The Value of True Belief


I cover some initially plausible accounts of why we ought to value knowledge over mere true belief, as well as why we ought to value mere true belief over false belief. I introduce a case of two epistemic agents with the same capabilities, although one epistemic agent’s beliefs are parasitic over the other’s. If we care only for the instrumental value of knowledge, we should be indifferent in our preferences to be either epistemic agent. This conclusion is absurd. I then introduce the proposal that instantiation of particular epistemic virtues distinguishes between these epistemic agents, even though both epistemic agents are just as knowledgable as one another. I conclude that instantiation of epistemic virtues is valuable in-itself.

Radboud University Nijmegen. Nijmegen, The Netherlands.