Learning from Words: A Linguistic Approach to the Epistemology of Testimony


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships




This project advances an entirely new theory of testimonial knowledge. Whereas the views dominant in the literature focus on the internal states of speakers—such as states of knowing and believing—the view developed in this project focuses instead on linguistic states of speakers—such as statements and other acts of communication. It is then demonstrated how this shift in focus has important consequences, not only by revealing essential connections between epistemology, philosophy of language, and linguistics, but also by explaining the possibility of testimonial knowledge of moral and aesthetic matters.