Testimony and the transmission of religious knowledge

Publication Type:

Language:

Transliteration of original Title: 
Svidetel'stvo i peredacha religioznogo znaniya
Author(s): 
John Greco
Saint Louis University
Issue number: 
no.3 (vol.53)
Pages: 
19-47
Abstract: 

This paper advocates for a “social turn” in religious epistemology.  Part One reviews some familiar skeptical arguments targeting religious belief (the argument from luck, the argument from peer disagreement, Hume’s argument). All these skeptical arguments say that testimonial evidence cannot give religious belief adequate support or grounding, especially in the context of conflicting evidence. Part Two considers some recent work in social epistemology and the epistemology of testimony. Several issues regarding the nature of testimonial evidence are considered, and an account of testimonial evidence as a means of distribution of information through the system is defended. Part Three uses the results of Part Two to reconsider the skeptical arguments in Part One.

Keywords: 
religious epistemology, religious belief, social epistemology, testimony
References: 

Adler, J. “Epistemological Problems of Testimony”,  The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  [http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/testimony-episprob/, accessed on 20.03.2016]

Alston, W. Perceiving God. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991. 372p.

Christensen, D. “Epistemology of Disagreement: the Good News”, Philosophical Review, 2007, vol. 116, pp. 187–217.

Craig, E. Knowledge and the State of Nature: An Essay in Conceptual Synthesis. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. 182p.

Elga, A. “Reflection and Disagreement”, Noûs, 2007, vol. 41, pp. 478–502.

Frances, B. “Disagreement”, in: D.Pritchard, S. Bernecker  (eds.). Routledge Companion to Epistemology. NY: Routledge, 2010. P. 68–74.

Fantl, J., McGrath, M. Knowledge in an Uncertain World. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. 262p.

Goldberg, S. Anti-Individualism: Mind and Language, Knowledge and Justification. New York; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 280p.

Graham, P. “Epistemic Normativity and social Norms”, in: Henderson D., Greco J. (eds.). Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 247–273.

Greco, J. “Religious Belief and Evidence from Testimony”, in: D. Lukasiewics, R. Pouivet. The Right to Believe: Perspectives in Religious Epistemology. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2012. P. 27–46.

Greco, J. “No-Fault Atheism”, in: A. Green, E. Stump (eds.). Hidden Divinity and Religious Belief: New Perspectives. NY: Cambridge University Press, 2015, pp. 109–125.

Greco, J. “Testimonial Knowledge and the Flow of Information”, in: Henderson D., Greco J. (eds.). Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 274–290.

Harris, P.L., Koening, M.A. “The Basis of Epistemic Trust: Reliable Testimony or Reliable Sources?”,  Episteme, 2007, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 264–284.

Kelly, T. “The Epistemic Significance of Disagreement”, in: J. Hawthorne, T. Gendler Szabo (eds.). Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 167–196.

Lackey J. “Knowing from Testimony”, in: Philosophy Compass, 2006, vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 432–448.

K. Meeker, P. Quinn (eds.). The Philosophical Challenge of Religious Diversity. NY: Oxford University Press, 2000.256p.

Stanley J. Knowledge and Practical Interests. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 204p.

Williamson, T. Knowledge and Its Limits. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.352p. 

DOI: 
10.5840/eps201753344
Full Text: