The Special Value of Epistemic Self-Reliance

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Abstract

Philosophers have long held that epistemic self-reliance has a special value. But, this view has recently been challenged by prominent epistemologist Linda Zagzebski. Zagzebski argues that potential sources of support for the claim that epistemic self-reliance has a special value fail. Here I provide a novel defense of the special value of epistemic self-reliance. Self-reliance has a special value because it is required for attaining certain valuable cognitive achievements. Further, practicing self-reliance may be all-things-considered worthwhile even when doing so is a less reliable way of getting to the truth than relying on others and even when doing so is flatly unreliable in getting to the truth.

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