Epistemic value in the subpersonal vale

Synthese 198 (10):9243-9272 (2020)
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A vexing problem in contemporary epistemology—one with origins in Plato’s Meno—concerns the value of knowledge, and in particular, whether and how the value of knowledge exceeds the value of mere true opinion. The recent literature is deeply divided on the matter of how best to address the problem. One point, however, remains unquestioned: that if a solution is to be found, it will be at the personal level, the level at which states of subjects or agents, as such, appear. We take exception to this orthodoxy, or at least to its unquestioned status. We argue that subpersonal states play a significant—arguably, primary—role in much epistemically relevant cognition and thus constitute a domain in which we might reasonably expect to locate the “missing source” of epistemic value, beyond the value attached to mere true belief.
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