Epistemic Self-Trust

Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

in Epistemic Authority

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199936472
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980697 | DOI:
Epistemic Self-Trust

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This chapter begins with the natural authority of the self, and proposes that a self in both its pre-reflective and reflective states aims to have psychic states that fit their objects (believe what is true, desire what is desirable, etc.), and to resolve dissonance between states of the self. Conscientiousness is the property of doing reflectively what we do naturally. The chapter then argues that trust in the self when we are conscientious is rational and, with some qualifications, inescapable. Since we would not be trustworthy when we are conscientious if we are not generally trustworthy in our pre-reflective state, trust in ourselves when we are conscientious requires basic trust in our epistemic faculties. What we call reasons for belief derives from what we do when we are epistemically conscientious.

Keywords: dissonance; belief; desire; scepticism; epistemic; circularity; evidence; reasons; trust; conscientiousness

Chapter.  10671 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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