Document Type



Master of Arts



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Professor Berit Brogaard, Ph.D.


John Brunero

Jon McGinnis

Eric Wiland


John Greco believes that any satisfactory theory of testimonial knowledge should explain its practical nature—how testimonial knowledge pervades across cases in a way that much of our knowledge is dependable. He offers six cases: children know from their mothers, teachers (simple), friends know from each other and citizens (tricky), job interviewers and interrogators know from interviewees (difficult). In §2, I consider Greco’s formulation of these cases into the Reasons and Trust (RT) Dilemma: reductionism is too demanding for simple cases and non-reductionism is too easy in difficult cases. In §3, I begin by reframing Greco’s RT Dilemma. I will argue that the horns of Greco’s dilemma against reductionism and non-reductionism can be best understood as failing to accommodate the practical facts of testimony. I will then propose an approach to testimonial justification, knowing for. Hearers’ aims for knowing are related to the way hearers acquire testimonial justification. The purpose of knowing for is to give a comprehensive account of testimonial justification that includes reductionism’s positive reasons and non-reductionism’s trusting relationships. As a result, knowing for accommodates Greco’s six cases. In §4, I apply knowing for to the reductionist conception of positive reasons. In §5, I apply knowing for to the non-reductionist conception of a trusting relationship. Even though my view of knowing for alleviates both reductionism and non-reductionism from Greco’s RT Dilemma, the unintended consequence is dissolving the debate between reductionism and non-reductionism.

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