions like these lie at the heart of many debates in social and feminist epistemology, and they’re the driving issue behind a key conceptual framework in these debates—gaslighting. But while the concept of gaslighting has provided fruitful insight, it's also proven somewhat difficult to adjudicate, and seems prone to over-application. In what follows, I (...)
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  25. Testimony as Joint Activity.Nicolas Nicola - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Miami
    Testimony is of epistemic and practical significance. It is of epistemic significance because majority of what we know and believe comes from being told. It is of practical significance because our agency can be undermined, bypassed, or overridden owing to systemic prejudices sustained by oppressive social or cultural practices and subsequently our routes to knowledge are either hindered or distorted. Things get more complicated when we introduce and examine how groups and other collectives testify and are recipients of testimony. For (...)
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  26. Search Engines, White Ignorance, and the Social Epistemology of Technology.Joshua Habgood-Coote - manuscript
    How should we think about the ways search engines can go wrong? Following the publication of Safiya Noble’s Algorithms of Oppression (Noble 2018), a view has emerged that racist, sexist, and other problematic results should be thought of as indicative of algorithmic bias. In this paper, I offer an alternative angle on these results, building on Noble’s suggestion that search engines are complicit in a racial contract (Mills 1990). I argue that racist and sexist results should be thought of as (...)
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  27. Engagement Account of Aesthetic Value.C. Thi Nguyen - 2023 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 81 (1):91-93.
    I propose an account of aesthetic value, where aesthetic value lies in the process of aesthetic engagement: in our activity of perceiving, guiding our attention, interpreting, and otherwise wrestling with aesthetic objects. It also includes our social activities of engagement: arguing with each other, writing criticism, making top-ten lists. (This is a short summary of a view developed in greater detail elsewhere.).
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  28. Prejudice, Harming Knowers, and Testimonial Injustice.Timothy Perrine - 2023 - Logos and Episteme 14 (1):53-73.
    Fricker‘s Epistemic Injustice discusses the idea of testimonial injustice, specifically, being harmed in one‘s capacity as a knower. Fricker‘s own theory of testimonial injustice emphasizes the role of prejudice. She argues that prejudice is necessary for testimonial injustice and that when hearers use a prejudice to give a deficit to the credibility of speakers hearers intrinsically harm speakers in their capacity as a knower. This paper rethinks the connections between prejudice and testimonial injustice. I argue that many cases of prejudicial (...)
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  29. Introduction to 'Scientific Testimony: Its roles in science and society'.Mikkel Gerken - 2022 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    This is the Introduction and Chapter 1.1 of the book ‘Scientific Testimony. Its roles in science and society’ (OUP 2022). The introduction contains a brief survey of the book’s chapters and main conclusions, which I hope will be useful to the curious ones.
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  30. Faith, Wisdom, and the Transmission of Knowledge through Testimony.Eleonore Stump - 2014 - In Timothy O'Connor & Laura Frances Callahan (eds.), Religious Faith and Intellectual Virtue. Oxford, UK: pp. 204-230.
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  31. Swami Vivekananda's Vedāntic Cosmopolitanism.Swami Medhananda - 2022 - Oxford University Press.
    "Swami Vivekananda, the nineteenth-century Hindu monk who introduced Vedåanta to the West, is undoubtedly one of modern India's most influential philosophers. Unfortunately, his philosophy has too often been interpreted through reductive hermeneutic lenses. Typically, scholars have viewed him either as a modern-day exponent of âSaçnkara's Advaita Vedåanta or as a "Neo-Vedåantin" influenced more by Western ideas than indigenous Indian traditions. In Swami Vivekananda's Vedåantic Cosmopolitanism, Swami Medhananda rejects both of these prevailing approaches to offer a new interpretation of Vivekananda's philosophy, (...)
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  32. Wrong on the Internet: Why some common prescriptions for addressing the spread of misinformation online don’t work.Isaac Record & Boaz Miller - 2022 - Communique 105:22-27.
    Leading prescriptions for addressing the spread of fake news, misinformation, and other forms of epistemically toxic content online target either the platform or platform users as a single site for intervention. Neither approach attends to the intense feedback between people, posts, and platforms. Leading prescriptions boil down to the suggestion that we make social media more like traditional media, whether by making platforms take active roles as gatekeepers, or by exhorting individuals to behave more like media professionals. Both approaches are (...)
