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Chapter 5 - Knowledge-Producing Abilities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 July 2020

Christoph Kelp
University of Glasgow
John Greco
Georgetown University, Washington DC
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What kind of abilities are apt for producing knowledge? Alternatively: How should we understand the notion of 'cognitive ability', in the virtue-theoretic idea that knowledge is true belief attributable to cognitive ability? Robust virtue epistemology understands the notion in such a way that the ability condition on knowledge entails a safety condition as well. Greco relativizes abilities to environments, Sosa does not. Pritchard's modest virtue epistemology denies that ability grounds safety, but adds an additional safety condition on knowledge. Turri (2011) requires that knowledge-producing abilities manifest safety as well as truth, while Turri (2015 and 2016) denies that knowledge requires safety. This chapter considers the dispute among these alternatives in light of questions regarding the value of knowledge: In what sense is knowledge valuable, and in what sense of 'ability' does success-from-ability give knowledge its value? The chapter defends a version of robust virtue epistemology in light of these questions.

Virtue Theoretic Epistemology
New Methods and Approaches
, pp. 124 - 146
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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