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13 votes

Should I ever be influenced by an argument that I can't understand?

I'm responding because you've brought to light an epistemological matter of great concern, and this is the role of testimony in deciding upon truth and adequacy. Ten years ago, when I first read ...
J D's user avatar
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9 votes

Should I ever be influenced by an argument that I can't understand?

It may be helpful to draw an argument map of what you don't understand. Draw a bubble for each claim Conifold makes, and arrows between the bubbles indicating how Conifold is attempting to support ...
causative's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

If A is justified in believing in X based on their personal experience, can B also be justified in believing in X based on A's testimony?

Only if one treats A's testimony about X as credible and reliable. If A is not credible (e.g. they're an embellisher or liar), then what they say about X will not have much weight as to the truth of X....
Lowri's user avatar
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5 votes

Should I ever be influenced by an argument that I can't understand?

The answer to your question depends on many factors, including the subject matter, whether the question at stake is decidable by evidence, prevailing opinion, and so on. I am happy to accept as true ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
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3 votes

Should I ever be influenced by an argument that I can't understand?

The world is too complicated for any single person to be able to understand everything that matters to them. But you have to get along in life, frequently needing to make decisions about things you ...
Barmar's user avatar
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2 votes

If A is justified in believing in X based on their personal experience, can B also be justified in believing in X based on A's testimony?

I think, when it comes to very mundane claims, it makes total sense, but there are other types of claims where it makes less sense. "I saw a seagull on the roof" - if some guy tells you this,...
TKoL's user avatar
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2 votes

Should I ever be influenced by an argument that I can't understand?

My answer to your core question: Should I ever be influenced by an argument that I can't understand? Yes, of course. You are not a robot who needs objectively provable logic, deduced painfully step ...
AnoE's user avatar
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2 votes

If A is justified in believing in X based on their personal experience, can B also be justified in believing in X based on A's testimony?

Very interesting question. First of all, believing has two connotations. 1. Believing that what a person says is true (honest) and 2. Believing that what a person says is valid or may have another ...
Ioannis Paizis's user avatar
1 vote

Should I ever be influenced by an argument that I can't understand?

It depends on context as others have said or implied, but I would like to add another example that might be illuminative. Let's say you've been diagnosed with some kind of cancer, and the doctor ...
ajd138's user avatar
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