Presented by C3S (Concordia Centre for Cognitive Science) and CRISCo (Cercle de Recherche de l’Institut des Sciences Cognitives, UQAM).
Much contemporary epistemology of testimony suffers from what we might call
'putting the epistemology first'. This approach takes the concepts and the ways of carving up
problems that characterize epistemology more generally, and applies them to testimony and
to the social exchange of knowledge in an idealized manner. Ironically, the common idea
that testimony is a distinctive source of knowledge arises from this approach, which treats
testimony as if it were not distinct from, e.g., memory, perception, or selfknowledge.
approach is one that takes seriously the complex roles of social cognition and language
pragmatics in testimony, emphasizing their relevance to the epistemic properties of beliefs
acquired through communication. Some case studies of socially complex testimonial
exchanges serve to illustra