Truth as the Epistemic Goal

Marian David

in Knowledge, Truth, and Duty

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780195128925
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833764 | DOI:
Truth as the Epistemic Goal

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Examines the difficulties involved in explaining what is distinctive about epistemic – as opposed to prudential or moral – justification by invoking the truth goal: roughly, the goal of believing what is true and not believing what is false. One set of problems concerns psychology: do all subjects really aim at having true beliefs? Another set of problems concerns the truth goal itself: what, exactly, is the goal? A third set of problems has to do with the relation between justified/unjustified beliefs and the truth goal: is it a causal ends–means relation, or the relation of constitution? The former option, according to the writer, faces serious objections, whereas the latter option collapses justified belief into true belief. Examines various ways in which this collapse can be blocked, and concludes by considering a subjunctive truth goal and a subjunctive conception of reliability.

Keywords: epistemic justification; rationality; reliability; true/false belief; truth goal

Chapter.  11497 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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