Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Yuval Avnur

Reader 2

Masahiro Yamada

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In this paper, I argue the relationship between understanding as the goal of inquiry, understanding as non-propositional, self-trust, and intellectual autonomy. An initial evaluation of symmetrical disagreement demonstrates the intuitive desire to maintain confidence in one's own evidence and beliefs when faced with conflicting evidence and beliefs. When one's own faculties and capacities are involved in gathering evidence, especially as compared to evidence gathered via testimony, I argue that the rational response is self-trust. As understanding is a valuable goal of inquiry, and understanding is non-propositional, understanding can only be achieved through intellectually autonomous processes. Because self-trust is required for these processes, the value of understanding serves to justify the rationality of self-trust.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.