Epistemic Worth

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Abstract
Actions can have, or lack, moral worth. When a person’s action is morally worthy, she not only acts rightly, but does so in a way that reflects well on her and in such a way that she is creditable for doing what is right. In this paper, I introduce an analogue of moral worth that applies to belief, which I call epistemic worth. When a person’s belief is epistemically worthy, she not only believes rightly, but does so in a way that reflects well on her and in such a way that she is creditable for believing what is right. While the notion of epistemic worth is independently interesting, the main aim is to show that appealing to it provides a response to arguments against the view that truth is the fundamental norm for belief and, thereby, to arguments for the view that knowledge is the fundamental norm for belief. The direction of travel does not only run from ethics to epistemology. In closing, I tentatively suggest that some of the points to emerge when developing the account of epistemic worth might prompt revisions to the account of moral worth.
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Archival date: 2019-09-23
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2019-09-23

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