Agentialists about doxastic self-knowledge claim that we know about our own beliefs in virtue of being, in some sense, their agents. The agency claim is designed to explain why doxastic self-knowledge is non-observational, 'immediate', and ungrounded in evidence. But we don't have non-observational (etc.) knowledge of our actions per se. We have such knowledge only of those things we do intentionally. And on the face of it, even if believing is an exercise of agency in some sense, it is not an exercise of intentional agency: doxastic voluntarism is generally agreed to be false. How, then, is an appeal to doxastic agency supposed to help us understand the non-observational (etc.) nature of doxastic self-knowledge? We consider two rather different attempts to answer this question, one from Antonia Peacocke and one from Matt Boyle. In both cases, we argue that the account either fails to explain doxastic self-knowledge, or fails to be genuinely agentialist.
Oxford Epistemology Group, 12.30pm-2pm. A weekly seminar of visiting speakers, work-in-progress talks, and discussion of recent work in epistemology, for faculty and graduate students. Please email Nick Hughes to be added to the mailing list.
Oxford Epistemology Group Convenor: Nick Hughes