Philosophical Papers 37 (3):371-387 (2008)
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I argue that trustworthiness is an epistemic desideratum. It does not reduce to justified or reliable true belief, but figures in the reason why justified or reliable true beliefs are often valuable. Such beliefs can be precarious. If a belief's being justified requires that the evidence be just as we take it to be, then if we are off even by a little, the belief is unwarranted. Similarly for reliability. Although it satisfies the definition of knowledge, such a belief is not trustworthy. We ought not use it as a basis for inference or action and ought not give others to believe it. The trustworthiness of a belief, I urge, depends on its being backed by reasons—considerations that other members of the appropriate epistemic community cannot reasonably reject. Trustworthiness is intersubjective. It both depends on and contributes to the evolving cognitive values of an epistemic community



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Catherine Elgin
Harvard University

Citations of this work

Epistemic Atonement.Elise Woodard - 2023 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 18. Oxford University Press.
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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The structure of empirical knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 1985 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy.Bernard Williams - 2002 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
The Structure of Empirical Knowledge.Paul K. Moser - 1987 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (4):670-673.

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