Epistemische Deferenz

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien

What is the correct epistemic stance that laypeople should take vis-a-vis epistemic authorities? The author provides an answer to this question based on a critical examination of Linda Zagzebski’s Preemption Thesis, according to which the fact that an authority has a belief p is a reason for a layperson to believe p that replaces her other reasons relevant to believing p and is not simply added to them. In contrast, the author argues that epistemic deference requires a layperson to perform a number of epistemic tasks and involves an active and critical stance that conflicts with the Preemption Thesis.

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