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Philosophical Studies

, Volume 176, Issue 12, pp 3303–3327 | Cite as

Knowledge-yielding communication

  • Andrew PeetEmail author
Article

Abstract

A satisfactory theory of linguistic communication must explain how it is that, through the interpersonal exchange of auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli, the communicative preconditions for the acquisition of testimonial knowledge regularly come to be satisfied. Without an account of knowledge-yielding communication this success condition for linguistic theorizing is left opaque, and we are left with an incomplete understanding of testimony, and communication more generally, as a source of knowledge. This paper argues that knowledge-yielding communication should be modelled on knowledge itself. It is argued that knowledge-yielding communication occurs iff interlocutors coordinate on truth values in a non-lucky and non-deviant way. This account is able to do significant explanatory work: it sheds light on the nature of referential communication, and it allows us to capture, in an informative way, the sense in which interlocutors must entertain similar propositions in order to communicate successfully.

Keywords

Testimony Communication Knowledge Reference Luck 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper has been in the works for a long time, and it has benefited from discussion with, and comments from too many people to name. However, I will do my best to name a few: Mark Bowker, Herman Cappelen, Alex Davies, Anna Drozdzowicz, Rachel Fraser, Lizzie Fricker, Mikkel Gerken, Olav Gjelsvik, Sandy Goldberg, Patrick Greenough, Josh Habgood-Coote, Torfinn Huvenes, Matt McKeever, Andrea Onofri, Peter Pagin, Kim Phillips Pedersen, Eli Pitcovski, Joey Pollock, and an anonymous reviewer for Philosophical Studies. This paper has also benefited greatly from the discussion it received when presented at the University of St Andrews ‘Testimony in Context’ workshop, the University of Hamburg ‘New Trends in Epistemology’ workshop, and the ConceptLab work in progress seminar at the University of Oslo. I thank the audiences who were present at these events, and the organizers.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Oslo (CSMN & ConceptLab)OsloNorway

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