Knowing and Not‐knowing For Your Own Good: The Limits of Epistemic Paternalism

Journal of Applied Philosophy:433-447 (2016)
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Abstract

Epistemic paternalism is the thesis that a paternalistic interference with an individual's inquiry is justified when it is likely to bring about an epistemic improvement in her. In this article I claim that in order to motivate epistemic paternalism we must first account for the value of epistemic improvements. I propose that the epistemic paternalist has two options: either epistemic improvements are valuable because they contribute to wellbeing, or they are epistemically valuable. I will argue that these options constitute the foundations of a dilemma: either epistemic paternalism collapses into general paternalism, or a distinctive project of justified epistemic paternalism is implausible

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