Chapter

Autonomy

Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

in Epistemic Authority

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199936472
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980697 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199936472.003.0012
Autonomy

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This chapter argues that a view of autonomy is a consequence of the line of argument of the book. The norm of autonomy is conscientious self-reflection. Since belief on authority is justified by conscientious self-reflection, belief on authority is compatible with autonomy. The chapter distinguishes autonomy from the inside and autonomy from the outside. The latter justifies permitting people to be independent, but the former often requires the conscientious acceptance of epistemic dependence on others. Since the exercise of autonomy depends upon self-trust, the chapter considers recent debunking argument against self-trust as attacks on the possibility of autonomy. The chapter argues that we need to distinguish attacks using third person reasons from those using first person reasons. The former do not affect the more basic first person reasons we have for belief. The chapter concludes by raising the question of self-fulfillment, an issue that goes beyond the goal of conscientious self-governance.

Keywords: autonomy; testimony; rationality; Kant; dissonance; conscientiousness; trust; evidence; fulfillment

Chapter.  11230 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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