Talk by Kim Pedersen: "Immediate Justification For Beliefs About What Is Said?"


When we hear people speak in a familiar language, we typically form beliefs about what they say. We are justified in holding these beliefs on many occasions. Where does this justification come from? A common answer is that it comes from experience. The claim is that we enjoy perceptual or perception-like experiences as of the speaker saying that P, and that these provide justification for believing that the speaker said that P (Brogaard 2018, Fricker 2003, Hunter 1998). On this view, beliefs about what is said can be immediately justified: they can enjoy a sort of justification that isn't constituted by the subject's justification for believing any other proposition. I'll argue that this claim is false. Our justification for beliefs about what is said is always purely mediate, that is, it's always constituted by our justification to believe other propositions. I'll offer a few cases that the immediate justification view has trouble explaining, and then argue that since the mediate justification view can explain these and all other relevant cases, we should prefer the latter.

Published Jan. 21, 2019 3:50 PM - Last modified Mar. 27, 2019 12:28 PM