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Epistemic Value$
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Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar, and Duncan Pritchard

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231188.001.0001

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The Goods and the Motivation of Believing

The Goods and the Motivation of Believing

(p.139) 6 The Goods and the Motivation of Believing
Epistemic Value

Ward E. Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with an argument to the effect that some doxastic goods are surreptitious motivators: in so far as they work to bring about belief, they must do so without the agent herself being aware of their so working. The existence of surreptitious motivators raises two questions. First, ‘Do surreptitious doxastic goods provide us with reasons to believe?’ Recent work in value theory suggests an argument for the following claim: if a good cannot consciously motivate a believer to believe, then that good cannot provide a reason to believe. The second question raised by surreptitious motivators is the following, ‘Is it possible that important values governing our doxastic lives can only motivate surreptitiously?’ Discussion of this second question interrogates the so-called credit account of the value of knowledge, which conceives of the value of knowledge as a surreptitious motivator. The chapter ends with a brief look at an alternative approach towards conceiving of the value of knowledge.

Keywords:   evidentialism, doxastic goods, doxastic motivation, doxastic reasons, doxastic values, motivation, value of knowledge

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