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Danishgah Blvd. , Pardisan , Qom , Iran

Title :The Epistemological value of  the narrative argument

Student : Abdollah Mohammadi

supervisor : Dr. Mohammad Hoseinzadeh yazdi

Advisor : Dr. Legenhausen / Dr. YarAli Kord Firuzjayi

Grade : PHD

Years : 2014


Most human knowledge is obtained through narrative argument.

The epistemological validity of a narrative argument is the most crucial subject that epistemologists have grappled with.

But this raises several other fundamental questions: Does narrative argument justify itself by other sources of knowledge, or does it not require additional sources of knowledge to justify itself?

Western epistemologists have proposed two theories of “reductionism” and “non-reductionism” in response to this question.

Non-reductionists believe that narrative argument is an independent epistemology along with sense and rational reasoning, and that human beings are justified in accepting narrative argument and do not need proof, and the lack of evidence of the contrary is sufficient.

Unlike non-reductionists, in reductionists, lack of evidence is inadequate, and the listener must have a positive reason for accepting a narrative argument.  

The narrative argument derives its validity from other sources such as sense, memory, and intellect.

Another fundamental question is whether rational reason transmits knowledge or produces it.

After evaluating the evidence from both categories, this study concludes that neither the transmitter of knowledge nor the producer of knowledge is the reason for the narration.

Another critical question is what degree of knowledge the narrative creates.

This issue has received less attention among Western epistemologists.

By referring to the divisions of narrative argument, including the division into consecutive and single narration, this dissertation has examined the epistemological level obtained from each of them separately.

It has also analyzed the justification of narrated reason not based on reductionism  and non-reductionism, but based on the knowledge gained from the narrated reason.

This dissertation shows that in many circumstances, single narration is more reliable than successive narration and that both are reliable and have epistemic value.

Keywords: epistemology, narrative argument, justification, reductionism, non-reductionism, trust, social epistemology.