Cohen Hall, Room 402
Leonard and Elizabeth Eslick Chair in Philosophy
Saint Louis University
Philosophers have recently debated about what role, if any, relationships of trust play in testimonial knowledge. While some have argued that relationships of trust are essential to the transmission of knowledge through testimony, others have countered that trust has no specifically epistemic significance or value. This paper argues that the phenomenon of trust is indeed of central importance to epistemology. The main argument is this: Knowledge transmission essentially involves joint agency between speaker and hearer, and joint agency essentially involves trust between the cooperating agents. Hence, an important and distinctive epistemological phenomenon (the transmission of knowledge) essentially involves trust.