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  33. The naturalized epistemology approach to evidence.Gabriel Broughton & Brian Leiter - 2021 - In Christian Dahlman, Alex Stein & Giovanni Tuzet (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Evidence Law. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    Studying evidence law as part of naturalized epistemology means using the tools and results of the sciences to evaluate evidence rules based on the accuracy of the verdicts they are likely to produce. In this chapter, we introduce the approach and address skeptical concerns about the value of systematic empirical research for evidence scholarship, focusing, in particular, on worries about the external validity of jury simulation studies. Finally, turning to applications, we consider possible reforms regarding eyewitness identifications and character evidence.
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  34. When to Psychologize.A. K. Flowerree - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (4):968-982.
    The central focus of this paper is to motivate and explore the question, when is it permissible to endorse a psychologizing explanation of a sincere interlocutor? I am interested in the moral question of when (if ever) we may permissibly dismiss the sincere reasons given to us by others, and instead endorse an alternative explanation of their beliefs and actions. I argue that there is a significant risk of wronging the other person, and so we should only psychologize when we (...)
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  35. Relationally Responsive Expert Trustworthiness.Ben Almassi - 2022 - Social Epistemology 36 (5):576-585.
    Social epistemologists often operationalize the task of indirectly assessing experts’ trustworthiness to identifying whose beliefs are more reliably true on matters in an area of expertise. Not only does this neglect the philosophically rich space between belief formation and testimonial utterances, it also reduces trustworthiness to reliability. In ethics of trust, by contrast, explicitly relational views of trust include things like good will and responsiveness. One might think that relational aspects can be safely set aside for social epistemology of trust (...)
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  36. A normative framework for sharing information online.Emily Sullivan & Mark Alfano - 2023 - In Carissa Véliz (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    People have always shared information through chains and networks of testimony. It’s arguably part of what makes us human and enables us to live in cooperative communities with populations greater than the Dunbar number. The invention of the Internet and the rise of social media have turbo-charged our ability to share information. In this chapter, we develop a normative framework for sharing information online. This framework takes into account both ethical and epistemic considerations that are intertwined in typical cases of (...)
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  37. The virgin birth debate and testimony.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Various tribes deny that pregnancy is caused by sexual relations. Is this irrational? I present a puzzle involving testimony which some tribes might once have faced.
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  38. Assertion remains strong.Peter van Elswyk & Matthew A. Benton - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (1):27-50.
    Assertion is widely regarded as an act associated with an epistemic position. To assert is to represent oneself as occupying this position and/or to be required to occupy this position. Within this approach, the most common view is that assertion is strong: the associated position is knowledge or certainty. But recent challenges to this common view present new data that are argued to be better explained by assertion being weak. Old data widely taken to support assertion being strong has also (...)
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  39. Cognitive biases and the predictable perils of the patient‐centric free‐market model of medicine.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (4):446-456.
    This paper addresses the recent rise of the use of alternative medicine in Western countries. It offers a novel explanation of that phenomenon in terms of cognitive and economic factors related to the free-market and patient-centric approach to medicine that is currently in place in those countries, in contrast to some alternative explanations of this phenomenon. Moreover, the paper addresses this troubling trend in terms of the serious harms associated with the use of alternative medical modalities. The explanatory theory defended (...)
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  40. Hedged testimony.Peter van Elswyk - 2023 - Noûs 57 (2):341-369.
    Speakers offer testimony. They also hedge. This essay offers an account of how hedging makes a difference to testimony. Two components of testimony are considered: how testimony warrants a hearer's attitude, and how testimony changes a speaker's responsibilities. Starting with a norm-based approach to testimony where hearer's beliefs are prima facie warranted because of social norms and speakers acquire responsibility from these same norms, I argue that hedging alters both components simultaneously. It changes which attitudes a hearer is prima facie (...)
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  41. Thinking Together: Advising as Collaborative Deliberation.Joshua Habgood-Coote - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    We spend a good deal of time thinking about how and when to advise others, and how to respond to other people advising us. However, philosophical discussions of the nature and norms advising have been scattered and somewhat disconnected. The most focused discussion has come from philosophers of language interested in whether advising is a kind of assertive or directive kind of speech act. This paper argues that the ordinary category of advising is much more heterogenous than has been appreciated: (...)
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  42. Weaponized skepticism: An analysis of social media deception as applied political epistemology.Regina Rini - 2021 - In Elizabeth Edenburg & Michael Hannon (eds.), Political Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 31-48.
    Since at least 2016, many have worried that social media enables authoritarians to meddle in democratic politics. The concern is that trolls and bots amplify deceptive content. In this chapter I argue that these tactics have a more insidious anti-democratic purpose. Lies implanted in democratic discourse by authoritarians are often intended to be caught. Their primary goal is not to successfully deceive, but rather to undermine the democratic value of testimony. In well-functioning democracies, our mutual reliance on testimony also generates (...)
