Epistemic Autonomy and Intellectual Humility: Mutually Supporting Virtues

Social Epistemology (forthcoming)
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Recently, more attention has been paid to the nature and value of the intellectual virtue of epistemic autonomy. One underexplored issue concerns how epistemic autonomy is related to other intellectual virtues. Plausibly, epistemic autonomy is closely related to a number of intellectual virtues like curiosity, inquisitiveness, intellectual perseverance, and intellectual courage to name just a few. Here, however, I will examine the relation between epistemic autonomy and intellectual humility. I will argue that epistemic autonomy and intellectual humility bear an interesting relationship to one another in that they are interconnected and mutually supporting intellectual virtues. In sections 2 and 3 I will provide a brief overview of the predominant accounts of intellectual humility (section 2) and epistemic autonomy (section 3) in the literature. With an understanding of these intellectual virtues in hand, we will examine their relationship of mutual support in section 4. Section 5 will explore a challenge to this relationship coming from the epistemology of disagreement, and section 6 concludes.

Author's Profile

Jonathan Matheson
University of North Florida


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