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The Proper Work of the Intellect

  • NICK TREANOR (a1)

Abstract

There is a familiar teleological picture of epistemic normativity on which it is grounded in the goal or good of belief, which is taken in turn to be the acquisition of truth and the avoidance of error. There is also a widespread platitude to the effect that this is at heart two distinct goals in tension with one another. The teleological picture faces numerous challenges, but one of the most interesting is an argument that rests on this platitude. This paper looks more closely at the standard way of understanding the truth goal, drawing out its explicit and implicit features. The aim will be to show that the standard way the truth goal is understood is deeply mistaken, to propose and defend an alternative model, and to show how this alternative model restores the unity of the goal and its potential to ground and explain the normative dimensions of belief.

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References

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David, Marian. (2001) ‘Truth as the Epistemic Goal’. In Steup, Matthias (ed.), Knowledge, Truth and Duty: Essays on Epistemic Justification, Responsibility, and Virtue (New York: Oxford University Press), 151–69.
Goldman, Alvin. (1999) Knowledge in a Social World. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
James, William. (1912) The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy. New York: Longmans, Green, and Company.
Kitcher, Philip. (1993) The Advancement of Science: Science without Legend, Objectivity without Illusions. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lewis, David. (1983) ‘New Work for a Theory of Universals’. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 61, 343–77.
Riggs, Wayne. (2003) ‘Balancing Our Epistemic Goals’. Noûs, 37, 342–52.
Sosa, Ernest. (2000) ‘For the Love of Truth’. In Zagzebski, Linda and Fairweather, Abrol (eds.), Virtue Epistemology: Essays on Epistemic Virtue and Responsibility (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 4962.
Treanor, Nick. (2013) ‘The Measure of Knowledge’. Noûs, 47, 577601.
Treanor, Nick. (2014) ‘Trivial Truths and the Aim of Inquiry’. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 84, 552–59.
Treanor, Nick. (2018) ‘Truth and Epistemic Value’. European Journal of Philosophy, 26, 1057–68.
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Journal of the American Philosophical Association
  • ISSN: 2053-4477
  • EISSN: 2053-4485
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-american-philosophical-association
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