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Epistemic Desert and the Value of Knowledge

Abstract: Whenever a subject knows a proposition, they have a true belief but are also worthy of that true belief. In this way, knowledge entails epistemic desert. The concept of epistemic desert allows for a simple and elegant solution to the value problem in epistemology. Knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief because (i) it is good to deserve a true belief and (ii) it is good to have a true belief and deserve to have that true belief. There are several significant advantages of this proposal. (1) It allows us to explain the value of knowledge by classifying knowledge as particular kind of valuable phenomena: deserved success. (2) It identifies a distinctive non-derivative epistemic final value that is associated with justification: the desert of true belief. (3) It identifies a consolidating epistemic value. (4) It is consistent with the view that true belief is the fundamental epistemic value.
Jerry Steinhofer,
Aug 26, 2009, 10:08 AM