Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Epistemic Normativity
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In my dissertation, I provide a reading of Kant’s strategy in answering what I call the question of grounding epistemic normativity: why are rational agents obligated to follow epistemic rules? In the first half of the dissertation, I note that Kant is committed to the idea that we are bound by at least some unconditional epistemic obligations. By his own lights, I suggest, it follows that only a formal requirement of rationality can appropriately ground our epistemic obligations. In the second half of the dissertation, I examine and reject the epistemic-moralist reading of Kant. According to epistemic-moralism, the formal requirement of practical reason, that is, the Categorical Imperative, is the supreme principle of epistemic obligations. I agree with the epistemic-moralists that the Categorical Imperative is indeed the ground of a moral obligations to be epistemically vitreous. However, I argue that this cannot be the whole story. I suggest that, on Kant’s account, rational agents are also subject to epistemic obligations prior to being subject to the Categorical Imperative. Therefore, the ultimate ground of epistemic obligations must be a formal requirement of rationality that has a primacy over the Categorical Imperative. Finally, I argue that for Kant, the supreme principle of epistemic obligations is the formal principle of purely formal reason (that is, as opposed to the supreme principle of practical or theoretical reason). Thus, in Kant's philosophy, the task of formulating the supreme principle of epistemic obligations is one and the same as the task of formulating the supreme principle of purely formal reason. I then explain how, in his view, we can specify the supreme principle of purely formal reason in terms of the principles of pure general logic. Therefore, on Kant's account, the ground of epistemic obligations is an obligation to follow the rules of pure general logic.
pure general logic
normativity of logic
the categorical imperative
orientation in thinking
Date available in INDIGO2018-11-28T21:37:35Z
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