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Epistemic Value$
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Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar, and Duncan Pritchard

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231188.001.0001

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Reliabilism and the Value of Knowledge

Reliabilism and the Value of Knowledge

(p.19) 1 Reliabilism and the Value of Knowledge
Epistemic Value

Alvin I. Goldman (Contributor Webpage)

Erik J. Olsson

Oxford University Press

It is widely agreed that knowledge has greater value than mere true belief. This chapter begins by identifying a weak sense of ‘know’ (in which it means ‘believe truly’) under which knowledge cannot have greater value. There is a stronger sense of ‘know’ for which the value superiority thesis is plausible. The chapter offers two solutions to the swamping problem. The conditional probability solution states that reliabilist knowledge is more valuable than true belief because the former is a better indicator than the latter of future true belief. The second solution explains how a reliable process token can bring independent value into the picture. This can happen either because the value of a token process derives from the type it instantiates (type-instrumentalism) or because the value associated with a reliable process acquires independent, not merely derivative, value (value autonomization). The chapter's final section contrasts our approaches with those of virtue epistemology.

Keywords:   conditional probability, naturalized epistemology, reliabilism, swaping problem, type instrumentalism, value autonomization, value of knowledge, virtue epistemology, weak knowledge

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