The Search for the Source of Epistemic Good

Metaphilosophy 34 (1-2):12-28 (2003)

Authors
Linda Zagzebski
University of Oklahoma
Abstract
Knowledge has almost always been treated as good, better than mere true belief, but it is remarkably difficult to explain what it is about knowledge that makes it better. I call this “the value problem.” I have previously argued that most forms of reliabilism cannot handle the value problem. In this article I argue that the value problem is more general than a problem for reliabilism, infecting a host of different theories, including some that are internalist. An additional problem is that not all instances of true belief seem to be good on balance, so even if a given instance of knowing p is better than merely truly believing p, not all instances of knowing will be good enough to explain why knowledge has received so much attention in the history of philosophy. The article aims to answer two questions: What makes knowingp better than merely truly believing p? The answer involves an exploration of the connection between believing and the agency of the knower. Knowing is an act in which the knower gets credit for achieving truth. What makes some instances of knowing good enough to make the investigation of knowledge worthy of so much attention? The answer involves the connection between the good of believing truths of certain kinds and a good life. In the best kinds of knowing, the knower not only gets credit for getting the truth but also gets credit for getting a desirable truth. The kind of value that makes knowledge a fitting object of extensive philosophical inquiry is not independent of moral value and the wider values of a good life
Keywords virtues  reliabilism  value  epistemology
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9973.00257
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge as Credit for True Belief.John Greco - 2003 - In Michael DePaul & Linda Zagzebski (eds.), Intellectual Virtue: Perspectives From Ethics and Epistemology. Clarendon Press. pp. 111-134.
For the Love of Truth?Ernest Sosa - 2000 - In Linda Zagzebski & Abrol Fairweather (eds.), Virtue Epistemology: Essays on Epistemic Virtue and Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 49-62.

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Citations of this work BETA

Reliabilism and the Value of Knowledge.Alvin I. Goldman & Erik J. Olsson - 2009 - In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 19--41.
Knowledge, Understanding and Epistemic Value.Duncan Pritchard - 2009 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 64:19-43.
Veritism Unswamped.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):381-435.
The Disvalue of Knowledge.David Papineau - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
Epistemic Vice and Motivation.Alessandra Tanesini - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (3):350-367.

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