UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Epistemic dependence and autonomy in justification: the case for intellectual autonomy in schools Ross, Murray


In this thesis I outline a conception of intellectual autonomy, and defend it against arguments that question the value of intellectual autonomy as an educational goal. Beyond offering a view of intellectual autonomy that is free of the defects found in other conceptions, I assess the rationality of belief on testimony, and consider the impact that externalist theories of epistemic justification might have on arguments such as mine that defend autonomy in justification. I argue that belief on testimony is more rational than is typically allowed, and that intellectual autonomy cannot be justified solely in terms of the conditions necessary for knowledge or justification. I argue instead that intellectual autonomy is best conceived as an epistemic virtue, and best fostered by introducing students to practices of epistemic justification, in classroom environments characterized by a commitment to open dialogue and debate.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.