Excusing Prospective Agents

Logos and Episteme 7 (2):119-128 (2016)
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Abstract

Blameless norm violation in young children is an underexplored phenomenon in epistemology. An understanding of it is important for accounting for the full range of normative standings at issue in debates about epistemic norms, and the internalism-externalism debate generally. More specifically, it is important for proponents of factive epistemic norms. I examine this phenomenon and put forward a positive proposal. I claim that we should think of the normative dimension of certain actions and attitudes of young children in terms of a kind of “prospective agency”. I argue that the most sophisticated account of exculpatory defenses in epistemology – due to Clayton Littlejohn – does not provide an adequate model for exculpatory defenses of prospective agents. The aim is not primarily to challenge Littlejohn. Rather, I engage with his framework as a way of setting up my positive proposal. I call it the “heuristic model”.

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Cameron Boult
Brandon University

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References found in this work

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 2003 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free Will. Oxford University Press.
A Plea for Epistemic Excuses.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Julien Dutant Fabian Dorsch (ed.), The New Evil Demon Problem. Oxford University Press.
Norms of assertion.Jennifer Lackey - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):594–626.
Warrant and action.Mikkel Gerken - 2011 - Synthese 178 (3):529-547.

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