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Zagzebski, Linda. Epistemic Value Monism
2004, Greco, John (ed.), Ernest Sosa and His Criticis. Oxford: Blackwell. 190-198
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Added by: Jie Gao

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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Zagzebski, Linda. On Epistemology
2009, Wadsworth.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Wayne Riggs

Publisher’s Note: What is knowledge? Why do we want it? Is knowledge possible? How do we get it? What about other epistemic values like understanding and certainty? Why are so many epistemologists worried about luck? In ON EPISTEMOLOGY Linda Zagzebski situates epistemological questions within the broader framework of what we care about and why we care about it. Questions of value shape all of the above questions and explain some significant philosophical trends: the obsession with answering the skeptic, the flight from realism, and the debate between naturalism and anti-naturalism. THE WADSWORTH PHILOSOPHICAL TOPICS SERIES (under the general editorship of Robert Talisse, Vanderbilt University) presents readers with concise, timely, and insightful introductions to a variety of traditional and contemporary philosophical subjects. With this series, students of philosophy will be able to discover the richness of philosophical inquiry across a wide array of concepts, including hallmark philosophical themes and themes typically underrepresented in mainstream philosophy publishing. Written by a distinguished list of scholars who have garnered particular recognition for their excellence in teaching, this series presents the vast sweep of today’s philosophical exploration in highly accessible and affordable volumes. These books will prove valuable to philosophy teachers and their students as well as to other readers who share a general interest in philosophy.

Comment: Zagzebski offers a very approachable overview of main issues in Epistemology. Particularly useful in undergraduate teaching are: Chapter 1 which provides a general introduction focusing on the relationship between knowing and caring; Chapter 2 which introduces scepticism and presents some contemporary responses to it; and Chapter 5 which introduces Gettier problems. The remaining chapters expand on those topics and offer an overview of virtue epistemology.

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