The Virtue of Epistemic Autonomy

In Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed (eds.), Epistemic Autonomy. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 173-194 (2021)
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In this chapter I develop and motivate and account of epistemic autonomy as an intellectual character virtue. In Section one, I clarify the concept of an intellectual virtue and character intellectual virtues in particular. In Section two, I clear away some misconceptions about epistemic autonomy to better focus on our target. In Section three, I examine and evaluate several extant accounts of the virtue of epistemic autonomy, noting problems with each. In Section four, I provide my positive account of the virtue of epistemic autonomy and explain how it meets the desiderata for such an account while avoiding the problems with extant accounts. Finally, in Section five, I fill the account out by digging into the factors that guide epistemically autonomous agents in having an appropriate reliance on their own thinking.

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Jonathan Matheson
University of North Florida


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