Our trust in the word of others is often dismissed as unworthy, because the illusory ideal of "autonomous knowledge" has prevailed in the debate about the nature of knowledge. Yet we are profoundly dependent on others for a vast amount of what any of us claim to know. Coady explores the nature of testimony in order to show how it might be justified as a source of knowledge, and uses the insights that he has developed to challenge certain widespread assumptions in the areas of history, law, mathematics, and psychology.
`Coady's book is certainly the most complete treatment of the epistemological issues surrounding testimony currently in print ... those with some familiarity with epistemology will benefit greatly from his book.'
Philosophia Christi Vol.1, No.1, 1999
`Coady's book constitutes a welcome return to this important subject'
Philosophia Christi Vol.1, No.1, 1999
`the book is an important event in philosophy ... Coady's work should change the way we think about the nature and scope of human knowledge ... Coady has his answers to the standard problems. Read the book and judge it for yourselves ... excellent book.'
M. F. Burnyeat, London Review of Books, November 1993
`In Testimony, Coady takes up the views of Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Locke, Hume, Reid, Russell, Collingwood and H.H. Price for thorough critical examination ... Coady's book is immensely rich in details drawn from legal theory and practice, applied psychology and the history of science, as well as the philosophy of knowledge and language.'
Times Literary Supplement
'the first thorough philosophical treatment of testimony ... Coady sheds much light on the widely neglected topic of testimony. He draws important distinctions regarding testimony without being pedantic, and exercises caution when facing powerful sceptical challenges. Epistemologists and others can benefit from Coady's wide-ranging treatment of testimony.'
P.K. Moser, Loyola University of Chicago, Choice, Jan '93
`C.A.J. Coady has written a rare book that will repay careful study by anyone in the field of religious studies since its subject matter is not only basic but also, as his shows, as little understood as it is widely misunderstood ... Coady breaks new ground in helping us understand the importance of testimony for ascertaining contingent truth. His work encourages similar care regarding such metaphysical or necessary existential truths as there may be.
Students of religion have a good deal to learn from Coady's work on testimony.'
The Journal of Religion, July 1993
'This is a valuable book, a thorough and systematic study of a much neglected subject which ought really to be near the centre of epistemological concern. All in all this is an excellent, trail-blazing book on an important subject. It ranges widely. It is well written in a good accessible style and it is nicely produced with very few misprints.'
The Philosophical Quarterly, January 1994
'This meticulously argued but rather leisurely paced book fills an important gap in the epistemological literature by taking seriously a fundamental source of human knowledge - testimony ... Coady's book surely promises to be the standard work on the philosophy of testimony and its applications for a good many years to come.'
E.J. Lowe, Philosophy, July 1993
`wide-ranging and important philosophical study ... Coady's discussion throughout the book is lively; it draws on material and highly engaging issues from a rich and varied background.'
Sydney law Review
'Everyone interested philosophically in human knowledge should read Tony Coady's book, Testimony.'
The Australian, Feb 1994
`Coady's defense of Testimony ... not only a major source of knowledge but as irreducible to observation, inference or memory is indeed brave, astute, much-needed and mostly successful.'
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
`Coady's book is probably the single most comprehensive treatment of philosophical questions relating to testimony and as such must be read by anyone interested in the topic. His epistemological conclusions concerning testimony challenge much of the philosophical tradition. ... I can't begin to do justice to the many subtle and intricate arguments advanced in the book.'
The Philosophical Review, vol.104, no.4, October 1995