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The Measure of Knowledge

Noûs 47 (3):577-601 (2013)

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  1. The Parallel Goods of Knowledge and Achievement.Thomas Hurka - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (3):589-608.
    This paper examines what it takes to be the intrinsic human goods of knowledge and achievement and argues that they are at many points parallel. Both are compounds, and of parallel elements: belief, justification, and truth in the one case, and intentional pursuit, competence, and success in the other. Each involves a Moorean organic unity, so its full presence or value requires a connection between its elements: an outside-in connection, where what makes a belief true helps explain why it’s justified, (...)
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  • Ignorance as a Productive Response to Epistemic Perturbations.Chris Mays - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6491-6507.
    This paper argues that ignorance, rather than being a result or representation of false beliefs or misinformation, is a compensatory epistemic adaptation of complex rhetoric systems. A rhetoric system is here defined as a set of interconnected rhetorical elements that cohere into a self-organized system that is thoroughly “about” its contexts—meaning that its own boundaries and relations are both constrained and enabled by the contexts in which it exists. Ignorance, as described here, is epistemic management that preserves the boundaries and (...)
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  • Partial Truth Versus Felicitous Falsehoods.Soazig Le Bihan - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5415-5436.
    Elgin has argued that scientific models that are, strictly speaking, inaccurate representations of the world, are epistemically valuable because the “falsehoods” they contain are “felicitous”. Many, including Elgin herself, have interpreted this claim as offering an alternative to scientific realism and “veritism”. In this paper, I will argue that there is a more felicitous interpretation of Elgin’s work: “felicitous falsehoods” do play a role in the epistemic value of inaccurate models, but that role is of instrumental value. Elgin’s view is (...)
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  • Collective Ignorance: An Information Theoretic Account.Christopher Ranalli & René van Woudenberg - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4731-4750.
    We are ignorant knowers. This paper proposes an information theoretic explanation of that fact. The explanation is a conjunction of three claims. First, that even in those dimensions where we are capable of picking up information, there is information that we don’t pick up. Second, that there can be dimensions of information for which we lack the capacity to pick up any information whatsoever. Third, that we don’t know whether the faculties and cognitive capacities we are endowed with process all (...)
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  • Epistemically Useful False Beliefs.Duncan Pritchard - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):4-20.
    Our interest is in the possibility of there being a philosophically interesting set of useful false beliefs where the utility in question is specifically epistemic. As we will see, it is hard to delineate plausible candidates in this regard, though several are promising at first blush. We begin with the kind of strictly false claims that are said to be often involved in good scientific practice, such as through the use of idealisations and fictions. The problem is that it is (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Epistemic Value and Steps Towards a Solution.Timothy Perrine - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    This paper exposits and makes steps towards solving a puzzle about epistemic value. The puzzle is that several principles about the epistemic value of true beliefs and epistemic disvalue of false beliefs are, individually, plausible but, collectively, contradictory. My solution claims that sometimes false beliefs are epistemically valuable. I nonetheless show how my solution is not in deep tension with the Jamesian idea that true beliefs are epistemically valuable and false beliefs are epistemically disvaluable. I conclude by indicating how the (...)
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  • How to (Blind)Spot the Truth: An Investigation on Actual Epistemic Value.Danilo Fraga Dantas - 2021 - Erkenntnis:1572-8420.
    This paper is about the alethic aspect of epistemic rationality. The most common approaches to this aspect are either normative (what a reasoner ought to/may believe?) or evaluative (how rational is a reasoner?), where the evaluative approaches are usually comparative (one reasoner is assessed compared to another). These approaches often present problems with blindspots. For example, ought a reasoner to believe a currently true blindspot? Is she permitted to? Consequently, these approaches often fail in describing a situation of alethic maximality, (...)
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  • Pluralism and Perspectivism in the American Pragmatist Tradition.Matthew Brown - 2020 - In Michela Massimi (ed.), Knowledge From a Human Point of View. Springer Verlag.
    This chapter explores perspectivism in the American Pragmatist tradition. On the one hand, the thematization of perspectivism in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science can benefit from resources in the American Pragmatist philosophical tradition. On the other hand, the Pragmatists have interesting and innovative, pluralistic views that can be illuminated through the lens of perspectivism. I pursue this inquiry primarily through examining relevant sources from the Pragmatist tradition. I will illustrate productive engagements between pragmatism and perspectivism in three areas: in (...)
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  • Epistemology Without Guidance.Nick Hughes - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Epistemologists often appeal to the idea that a normative theory must provide useful, usable, guidance to argue for one normative epistemology over another. I argue that this is a mistake. Guidance considerations have no role to play in theory choice in epistemology. I show how this has implications for debates about the possibility and scope of epistemic dilemmas, the legitimacy of idealisation in Bayesian Epistemology, Uniqueness vs. Permissivism, sharp vs. mushy credences, and internalism vs. externalism.
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  • Expressivism and Convention-Relativism About Epistemic Discourse.Allan Hazlett - forthcoming - In A. Fairweather & O. Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue. Cambridge University Press.
    Consider the claim that openmindedness is an epistemic virtue, the claim that true belief is epistemically valuable, and the claim that one epistemically ought to cleave to one’s evidence. These are examples of what I’ll call “ epistemic discourse.” In this paper I’ll propose and defend a view called “convention-relativism about epistemic discourse.” In particular, I’ll argue that convention-relativismis superior to its main rival, expressivism about epistemic discourse. Expressivism and conventionalism both jibe with anti-realism about epistemic normativity, which is motivated (...)
