Seeing it for oneself: Perceptual knowledge, understanding, and intellectual autonomy

Episteme 13 (1):29-42 (2016)
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The idea of is explored. It is claimed that there is something epistemically important about acquiring one's knowledge first-hand via active perception rather than second-hand via testimony. Moreover, it is claimed that this kind of active perceptual seeing it for oneself is importantly related to the kind of understanding that is acquired when one possesses a correct and appropriately detailed explanation of how cause and effect are related. In both cases we have a kind of seeing it for oneself which serves what is claimed to be a fundamental good: intellectual autonomy. It is argued that this proposal leads to a distinctive view about the goal of inquiry as often being a certain kind of knowledge rather than knowledge simpliciter. Finally, it is claimed that treating intellectual autonomy as a fundamental good is entirely compatible with granting that there is an important social dimension to our epistemic practices



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Duncan Pritchard
University of California, Irvine

Citations of this work

Do your own research!Neil Levy - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-19.
Virtue Epistemology.John Turri, Mark Alfano & John Greco - 1999 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-51.
Ignorance and inquiry.Duncan Pritchard - 2021 - American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (2):111-124.

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A virtue epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.

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