The Activity of Reasoning: How Reasoning Can Constitute Epistemic Agency

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (3):413-428 (2021)
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Abstract

We naturally see ourselves as capable of being active with respect to the matter of what we believe – as capable of epistemic agency. A natural view is that we can exercise such agency by engaging in reasoning. Sceptics contend that such a view cannot be maintained in light of the fact that reasoning involves judgements, which are not decided upon or the products of prior intentions. In response, I argue that reasoning in fact can amount to epistemic agency in virtue of its being aim-directed in a way that cannot be reconciled with the sceptics' conception of it.

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David Jenkins
King's College London (PhD)

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