On testimony and transmission

J.A. Carter, P.J. Nickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
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Jennifer Lackey's case "Creationist Teacher," in which students acquire knowledge of evolutionary theory from a teacher who does not herself believe the theory, has been discussed widely as a counterexample to so-called transmission theories of testimonial knowledge and justification. The case purports to show that a speaker need not herself have knowledge or justification in order to enable listeners to acquire knowledge or justification from her assertion. The original case has been criticized on the ground that it does not really refute the transmission theory, because there is still somebody in a chain of testifiers – the person from whom the creationist teacher acquired what she testifies – who knows the truth of the testified statements. In this paper, we provide a kind of pattern for generating counterexample cases, one that avoids objections discussed by Peter Graham and others in relation to such cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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