Towards a contextualist account of epistemic values


Authors
Darrell P. Rowbottom
Lingnan University
Christoph Jäger
University of Innsbruck
Abstract
The value problem in epistemology is to explain why knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. Or so it is commonly construed. Various solutions to the quandary have been proposed, but so far none has gained wide acceptance. Perhaps, then, we should abandon the idea that knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. This is what we shall argue, but with one important qualification: Knowledge is not generally more valuable than mere true belief. Certain epistemic contexts, however, are ruled by diachronic aspects of the truth goal of believing. In these contexts the properties that turn a true belief into knowledge add extra value to the belief. For example, in addition to the truth of a belief currently under consideration we are often interested in the subject's future performances as a reliable epistemic agent. According to the contextualist account of epistemic values we propose, epistemological value monism can be preserved. But the value problem should be reformulated. The task is not to explain why, but rather whenknowledge is more valuable than true belief
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