For virtue epistemologists, who understand the traits and capacities of epistemic subjects as central to most epistemic questions, the idea of autonomy plays a significant role. Autonomy is especially important for responsibilists, who explicitly focus on those virtues that involve the exercise of epistemic agency. Understood in moral and political philosophy as "self-governance" or "self-determination," epistemic autonomy, or intellectual autonomy as many phrase it, is central to the idea of epistemic agency itself. The dominant interpretation of epistemic autonomy has been as epistemic self-reliance. When one exercises their epistemic autonomy (understood as self-reliance), one engages one's own reason, thereby obtaining an appropriate justification for one's beliefs. Epistemic autonomy has been closely aligned with the attribution of epistemic merit. Yet there are also many social epistemologists who recognize the value of epistemic autonomy, its connection to important questions concerning epistemic agency, and its important role within a virtue epistemology.