SOPhiA 2013

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

SOPhiA ToolsDE-pageEN-page.DS_STORE-page._.DS_STORE-page

Programm - Vortrag

Der epistemische Wert der Beherrschung
(Erkenntnistheorie, Englisch)

In my talk I defend a new account of epistemic value. My thesis is that knowledge is valuable insofar as it is as a form of mastery. My position improves upon a popular but flawed account according to which knowledge is valuable because it is an achievement. I demonstrate that my account saves what is plausible in the achievement story while avoiding its downfalls.

I begin by introducing the rival account of knowledge as achievement. I outline its basic structure and the two most dangerous objections to it.

I go on to introduce my improvement upon the achievement account. I define what I mean by mastery, illuminating three key features. I then show that knowledge has all three of these features.

Next I demonstrate that the mastery account is not vulnerable to the two objections. Mastery has all the intuitive appeal of the achievement account, while avoiding both of its fatal defects.

Finally I consider two objections to my account. First I take up the worry that the value I have described is not properly epistemic, but rather a form of practical value and therefore of no interest to epistemologists. I consider three ways of defining epistemic value and argue that on any plausible understanding of the term, my account does concern epistemic value.

Second I address the fear that my account does not avoid the infamous swamping problem, that is, it is unable to explain how knowledge is more valuable than true belief. I show that, on the contrary, from the socially-situated, diachronic position of my account, we recognize that true beliefs are not intrinsically valuable at all. One true unjustified belief, insofar as it exhibits a tendency to act in a way unconducive to mastery, actually has negative value. I strengthen this final argument by explaining away the intuition that true beliefs per se are valuable.

Chair: Dejan Makovec
Zeit: 15:30-16:00, 14. September 2013 (Samstag)
Ort: HS 105

Martha Cassidy-Brinn
(University of Vienna, Österreich)

Martha Cassidy-Brinn (MA phil). University of Vienna. 2006 Bachelor of Arts; 2011 Master of Arts; thesis relating intuition, Moorean common sense, and Wittgensteinian certainties. Research interests: epistemology and metaphilosophy.

Testability and Meaning deco