May 232016

Zagzebski, Linda, and . Epistemic Value Monism

2004, Greco, John (ed.), Ernest Sosa and His Criticis. Oxford: Blackwell. 190-198

Introduction: Where does the state of knowledge get its value? Virtually everyone agrees that it comes partly from the value of the truth that is thereby acquired, but most philosophers also agree that knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief. If so, what is the source of the extra value that knowledge has? Curiously, several well-known contemporary epistemic theories have trouble answering this question. In particular, I have argued that reliabilism is unable to explain where knowledge gets its value. I call this the value problem. Sosa addresses the value problem in a recent paper, moving his theory in a more Aristotelian direction. In this chapter I will review the moves Sosa makes to solve the problem and will suggest a simpler approach that I believe does justice to all his desiderata.

Comment: In this paper, Zagzebski examines Sosa's solution to the value problem against reliabilism according to which a reliable process or faculty is good only because of the good of its product. It is a good material for teaching on epistemic value at either lower or upper level undergraduate courses.

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