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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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Pragmatic Encroachment and Epistemic Value

Pragmatic Encroachment and Epistemic Value

(p.183) 8 Pragmatic Encroachment and Epistemic Value
Epistemic Value

Pascal Engel

Oxford University Press

Some philosophers, who defend ‘pragmatic encroachment’ and ‘subject-sensitive invariantism’, argue that changes in the importance of being right and significant increases of the costs of error in given contexts can alter the standards of knowledge. If this view where correct, it could explain to some extent the practical value of knowledge. In this chapter it is argued that the pragmatic encroachment thesis is wrong. Three possible sources of encroachment on epistemic notions are discussed, relating to, respectively, belief, justification, and knowledge. The idea that epistemic standards change with practical stakes is rejected. Pragmatic factors can be relevant to the formation of belief and to the context of inquiry, although they are not relevant to epistemic evaluation. Epistemic value cannot depend upon such factors.

Keywords:   belief, epistemic value, Horwich, knowledge, pragmatic encroachment, subject-sensitivev invariantism

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