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By Bimal K. Matilal, A. Chakrabarti

By no means prior to, in any anthology, have modern epistemologists and philosophers of language come jointly to handle the one such a lot missed vital factor on the confluence of those branches of philosophy, specifically: will we comprehend evidence from trustworthy studies? in addition to Hume's subversive dialogue of miracles and the literature thereon, testimony has been bypassed via so much Western philosophers; while in  Read more...

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Extra resources for Knowing from Words : Western and Indian Philosophical Analysis of Understanding and Testimony

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To this one can respond by pointing out that should the speaker tum out to be incompetent, then the condition A3 would not be satisfied and consequently the cognition that is caused by the utterance should not amount to a true cognition. This is a perfectly satisfactory defense. But one may nevertheless want to ask: if the cognition is not true cognition, what then is it when either the speaker is incompetent but the sentence is true or the speaker is incompetent and the sentence is false? ) One likely answer is not available to most Indian philosophers.

But I hear (or read the utterance (or text) of a competent speaker (or writer) whom I know 38 1. N. MOHANTY to be competent. Let us assume that all the conditions laid down in II are satisfied. There is a quite uncontroversial sense in which I may be said to acquire knowledge of various things in this manner. But I want to cast doubt on the obviousness of this sense by highlighting the following possibilities. (i) Suppose the hearer believes the speaker to be competent, and so knows that p upon hearing the sentence 'p' being uttered by the speaker.

INTRODUCTION 19 status of memory-based knowledge. Like memory, trusted words of an authority (or, as McDowell's tourist found, of a stray pedestrian who is assumed to be knowledgeable about road-directions) does not yield new knowledge but helps preserve knowledge already acquired. If memory is questioned, an individual loses his past. If testimony is questioned, the individual disinherits himself from the doxastic resources of society and along with it loses the very social institution of language.

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