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  43. Remembrance and Denial of Genocide: On the Interrelations of Testimonial and Hermeneutical Injustice.Melanie Altanian - 2021 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 29 (4):595-612.
    Genocide remembrance is a complex epistemological/ethical achievement, whereby survivors and descendants give meaning to the past in the quest for both personal-historical and social-historical truth. This paper offers an argument of epistemic injustice specifically as it occurs in relation to practices of (individual and collective) genocide remembrance. In particular, I argue that under conditions of genocide denialism, understood as collective genocide misremembrance and memory distortion, genocide survivors and descendants are confronted with hermeneutical oppression. Drawing on Sue Campbell’s relational, reconstructive account (...)
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  44. Themes from Testimonial Injustice and Trust: Introduction to the Special Issue.Melanie Altanian & Maria Baghramian - 2021 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 29 (4):433-447.
    This is the introduction to the special issue "Themes from Testimonial Injustice and Trust" for the International Journal of Philosophical Studies.
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  45. Was it Polarization or Propaganda?C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Research 46:173-191.
    According to some, the current political fracture is best described as political polarization – where extremism and political separation infest an entire whole population. Political polarization accounts often point to the psychological phenomenon of belief polarization – where being in a like-minded groups tends to boost confidence. The political polarization story is an essentially symmetrical one, where both sides are subject to the same basic dividing forces and cognitive biases, and are approximately as blame-worthy. On a very different account, what's (...)
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  46. Introduction: Puzzles Concerning Epistemic Autonomy.Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed - 2021 - In Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed (eds.), Epistemic Autonomy. Routledge. pp. 1-17.
    In this introduction we explore a number of puzzles that arise concerning epistemic autonomy, and introduce the sections and chapters of the book. There are four broad types of puzzles to be explored, corresponding to the four sections of the book. The first set of puzzles concerns the nature of epistemic autonomy. Here, questions arise such as what is epistemic autonomy? Is epistemic autonomy valuable? What are we epistemically autonomous about? The second set of puzzles concern epistemic paternalism. Paternalistic acts (...)
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  47. Genocide Denial as Testimonial Oppression.Melanie Altanian - 2021 - Social Epistemology 35 (2):133-146.
    This article offers an argument of genocide denial as an injustice perpetrated not only against direct victims and survivors of genocide, but also against future members of the victim group. In particular, I argue that in cases of persistent and systematic denial, i.e. denialism, it perpetrates an epistemic injustice against them: testimonial oppression. First, I offer an account of testimonial oppression and introduce Kristie Dotson’s notion of testimonial smothering as one form of testimonial oppression, a mechanism of coerced silencing particularly (...)
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  48. Deepfakes and the Epistemic Backstop.Regina Rini - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (24):1-16.
    Deepfake technology uses machine learning to fabricate video and audio recordings that represent people doing and saying things they've never done. In coming years, malicious actors will likely use this technology in attempts to manipulate public discourse. This paper prepares for that danger by explicating the unappreciated way in which recordings have so far provided an epistemic backstop to our testimonial practices. Our reasonable trust in the testimony of others depends, to a surprising extent, on the regulative effects of the (...)
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  49. Sharing as speech act.Emanuele Arielli - 2018 - Versus 127:243-258.
    Social media platforms allow users to perform different speech acts: status updates could be assertives, a like is an expressive, a friendship request is a directive, and so on. But sharing (or "retweeting") seems to lack a fixed illocutive status: this explains why present controversies concerning the sharing of misinformation have been debated in legal procedure and discussed from the point of view of personal responsibility without reaching a general consensus. The premise of this paper is that the diffusion of (...)
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Epistemology of Testimony
  1. A phenomenology and epistemology of large language models: Transparency, trust, and trustworthiness.Richard Heersmink, Barend de Rooij, María Jimena Clavel Vázquez & Matteo Colombo - forthcoming - Ethics and Information Technology.
    This paper analyses the phenomenology and epistemology of chatbots such as ChatGPT and Bard. The computational architecture underpinning these chatbots are large language models (LLMs), which are generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems trained on a massive dataset of text extracted from the Web. We conceptualise these LLMs as multifunctional computational cognitive artifacts, used for various cognitive tasks such as translating, summarizing, answering questions, information-seeking, and much more. Phenomenologically, LLMs can be experienced as a “quasi-other”; when that happens, users anthropomorphise them. (...)
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