Prof. Avery Archer (Philosophy, George Washington University) will be giving a talk sponsored by the Ohio State Department of Philosophy, Minorities And Philosophy (MAP), and CEHV.
Title: Inquiry as Epistemic Improvement
Abstract: I defend the thesis that one is inquiring into some matter just in case one engages in information gathering or analysis with the aim of improving one’s epistemic standing with respect to that matter. Call this the epistemic-improvement view. The epistemic-improvement view is at odds with the widely discussed view of Jane Friedman, who conceives of inquiry as aimed at arriving at a settled position on some matter. Call this the settledness view. My colloquium talk will consider two competing versions of the settledness view and argue that both are revisionary of our ordinary intuitions about inquiry. I then argue that the epistemic-improvement view does a better job at preserving our ordinary intuitions about when an agent is engaged in genuine inquiry.