Valuable Ignorance: Delayed Epistemic Gratification

Philosophical Studies 180 (1):363–84 (2023)
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A long line of epistemologists including Sosa (2021), Feldman (2002), and Chisholm (1977) have argued that, at least for a certain class of questions that we take up, we should (or should aim to) close inquiry iff by closing inquiry we would meet a unique epistemic standard. I argue that no epistemic norm of this general form is true: there is not a single epistemic standard that demarcates the boundary between inquiries we are forbidden and obligated to close. In short, such norms are false because they are insensitive to the potentially ambitious epistemic goals that agents may permissibly bring to bear on an inquiry. Focusing particularly on knowledge-oriented versions of the norm, I argue that ignorance has a positive role to play in epistemic life by licensing prolonged inquiry into questions that we especially care about.

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Author's Profile

Christopher Willard-Kyle
University of Glasgow

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Theory of knowledge.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1966 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,: Prentice-Hall.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.

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