Download e-book for kindle: A Luxury of the Understanding: On the Value of True Belief by Alan Hazlett

By Alan Hazlett

The price of actual trust has performed a important position in background of philosophy—consider Socrates’ slogan that the unexamined lifestyles isn't really worthy dwelling, and Aristotle’s declare that everybody clearly desires knowledge—as good as in modern epistemology, the place questions about the worth of information have lately taken middle degree. It has often been assumed that exact representation—true belief—is useful, both instrumentally or for its personal sake. In A luxurious of the Understanding, Allan Hazlett bargains a serious learn of that assumption, and of the most ways that it may be defended.


Hazlett defends the realization that precise trust is at so much occasionally useful. within the first a part of the ebook, he pursuits the view that real trust is in general higher for us than fake trust, and argues that fake ideals approximately ourselves—for instance, unrealistic optimism approximately our futures and approximately people, akin to overly confident perspectives of our friends—are frequently necessary vis-a-vis our health. within the moment half, he goals the view that fact is “the target of belief,” and argues for anti-realism concerning the epistemic worth of precise trust. jointly, those arguments contain a problem to the philosophical assumption of the worth of actual trust, and recommend another photo, on which the truth that a few humans love fact is all there's to “the worth of real belief.”

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59). Thus “[t]he good of knowledge is self-evident.  64–5). And evidently Finnis intends not only that basic values can’t be demonstrated, but that no argument can be given in their defense.  68–9). M. Scanlon (1993), a theory on which “certain diverse goods make a life better ...  191). It seems to me that, if desire-independent theories are right, the best we can do when evaluating claims about eudaimonic value is to appeal to our reflective and empirically informed intuitions. As Finnis might put it, we must be content to embrace what is obvious and self-evident to us.

Should I pursue these objects with more tenacity than other things that I desire, in virtue of their being the objects of my “natural” or “human” desires? Are these objects good, in some special sense, in virtue of being objects of my “natural” or “human” desires? These questions don’t have obvious answers. 3 On the very idea of the “epistemic” Many epistemologists will have been squirming through all of this, for it is often argued that the value of knowledge needs to be understood from the perspective of a sui generis domain of “epistemic” value, distinct from the domain of eudaimonic value.

And in what sense or senses, if any, is it true? Let’s call this claim, that everyone naturally wants knowledge, Aristotle’s principle of curiosity. What Aristotle says everyone naturally wants is to eidenai, which means to see or to know. This makes sense of the passage that follows: An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. (980a20–22) There are a number of Greek words that can (at least sometimes) be translated with “knowledge,” including to eidenai, epistêmê (from which we get “epistemology”), and gnôsis (from which we get “knowledge”).

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A Luxury of the Understanding: On the Value of True Belief by Alan Hazlett


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