© 2013

Epistemic Paternalism

A Defence


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij
    Pages 1-5
  3. Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij
    Pages 39-64
  4. Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij
    Pages 113-136
  5. Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij
    Pages 137-179
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 180-194

About this book


Any attempt to help us reason in more accurate ways faces a problem: While we acknowledge that others stand to benefit from intellectual advice, each and every one of us tends to consider ourselves an exception, on account of overconfidence. The solution? Accept a form of epistemic paternalism.


autonomy bibliography knowledge reason

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentUK

About the authors

Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. He specializes in social epistemology and epistemic normativity.

Bibliographic information


"As social scientists learn how to shape our environments to make us better reasoners and happier citizens, issues of autonomy and paternalism (epistemic and otherwise) are bound to become more urgent and pressing. With this book, Ahlstrom-Vij has made a clear and compelling case for the permissibility of epistemically paternalistic practices. And despite my worries, I think it is a case that, with slight modifications, wins the day."

Michael A Bishop, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij makes the case that we cannot rely on ourselves for epistemic improvement, but must instead endorse a general policy of epistemic paternalism. Epistemic paternalism, he says, is the policy of interfering with an agent's inquiry, for the epistemic good of the agent, without need of the agent's consent. That's a bold thesis, and this is an engaging and rigorously argued book."

Robert B Talisse, New Books in Philosophy