The Politics of Intellectual Self-trust

Social Epistemology 26 (2):237-251 (2012)
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Just as testimony is affected by unjust social relations, so too is intellectual self-trust. I defend an account of intellectual self-trust that explains both why it is properly thought of as trust and why it is directed at the self, and explore its relationship to social power. Intellectual self-trust is neither a matter of having dispositions to rely on one?s epistemic methods and mechanisms, nor having a set of beliefs about which ones are reliable. Instead, it is a stance that an agent takes towards her own cognitive methods and mechanisms, comprising both cognitive and affective elements. Our intellectual self-trust is created and sustained socially and is thus porous to social power. Unjust social relations cause epistemic injustice, which undermines self-trust among the underprivileged; unjust social relations cause excessive self-trust among the privileged, which perpetuates epistemic injustice, which further undermines the self-trust of the disadvantaged in a vicious feedback loop. I conclude by exploring ways in which socially distorted intellectual self-trust can become better calibrated



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Karen Jones
University of Melbourne

Citations of this work

Trust.Carolyn McLeod - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Trust and antitrust.Annette Baier - 1986 - Ethics 96 (2):231-260.
The Moralistic Fallacy.Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.
Trust as an affective attitude.Karen Jones - 1996 - Ethics 107 (1):4-25.

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