[SydPhil] Notification: Alison Fernandes @ Thu 29 Oct 2015 15:00 - 16:30 (Current Projects)

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Fri Oct 23 14:59:54 AEDT 2015

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Title: Alison Fernandes
The Trouble with Epistemic Freedom

When we deliberate about what to do, we appear free to decide on different  
options. David Velleman uses 'epistemic freedom' to explain this apparent  
freedom. The idea is that while deliberating we can justifiably form a  
variety of beliefs about what we'll do, unconstrained by our evidence. Why?  
Because the relevant beliefs are self-fulfilling--they bring about their own  
truth. These beliefs constitute decisions, and so explain our freedom to  
decide. But there are serious problems with Velleman's account. Firstly,  
agents turn out to have epistemic freedom even over beliefs formed on the  
basis of evidence. Secondly, agents are not justified in forming beliefs  
unconstrained by evidence--and so such justification can't explain apparent  
freedom. Underlying these troubles, Velleman's account turns out to  
presuppose a primitive form of agent freedom--of a kind strikingly  
illustrated in the work of the German Idealist Fichte. More generally, I'll  
argue, Fichte's attempt to unify practical and theoretical reason makes him  
an insightful figure for this contemporary debate.
When: Thu 29 Oct 2015 15:00 - 16:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Calendar: Current Projects
     * kristiemiller4 at gmail.com- creator

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