Agency and Reasons in Epistemology

Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst (2016)
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Abstract

Ever since John Locke, philosophers have discussed the possibility of a normative epistemology: are there epistemic obligations binding the cognitive economy of belief and disbelief? Locke's influential answer was evidentialist: we have an epistemic obligation to believe in accordance with our evidence. In this dissertation, I place the contemporary literature on agency and reasons at the service of some such normative epistemology. I discuss the semantics of obligations, the connection between obligations and reasons to believe, the implausibility of Lockean evidentialism, and some of the alleged connections between agency and justification.

Author's Profile

Luis R. G. Oliveira
University of Houston

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