Trust, Testimony, and Reasons for Belief

In Kevin McCain & Scott Stapleford (eds.), Epistemic Duties: New Arguments, New Angles. London: Routledge (2020)
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This chapter explores two kinds of testimonial trust, what we call ‘evidential trust’ and ‘non-evidential trust’ with the aim of asking how testimonial trust could provide epistemic reasons for belief. We argue that neither evidential nor non-evidential trust can play a distinctive role in providing evidential reasons for belief, but we tentatively propose that non-evidential trust can in some circumstances provide a novel kind of epistemic reason for belief, a reason of epistemic facilitation. The chapter begins with an extensive discussion of standard accounts of both kinds of trust and criticises especially the standard accounts of non-evidential trust. A new account of non-evidential trust is offered that avoids a number of difficulties that plague the standard accounts by rejecting what we call ‘attitude-liability assumptions’.

Author Profiles

Rebecca Wallbank
Uppsala University
Andrew Reisner
Uppsala University


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