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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 55, Issue 1, 2018

Nikolai S. Rozov
Pages 120-135

Epistemic authority: the error of ‘liberal protection’and the value alternative

The article includes a critique of the arguments by Linda Zagzebski who tries to derive following to moral and religious authorities from the principles of recognition of the state and from epistemic authority. The author shows that the automatic transition from recognition of somebody’s descriptive judgments to recognition of imperatives emanating from the same author­ity is not correct. He shows the way for a valid transition from recognition of epistemic authority of science to recognition of moral and religious authorities. He also claims that there is no justification for subjecting their instructions concerning all liv­ing arrangement. As an alternative, he suggests the principle of value consciousness according to which every modern indi­vidual (that usually enters a variety of communities with differ­ent values) freely accepts values to follow. At the same time the “thin layer” of universal values retains and nobody can violate them. The author argues that philosophy differs both from the sphere of science and the spheres of morality and religion, be­cause philosophy is always looking for its own reasons. That is why philosophy is the best antidote against any attempt to bring the liberal principles under the subordination to moral and reli­gious authorities, who, among other things, can be anti-liberal and anti-human.

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