Inquiry and the epistemic

Philosophical Studies 178 (9):2913-2928 (2021)
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Abstract

The zetetic turn in epistemology raises three questions about epistemic and zetetic norms. First, there is the relationship question: what is the relationship between epistemic and zetetic norms? Are some epistemic norms zetetic norms, or are epistemic and zetetic norms distinct? Second, there is the tension question: are traditional epistemic norms in tension with plausible zetetic norms? Third, there is the reaction question: how should theorists react to a tension between epistemic and zetetic norms? Drawing on an analogy to practical philosophy, I develop a focal point view to resolve these motivating questions. On the focal point view, traditional epistemic norms and zetetic norms answer different types of normative questions. There is nevertheless a familiar type of evaluative tension between traditional epistemic norms and zetetic norms, but this tension is an unavoidable feature of the normative landscape and not a sign that traditional epistemic norms need revision. But if traditional epistemic norms are not zetetic norms, then in what sense is zetetic epistemology a project for epistemologists? I conclude by articulating a sense in which some nontraditional epistemic norms are zetetic norms, and in which zetetic epistemology is an important part of the study of theoretical rationality.

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David Thorstad
Vanderbilt University

Citations of this work

Epistemic norms on evidence-gathering.Carolina Flores & Elise Woodard - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2547-2571.
Should epistemology take the zetetic turn?Arianna Falbo - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (10-11):2977-3002.
Inquiry and Confirmation.Arianna Falbo - 2021 - Analysis 81 (4):622–631.
Norms of Inquiry.Eliran Haziza - 2023 - Philosophy Compass 18 (12):e12952.

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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
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The Importance of Being Rational.Errol Lord - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Rationality of Perception.Susanna Siegel - 2017 - Oxford University Press.

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