Epistemic Self-Trust: It's Personal

Episteme:1-16 (forthcoming)
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What is epistemic self-trust? There is a tension in the way in which prominent accounts answer this question. Many construe epistemic trust in oneself as no more than reliance on our sub-personal cognitive faculties. Yet many accounts – often the same ones – construe epistemic trust in others as a normatively laden attitude directed at persons whom we expect to care about our epistemic needs. Is epistemic self-trust really so different from epistemic trust in others? I argue that it is not. We certainly do rely on our cognitive faculties to achieve epistemic ends; but I argue that we also have the normatively rich sort of epistemic trust in ourselves. Moreover, there is a theoretical need for this normatively rich notion of epistemic self-trust: positing it yields the best account of how we secure important epistemic goods, including knowledge and recognition as knowers. I argue this by giving an account of epistemic trust in others and showing that it can be generalized to epistemic trust in oneself.

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Katherine Dormandy
University of Innsbruck


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