Epistemic Trust in Others

Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

in Epistemic Authority

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

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This chapter argues that a consistently conscientious person owes epistemic trust to others. What is called here epistemic egoism is not possible for a conscientious person. If we think of ourselves as basically trustworthy in our epistemic faculties, we should think of all other persons as basically trustworthy as well. We owe particular trust to those others whose conscientiousness we conscientiously discover. The rational requirement to trust others who have the properties we trust in ourselves supports a form of common consent arguments, often treated as fallacious in informal logic books. The chapter concludes by distinguishing two kinds of epistemic reasons: third person, or theoretical reasons, and first person, or deliberative reasons. Self-trust is a reason of the second kind.

Keywords: epistemic egoism; trust; epistemic universalism; theoretical reasons; deliberative reasons; evidence; common consent; conscientiousness

Chapter.  10125 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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