When someone makes a claim about their health, can that testimony alone count as evidence to believe their statement? Whether we should take someone’s statements as evidence for anything is an important debate in philosophy, especially since testimony is a fundamental part of how humans interact. Some believe testimony can give a hearer knowledge, while others believe it is too unreliable to depend on. The importance of this debate emerges once we realise that, outside of philosophy, our individual stance on what counts as evidence will influence our judgments in politics, science, social interactions, and more.
This talk will discuss two issues that result from philosophical discussions on testimony and its application to real-world healthcare. The first is what role testimony might have in healthcare, generally speaking. The second is what can happen to vulnerable populations if we dismiss the evidential power of testimony.
Jordan Joseph Wadden is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. His areas of research interest are in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine, specifically regarding issues of access to healthcare.
All are welcome to attend. Join us at 10 am for BYO coffee, tea, and socializing. At 10:30 am we start our presentation and discuss topics of interest to our members.
The BC Humanist Association was formed in 1984 and we have a regular attendance of over 30 people at our Sunday meetings.
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