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What is at the center of the epistemology of testimony: reliability or knowledge? This is the key question that Elizabeth Fricker takes up in her “How to Make Invidious Distinctions Amongst Reliable Testifiers.” In particular, Fricker argues that there are several important reasons to favor understanding testimonial knowledge in terms of the speaker being a knower rather than merely a reliable source of information. In this short response, I raise problems for Fricker’s view and the arguments put forth to support it. I conclude that contrary to Fricker’s thesis, the epistemology of testimony should focus on speaker reliability rather than knowledge.

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E. Fricker 2015b. ‘Know First, Tell Later: The Truth about Craig on Knowledge.’ In J. Greco and D. Henderson (eds), Epistemic Evaluations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

J. Lackey 1999. ‘Testimonial Knowledge and Transmission.’ Philosophical Quarterly 49: 471–90.

J. Lackey 2007. ‘Norms of Assertion.’ Noûs 41: 594626.

J. Lackey 2008. Learning from Words: Testimony as a Source of Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

J. Lackey 2011. ‘Assertion and Isolated Secondhand Knowledge.’ In J. Brown and H. Cappelen (eds), Assertion, pp. 251–75. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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  • ISSN: 1742-3600
  • EISSN: 1750-0117
  • URL: /core/journals/episteme
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