It is an exceptionally rare book that can be both a cutting-edge work on recently hot topics in epistemology—for example, rationality, disagreement, trust, and testimony—and also, under the surface, the latest defense of Catholicism in its centuries-long dispute with Protestantism over fundamental epistemic principles. Linda Zagzebski's highly ambitious book on epistemic authority manages to be both.

The ultimate aim is to vindicate epistemic authority as a crucial and unavoidable aspect of our intellectual lives—where this includes the moral and religious dimensions of our lives, as well as our more narrowly theoretical concerns. This is not a commonly accepted position in current epistemology, so Zagzebski begins by attempting to ground the acceptance of epistemic authority in epistemic autonomy and an individual's self-trust. In the first step of this project, she follows Richard Foley and William Alston in arguing that there is no noncircular way to show that our cognitive faculties reliably...

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