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Intellectual VirtuePerspectives from Ethics and Epistemology$
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Michael DePaul and Linda Zagzebski

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252732

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252732.001.0001

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The Place of Truth in Epistemology

The Place of Truth in Epistemology

(p.155) 7 The Place of Truth in Epistemology
Intellectual Virtue

Ernest Sosa (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Suppose we think that knowledge is belief that is both true and derives from intellectual virtue. And if we also assume that knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief, then where does the value of knowledge in addition to truth come from? This chapter provides an answer to the value problem by arguing that truth is the only fundamental epistemic value (with qualifications for values as understanding that is not directly connected to knowledge.) It suggests that humans prefer their epistemic success to be attributable to their own doing. More specifically, there is a so-called ‘performance value’: that is, the kind value afforded to a belief performance which normally produces truth belief when operating in a suitable environment. Such performances can have this value even when the acquired belief is false. But the chief intellectual good involves getting the truth through the quality of one's performance.

Keywords:   creditable performance, epistemic value, intellectual good, intellectual virtue, intrinsic value, luck, performance value, psychological mechanism, Ernest Sosa, the value problem

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