Abstract

abstract:

Augustine is probably the first in western philosophy to explicitly defend an account of testimonial knowledge. I argue that he gives testimony, as an epistemic source, different statuses over three stages. First, he says that testimony can yield nothing more than belief (credere); next, he says that it can yield scientia; but in the end, he says that it yields lower level knowledge (notitia), but not scientia, strictly speaking. Along the way, I explain various motivations for Augustine’s innovations, and point out his Platonic, Stoic, and ordinary language sources. I also argue that he takes testimonial knowledge to be justified by inference rather than by default entitlement, and I show that in his last two stages there is an underlying unity that is obscured by shifts in the way he uses the term scientia.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 215-237
Launched on MUSE
2018-04-17
Open Access
No
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