Abstract: Sometimes a subject may form beliefs based on the silence of a trusted source. This source might be either the subject itself, or another source he/she finds trustworthy in a certain domain. The main idea of the paper “Epistemology of Silence” written by Sanford Goldberg, from an epistemic point of view, is that both cases have similar significance. But how can a belief, based on the silence of a trusted source, be epistemically justified? What does it take for the process of silence-based beliefs to be reliable? What are the conditions for doxastic justification of silence-supported beliefs? These and many others interesting questions find their answers in the paper “Epistemology of Silence”. Here I will try to summarize the answers and to outline the most important ideas in Sanford Goldberg’s paper, and then to present three ideas I had while I was reading the paper for the first time. Not all of them are so closely related to the Goldberg’s text, which is why I chose to mention them after the main part of my assignment. My essay will consist of eight sections devoted to a brief outline of the main ideas in the paper “Epistemology of Silence”, plus one last section, divided into three subsections, which will present some of my thoughts inspired by Sanford Goldberg’s text.
Keywords: Goldberg, Patterson, Goldman, epistemology, silence-based belief, source, knowledge, coverage-reliability, information, truth-likeliness, memory preservation, doxastic justification, “strategy of indirection”, Galilei, information transmission, science, publicity
Rhetoric and Communications E-journal, Issue 3, March 2012, http://rhetoric.bg/, ISSN 1314-4464