In defence of gullibility: The epistemology of testimony and the psychology of deception detection

Synthese 176 (3):399-427 (2010)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Research in the psychology of deception detection implies that Fricker, in making her case for reductionism in the epistemology of testimony, overestimates both the epistemic demerits of the antireductionist policy of trusting speakers blindly and the epistemic merits of the reductionist policy of monitoring speakers for trustworthiness: folk psychological prejudices to the contrary notwithstanding, it turns out that monitoring is on a par (in terms both of the reliability of the process and of the sensitivity of the beliefs that it produces) with blind trust. The consequence is that while (a version of) Fricker’s argument for the necessity of a reduction succeeds, her argument for the availability of reductions fails. This does not, however, condemn us to endorse standard pessimistic reductionism, according to which there is no testimonial knowledge, for recent research concerning the methods used by subjects to discover deception in non-laboratory settings suggests that only a more moderate form of pessimism is in order.
(categorize this paper)
Reprint years
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-05-21
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Against Gullibility.Fricker, Elizabeth

View all 44 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Generative Memory.Michaelian, Kourken

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
511 ( #7,895 of 50,101 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #16,380 of 50,101 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.