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Epistemology

Theses/Dissertations

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Self-Knowledge, Choice Blindness, And Confabulation, Hayley F. Webster Jul 2019

Self-Knowledge, Choice Blindness, And Confabulation, Hayley F. Webster

Doctoral Dissertations

There are two kinds of epistemic theories about self-knowledge: the traditional account, and the inferentialist account. According to the traditional view of self-knowledge, we have privileged access to our propositional attitudes. “Privileged access” means that one can gain knowledge of one’s own propositional attitudes directly via an exclusive, first-personal method called introspection. On the other hand, the inferentialist view of self-knowledge postulates that we don’t have privileged access to our propositional attitudes and must infer or self-attribute them instead. In this thesis I argue that the traditional view of self-knowledge, which postulates that we have privileged access to ...


Understanding And Its Role In Inquiry, Benjamin T. Rancourt Jul 2016

Understanding And Its Role In Inquiry, Benjamin T. Rancourt

Doctoral Dissertations

In this dissertation, I argue that understanding possesses unique epistemic value. I propose and defend a novel account of understanding that I call the management account of understanding, which is the view that an agent A understands a subject matter S just in case A has the ability to extract the relevant information and exploit it with the relevant cognitive capacities to answer questions in S. Since inquiry is the process of raising and answering questions, I argue that without understanding, it would be impossible to engage in successful inquiry. I argue that understanding is indispensable for effective cognition and ...


Agency And Reasons In Epistemology, Luis R.G. Oliveira Jul 2016

Agency And Reasons In Epistemology, Luis R.G. Oliveira

Doctoral Dissertations

Ever since John Locke, philosophers have discussed the possibility of a normative epistemology: are there epistemic obligations binding the cognitive economy of belief and disbelief? Locke's influential answer was evidentialist: we have an epistemic obligation to believe in accordance with our evidence. In this dissertation, I place the contemporary literature on agency and reasons at the service of some such normative epistemology. I discuss the semantics of obligations, the connection between obligations and reasons to believe, the implausibility of Lockean evidentialism, and some of the alleged connections between agency and justification.


On Epistemic Agency, Kristoffer Hans Ahlstrom Sep 2010

On Epistemic Agency, Kristoffer Hans Ahlstrom

Open Access Dissertations

Every time we act in an effort to attain our epistemic goals, we express our epistemic agency. The present study argues that a proper understanding of the actions and goals relevant to expressions of such agency can be used to make ameliorative recommendations about how the ways in which we actually express our agency can be brought in line with how we should express our agency. More specifically, it is argued that the actions relevant to such expressions should be identified with the variety of actions characteristic of inquiry; that contrary to what has been maintained by recent pluralists about ...