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Full Access Epistemic Akrasia

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Epistemic Akrasia

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image of International Journal for the Study of Skepticism

Though it seems rather surprising in retrospect, until about twenty-five years ago no philosopher in the Western tradition had explicitly formulated the question whether there could be an epistemic analogue to practical akrasia. Also surprisingly, despite the prima facie analogue with practical akrasia (the possibility of which is not much disputed), much of the recent work on this question has defended the rather bold view that epistemic akrasia is impossible. While the arguments purporting to show the impossibility of epistemic akrasia have been criticized by some, I propose instead to make a head-on attack and defend the substantive view that epistemic akrasia is possible—indeed, actual. This leaves for another day the project of diagnosing exactly where the arguments for the impossibility of epistemic akrasia go wrong. Here, I content myself with trying to show that they must go wrong, since—as I will argue—epistemic akrasia is possible.


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