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Chapter 7 - Epistemic dexterity

A Ramseyian account of agent-based knowledge

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2014

Abrol Fairweather
Affiliation:
San Francisco State University
Owen Flanagan
Affiliation:
Duke University, North Carolina
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Summary

This chapter critically assesses some of the psychological and semantic commitments of John Greco's account and provides an alternative proposal that, like Greco's, will ground epistemic assessment in agent-level mental states in the context of action, but requires more robust causal and motivational connections between an agent and their successful outcomes than Greco. It outlines the reliabilist theory of epistemic virtue with a semantics that explicitly incorporates aims, motivations, and goals, and is based on the most recent psychological evidence. Epistemologists have assumed that there is only one type of agency involved in basic perceptual belief-forming processes, and reliabilists, in particular, have assumed that all perceptual belief is reliable and sensitive to accurate information from other perceptual cognitive processes. Epistemic agents may succeed based on abilities to which they lack conscious access.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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