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Is Epistemic Normativity Value-Based?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2017

Rutgers University


What is the source of epistemic normativity? In virtue of what do epistemic norms have categorical normative authority? According to epistemic teleologism, epistemic normativity comes from value. Epistemic norms have categorical authority because conforming to them is necessarily good in some relevant sense. In this article, I argue that epistemic teleologism should be rejected. The problem, I argue, is that there is no relevant sense in which it is necessarily good to believe in accordance with epistemic norms, including in cases where the matter at hand is completely trivial. Therefore, if epistemology is normative, its normativity won’t come from value.

Quelle est la source de la normativité épistémique? En vertu de quoi les normes épistémiques possèdent-elles une autorité normative catégorique? Selon la réponse téléologique, la normativité épistémique provient de la valeur. Les normes épistémiques ont une autorité catégorique parce qu’il est nécessairement bon de s’y conformer. Dans cet article, je soutiens que le téléologisme épistémique doit être rejeté. Le problème est qu’il n’y a pas de sens pertinent dans lequel croire en conformité avec les normes épistémiques est nécessairement bon, même lorsque la croyance en question est complètement triviale. Si l’épistémologie est normative, sa normativité ne provient pas de la valeur.

Canadian Philosophical Association 2017 Essay Prize Winners
Copyright © Canadian Philosophical Association 2017 

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