A relational account of intellectual autonomy

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):22-47 (2019)
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According to relational views of autonomy, some social relations or forms of dependence are necessary for autonomous agency. Recent relational theorists have primarily focused on autonomy of action or practical autonomy, and the result has been a shift away from individualistic conceptions of autonomy in the practical realm. Despite these trends, individualistic conceptions are still the default when it comes to autonomy of belief or intellectual autonomy. In this paper, I argue for a relational account of intellectual autonomy. Specifically, I claim that intellectual autonomy requires a sense of one’s standing as an equal member of the epistemic community.



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Benjamin Elzinga
Georgetown University