Synthese (12):5287-5300 (2018)

Authors
Matthew McGrath
Washington University in St. Louis
Abstract
In recent work, Sosa proposes a comprehensive account of epistemic value based on an axiology for attempts. According to this axiology, an attempt is better if it succeeds, better still if it is apt (i.e., succeeds through competence), and best if it is fully apt, (i.e., guided to aptness by apt beliefs that it would be apt). Beliefs are understood as attempts aiming at the truth. Thus, a belief is better if true, better still if apt, and best if fully apt. I raise a Kantian obstacle for Sosa’s account, arguing that the quality or worth of an attempt is independent of whether it succeeds. In particular, an attempt can be fully worthy despite being a failure. I then consider whether Sosa’s competence-theoretic framework provides the resources for an axiology of attempts that does not place so much weight on success. I discuss the most promising candidate, an axiology grounded in the competence of attempts, or what Sosa calls adroitness. An adroit attempt may fail. I raise doubts about whether an adroitness-based axiology can provide a plausible explanation of the worthiness of subjects’ beliefs in epistemically unfortunate situations, such as the beliefs of the brain in a vat. I conclude by speculating that the notion of a belief’s fit with what the subject has to go on, a notion missing from Sosa’s competence-theoretic framework, is crucial to explaining epistemic worth.
Keywords epistemic value  Sosa  Kant  virtue epistemology
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2019, 2020
DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-1717-8
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Knowing Full Well.Ernest Sosa - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.
Two Distinctions in Goodness.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1983 - Philosophical Review 92 (2):169-195.
Two Distinctions in Goodness.Christine Korsgaard - 1997 - In Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser (eds.), Morality and the Good Life. Oup Usa.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reflective Knowledge and Epistemic Circularity.C. S. I. Jenkins - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (3):305-325.
Epistemic Circularity: Vicious, Virtuous and Benign.John Greco - 2011 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1 (2):105-112.
Reflection, Epistemic Value and Human Flourishing.Waldomiro Silva Filho & Felipe Rocha - 2016 - Analytica. Revista de Filosofia 19 (1):129-144.
Safety, Virtue, Scepticism: Remarks on Sosa.Peter Baumann - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (45):295-306.
Ernest Sosa and Virtuously Begging the Question.Michael Walschots - 2011 - Argumentation: Cognition and Community: Proceedings of the 9th Biennial Conference of the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation.
Sosa on the Normativity of Belief.Pascal Engel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (3):617-624.
Epistemic Normativity.Stephen R. Grimm - 2009 - In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 243-264.
Sosa on Reflective Knowledge and Knowing Full Well.Jack Lyons - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (3):609-616.
Epistemic Circularity and the Problem of Cheap Credit.Anne Meylan - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (3):327-340.
Chisholm's Epistemic Principles.Ernest Sosa - 2003 - Metaphilosophy 34 (5):553-562.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-02-19

Total views
168 ( #69,846 of 2,507,664 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #73,748 of 2,507,664 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes