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Knowledge, Truth, and DutyEssays on Epistemic Justification, Responsibility, and Virtue$
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Matthias Steup

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195128925

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195128923.001.0001

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Truth as the Epistemic Goal

Truth as the Epistemic Goal

(p.151) 9 Truth as the Epistemic Goal
Knowledge, Truth, and Duty

Marian David

Oxford University Press

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

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