Introduction: Puzzles Concerning Epistemic Autonomy

In Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed (eds.), Epistemic Autonomy. Routledge. pp. 1-17 (2021)
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Abstract

In this introduction we explore a number of puzzles that arise concerning epistemic autonomy, and introduce the sections and chapters of the book. There are four broad types of puzzles to be explored, corresponding to the four sections of the book. The first set of puzzles concerns the nature of epistemic autonomy. Here, questions arise such as what is epistemic autonomy? Is epistemic autonomy valuable? What are we epistemically autonomous about? The second set of puzzles concern epistemic paternalism. Paternalistic acts interfere with an agent’s autonomy. Here, questions arise concerning the permissibility of epistemic paternalism as well the extension of epistemically paternalistic acts. The third set of puzzles concerns the relation of epistemic autonomy to epistemic value and to intellectual virtues and vices. Is there epistemic value to being epistemically autonomous? How does epistemic autonomy relate to different intellectual virtues and vices? Finally, the fourth set of puzzles concerns the role of epistemic autonomy within a social epistemology. How does epistemic autonomy square with a reliance on expertise? Does thinking about epistemic autonomy add to the debates about the epistemic significance of disagreement or epistemic injustice?

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Author Profiles

Jonathan Matheson
University of North Florida
Kirk Lougheed
University of Pretoria

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