Doctoral thesis

The Anxious Inquirer. Emotions and Epistemic Uncertainty

Imprimatur date2021-07-15

In my dissertation I developed a revisionary model of the psychological nature of doubt as an affective experience. Why does doubt arise in the mind? Moving away from a cartesian framework in which doubt emerges from reflecting on one’s beliefs, I point out that doubt is most commonly something that we are “struck by”. To account for our everyday experience, I put forward a model of the affective architecture of doubt. My model is informed by both experimental and clinical psychology. It not only sheds light on the underlying cognitive architecture of our inclinations to doubt, but allows me to defend normative claims about the kind of epistemic agency involved when we question and reassess our beliefs. Finally, this work engages with key issues in epistemology regarding the norms that govern inquiry: the conditions in which it is permissible to suspend judgement again, open a question back up for inquiry, and gather new evidence.

Citation (ISO format)
VAZARD, Juliette Camille. The Anxious Inquirer. Emotions and Epistemic Uncertainty. 2021. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:168630
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