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  • Concept Appraisal.Sapphira R. Thorne, Jake Quilty-Dunn, Joulia Smortchkova, Nicholas Shea & James A. Hampton - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (5):e12978.
    This paper reports the first empirical investigation of the hypothesis that epistemic appraisals form part of the structure of concepts. To date, studies of concepts have focused on the way concepts encode properties of objects and the way those features are used in categorization and in other cognitive tasks. Philosophical considerations show the importance of also considering how a thinker assesses the epistemic value of beliefs and other cognitive resources and, in particular, concepts. We demonstrate that there are multiple, reliably (...)
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  • Justice in the Distribution of Knowledge.Faik Kurtulmus & Gürol Irzik - 2017 - Episteme 14 (2):129-146.
    In this article we develop an account of justice in the distribution of knowledge. We first argue that knowledge is a fundamental interest that grounds claims of justice due to its role in individuals’ deliberations about the common good, their personal good and the pursuit thereof. Second, we identify the epistemic basic structure of a society, namely, the institutions that determine individuals’ opportunities for acquiring knowledge and discuss what justice requires of them. Our main contention is that a systematic lack (...)
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  • Atoms and Knowledge.Nick Treanor - 2020 - In Ugo Zilioli (ed.), Atomism in Philosophy: A History from Antiquity to the Present. London, UK: pp. 331-341.
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  • The Virtue of Curiosity.Lewis Ross - 2020 - Episteme 17 (1):105-120.
    ABSTRACTA thriving project in contemporary epistemology concerns identifying and explicating the epistemic virtues. Although there is little sustained argument for this claim, a number of prominent sources suggest that curiosity is an epistemic virtue. In this paper, I provide an account of the virtue of curiosity. After arguing that virtuous curiosity must be appropriately discerning, timely and exacting, I then situate my account in relation to two broader questions for virtue responsibilists: What sort of motivations are required for epistemic virtue? (...)
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  • Truth and Epistemic Value.Nick Treanor - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):1057-1068.
    The notion of more truth, or of more truth and less falsehood, is central to epistemology. Yet, I argue, we have no idea what this consists in, as the most natural or obvious thing to say—that more truth is a matter of a greater number of truths, and less falsehood is a matter of a lesser number of falsehoods—is ultimately implausible. The issue is important not merely because the notion of more truth and less falsehood is central to epistemology, but (...)
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  • The Proper Work of the Intellect.Nick Treanor - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (1):22-40.
    There is a familiar teleological picture of epistemic normativity on which it is grounded in the goal or good of belief, which is taken in turn to be the acquisition of truth and the avoidance of error. This traditional picture has faced numerous challenges, but one of the most interesting of these is an argument that rests on the nearly universally accepted view that this truth goal, as it is known, is at heart two distinct goals that are in tension (...)
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  • Dimensions: A New Ontology of Properties.Xi-Yang Guo - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Durham
    This thesis advances and defends a novel two-category ontology of objects and dimensions, latterly conceived as respects of comparability. The proposed 'dimensionist' ontology is set out and brought to bear on discussions of determinables and determinates, the problem of universals, fact ontologies, and nomic governance. Dimensionism is argued to fare well in comparison to a range of rival ontological accounts of property possession. A metametaphysical framework is set out to undergird the discussion, which draws on both realist and pragmatist resources.
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  • Almost Ideal: Computational Epistemology and the Limits of Rationality for Finite Reasoners.Danilo Fraga Dantas - 2016 - Dissertation, University of California, Davis
    The notion of an ideal reasoner has several uses in epistemology. Often, ideal reasoners are used as a parameter of (maximum) rationality for finite reasoners (e.g. humans). However, the notion of an ideal reasoner is normally construed in such a high degree of idealization (e.g. infinite/unbounded memory) that this use is unadvised. In this dissertation, I investigate the conditions under which an ideal reasoner may be used as a parameter of rationality for finite reasoners. In addition, I present and justify (...)
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  • IV—Understanding and Knowing.Paulina Sliwa - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (1pt1):57-74.
    What is the relationship between understanding and knowing? This paper offers a defence of reductionism about understanding: the view that instances of understanding reduce to instances of knowing. I argue that knowing is both necessary and sufficient for understanding. I then outline some advantages of reductionism.
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  • The Cognitive Importance of Testimony.Jim Davies & David Matheson - 2012 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 16 (2):297-318.
    As a belief source, testimony has long been held by theorists of the mind to play a deeply important role in human cognition. It is unclear, however, just why testimony has been afforded such cognitive importance. We distinguish three suggestions on the matter: the number claim, which takes testimony’s cognitive importance to be a function of the number of beliefs it typically yields, relative to other belief sources; the reliability claim, which ties the importance of testimony to its relative truth-conduciveness; (...)
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  • Epistemic Value.Dennis Whitcomb - 2012 - In Andrew Cullison (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Epistemology. Continuum. pp. 270-287.
    Epistemology is normative. This normativity has been widely recognized for a long time, but it has recently come into direct focus as a central topic of discussion. The result is a recent and large turn towards focusing on epistemic value. I’ll start by describing some of the history and motivations of this recent value turn. Then I’ll categorize the work within the value turn into three strands, and I’ll discuss the main writings in those strands. Finally, I’ll explore some themes (...)
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  • Commodious Knowledge.Christoph9 Kelp & Mona3 Simion - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1487-1502.
    This paper offers a novel account of the value of knowledge. The account is novel insofar as it advocates a shift in focus from the value of individual items of knowledge to the value of the commodity of knowledge. It is argued that the commodity of knowledge is valuable in at least two ways: in a wide range of areas, knowledge is our way of being in cognitive contact with the world and for us the good life is a life (...)
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