Chapter

The Swamping Problem Redux: Pith and Gist

Jonathan Kvanvig

in Social Epistemology

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577477
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595189 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577477.003.0005
The Swamping Problem Redux: Pith and Gist

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The Swamping Problem is one of the central problems in the new value-driven approach to epistemology that has arisen recently. It arises from the fact that value isn't always additive, so if you begin with something valuable (true belief) and add a further valuable thing (justification), there is no guarantee that the combination is more valuable. The usual target of such concerns is reliabilism, but such concerns plague approaches that are more conscious of value concerns as well, such as functional accounts that aim at an account of knowledge in terms of its social significance as a marker of dependable sources of information. Here this chapter investigates the fundamental nature of the problem and several recent attempts to provide an escape route from the problem, concluding that none of them succeed.

Keywords: justified belief; reliabilism; social significance of knowledge; swamping problem

Chapter.  11866 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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