The Utility of Knowledge

Erkenntnis 77 (2):155-65 (2012)
Recent epistemology has introduced a new criterion of adequacy for analyses of knowledge: such an analysis, to be adequate, must be compatible with the common view that knowledge is better than true belief. One account which is widely thought to fail this test is reliabilism, according to which, roughly, knowledge is true belief formed by reliable process. Reliabilism fails, so the argument goes, because of the "swamping problem". In brief, provided a belief is true, we do not care whether or not it was formed by a reliable process. The value of reliability is "swamped" by the value of truth: truth combined with reliability is no better than truth alone. This paper approaches these issues from the perspective of decision theory. It argues that the "swamping effect" involves a sort of information-sensitivity that is well modelled decision-theoretically. It then employs this modelling to investigate a strategy, proposed by Goldman and Olsson, for saving reliabilism from the swamp, the so-called "conditional probability solution". It concludes that the strategy is only partially successful.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10670-011-9296-9
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Alvin I. Goldman & Erik J. Olsson (2009). ``Reliabilism and the Value of Knowledge&Quot. In A. Haddock, A. Millar & D. H. Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press 19--41.
Duncan Pritchard (2007). Recent Work on Epistemic Value. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2):85 - 110.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Alvin Goldman, Reliabilism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Wayne D. Riggs (2002). Reliability and the Value of Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):79-96.
Jonathan Weisberg (2010). Bootstrapping in General. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):525 - 548.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

78 ( #40,057 of 1,725,806 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #92,975 of 1,725,806 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.