Mind 127 (506):381-435 (2018)

Kurt Sylvan
University of Southampton
According to Veritism, true belief is the sole fundamental epistemic value. Epistemologists often take Veritism to entail that all other epistemic items can only have value by standing in certain instrumental relations—namely, by tending to produce a high ratio of true to false beliefs or by being products of sources with this tendency. Yet many value theorists outside epistemology deny that all derivative value is grounded in instrumental relations to fundamental value. Veritists, I believe, can and should follow suit. After setting the stage in §1, I explain in §2 why Veritism should not take an Instrumentalist form. Instrumentalist Veritism faces a generalized version of the swamping problem. But this problem undermines Instrumentalism, not Veritism: granting Instrumentalism, similar problems arise for any economical epistemic axiology. I show in §3 how Veritism can take a less narrow form and solve the swamping problem. After answering some objections in §4, I consider in §5 what some would regard as a less radical alternative solution and argue that it either fails or collapses into mine. I close in §6 by taking stock and re-evaluating the overall prospects for Veritism, suggesting that it is a highly promising epistemic axiology when divorced from Instrumentalism.
Keywords Epistemic Value  Veritism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/mind/fzw070
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.

View all 96 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

An Epistemic Non-Consequentialism.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2020 - The Philosophical Review 129 (1):1-51.
The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust.J. Adam Carter, and & Mona Simion - 2020 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Respect and the reality of apparent reasons.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3129-3156.
The Value of Knowledge.J. Adam Carter, Duncan Pritchard & John Turri - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 35 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Truth in Gnosticism.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - Análisis. Revista de Investigación Filosófica.
Why Care About Nezahualcoyotl? Veritism and Nahua Philosophy.James Maffie - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (1):71-91.
The Virtues of Veritism.Brady Michael - 2000 - Res Publica 6 (2):213-225.
The Right in the Good: A Defense of Teleological Non-Consequentialism in Epistemology.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij Jeff Dunn (ed.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford University Press.
Epistemic Instrumentalism.Matthew Lockard - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1701-1718.


Added to PP index

Total views
553 ( #16,263 of 2,533,484 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #23,285 of 2,533,484 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes