Agency and Reasons in Epistemology

Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst (2016)
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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.
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