Entitled to trust philosophical frameworks and evidence from children

Caitlin A. Cole, Paul L. Harris, Melissa A. Koenig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


How do children acquire beliefs from testimony In this chapter, we discuss children's trust in testimony, their sensitivity to and use of defeaters, and their appeals to positive reasons for trusting what other people tell them. Empirical evidence shows that, from an early age, children have a tendency to trust testimony. However, this tendency to trust is accompanied by sensitivity to cues that suggest unreliability, including inaccuracy of the message and characteristics of the speaker. Not only are children sensitive to evidence of unreliability, but they are also sensitive to the positive reasons a speaker may have for the reliability of their testimony. This evidence is discussed in relation to reductivist and non-reductivist viewpoints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-216
Number of pages22
JournalAnalyse und Kritik
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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