Locating epistemic value
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Many epistemologists are attracted to the idea that knowledge is valuable in a way that stands out when compared to the value of other doxastic attitudes. Some philosophers, including Linda Zagzebski, Jonathan Kvanvig, Richard Swinburne, and Duncan Pritchard have objected to contemporary theories of knowledge on the grounds that the analyses these theories offer fail to sufficiently distinguish knowledge from mere true belief. One particularly clear instance of this is the Swamping Problem for Process Reliabilism. Goldman and Olsson try to respond to the Swamping Problem on behalf of Reliabilism. In what follows, I first try to motivate and defend an approach to epistemic value. Then I review the Swamping Problem and evaluate Goldman and Olsson’s response to it. Finding their response unsatisfying, I suggest that we try to satisfy Zagzebski et al. by introducing a theory of understanding which answers to the intuitions many endorse about epistemic value.