Is epistemic agency possible?

Philosophical Issues 23 (1):158-178 (2013)
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Abstract

There are mental actions, and a number of epistemic attitudes involve activity. But can there be epistemic agency? I argue that there is a limit to any claim that we can be epistemic agents, which is that the structure of reasons for epistemic attitudes differs fundamentally from the structure of reasons for actions. The main differences are that we cannot act for the wrong reasons although we can believe for the wrong reasons, and that reasons for beliefs are exclusive in a sense in which our reasons for actions are not. Epistemic agency is possible in the weak sense that we can be active, but not in the strong one in which we could have some elbow room for our epistemic reasons in reasoning leading to beliefs and other epistemic states

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Author's Profile

Pascal Engel
École des hautes études en sciences sociale

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
A virtue epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowing Full Well.Ernest Sosa - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
Action, Emotion And Will.Anthony Kenny - 1963 - Ny: Humanities Press.

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