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

By Alan Hazlett

The price of actual trust has performed a relevant position in background of philosophy—consider Socrates’ slogan that the unexamined existence isn't really worthy dwelling, and Aristotle’s declare that everybody clearly wishes knowledge—as good as in modern epistemology, the place questions on the price of data have lately taken heart degree. It has frequently been assumed that exact representation—true belief—is worthwhile, both instrumentally or for its personal sake. In A luxurious of the Understanding, Allan Hazlett bargains a serious examine of that assumption, and of the most ways that it may be defended.

Hazlett defends the belief that precise trust is at so much occasionally worthy. within the first a part of the booklet, he goals the view that precise 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 folks, comparable to overly optimistic perspectives of our friends—are usually precious vis-a-vis our health. within the moment half, he goals the view that fact is “the objective of belief,” and argues for anti-realism in regards to the epistemic worth of real trust. jointly, those arguments include a problem to the philosophical assumption of the worth of precise trust, and recommend an alternate 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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Ignorance is no more or less appealing than knowledge.  626): I do not want to know whether Gordon Brown looks good with his shirt off. And it’s not just that I don’t want to know that, I positively want not to know that. I strongly prefer ignorance to knowledge. Clearly a descriptive interpretation of the principle of curiosity needs to be restricted. Supposing we still seek some claim that applies to everyone, the restriction must be placed on the questions to which everyone is said to want to know the answer.

Nor is the relationship between these various notions clear. Let’s use “understanding” to translate epistêmê and “wisdom” to translate sophia. 24 Understanding can be distinguished from mere knowledge by its content. Understanding is knowledge of causes and principles. g. why fire is hot, they only say that it is hot” (981b11–12). e. understanding. And wisdom can be distinguished from mere understanding by its content. Wisdom is understanding of fundamental causes and principles. This is why Aristotle says that everyone naturally wants knowledge to open the Metaphysics—by way of justifying his inquiry into philosophical questions in metaphysics.

In that case, the value of knowledge again remains unexplained. We might understand the “natural” in terms of the essential nature of human beings (which seems to be what Aristotle had in mind; cf. 6). Just as the nature of a tree is to grow in such-and-such a way (even if this particular tree, or even most trees, fail to grow in that way), perhaps the nature of a human being is to be curious (even if this particular human being, or even most 27 Note that curiosity about matters of interest to me, in the present sense, cannot be what Aristotle has in mind: “not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer sight to almost everything else” (980a25–6).

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