Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Juan Pineros Glasscock

Second Advisor

Daniel Weiskopf


In this thesis, I argue that when an agent uses a narrative (i.e., a story) to communicate something to her hearer, she cannot be said to be giving testimony as it is traditionally understood in the literature in epistemology. Instead, many of the beliefs the hearer takes up on the basis of the speaker’s story will be derived by inferences and interpretations she must make on her own. If the authorship of the relevant beliefs does not belong to the speaker, then those beliefs are not ones transmitted via testimony. Thus, narratives are not forms of genuine testimony. However, I argue that this is not a reason to ignore the possible epistemic richness of storytelling. I conclude by encouraging my audience to take seriously the need for narrative to be granted an epistemology of its own, outside the constraints of testimony, lest we risk undermining the epistemic value of stories.


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