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July 2007 I have too much stuff
Medieval manuscript by Abraham ben Baruch is the most valuable object in our library’s holdings. It is one of the few books from the time period that have survived.
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So far this discussion has taken it as given that, whatever problemsreliabilism faces in this regard, there are epistemological theoriesavailable—some form of virtue epistemology, forexample—that can deal with them. But not everyone in thecontemporary debate accepts this. Perhaps the best known sceptic inthis respect is Jonathan Kvanvig (2003), who in effect argues thatwhile virtue epistemology (along with a form of epistemic internalism)can resolve the primary value problem (i.e., the problem of explainingwhy knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief), the realchallenge that we need to respond to is that set by the secondaryvalue problem (i.e., the problem of explaining why knowledge is morevaluable than that which falls short of knowledge); and Kvanvig saysthat there is no solution available to that. That is, Kvanvigargues that there is an epistemic standing—in essence, justifiedtrue belief—which falls short of knowledge but which is no lessvaluable than knowledge. He concludes that the focus of epistemologyshould not be on knowledge at all, but ratheron understanding, an epistemic standing that Kvanvigmaintains is clearly of more value than knowledge and thoseepistemic standings that fall short of knowledge, such as justifiedtrue belief.
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The most direct way to approach this question is by consideringwhether it is really true that a valuable cause cannot confer value onits effect where cause and effect are kept separate in the way thatZagzebski claims is problematic in the case of knowledge. Onecommentator who has objected to Zagzebski's argument by queryingthis claim on her part is Berit Brogaard (2007; cf. Percival 2003;Pritchard 2007: §2), who claims that avaluable cause can indeed confer value on its effect in the relevantcases. Brogaard claims that virtue epistemologists like Zagzebski andRiggs endorse this claim because they adhere to what she call a“Moorean” conception of value, on which iftwo things have the same intrinsic properties, then they are equallyvaluable. Accordingly, if true belief and knowledge have the sameintrinsic properties (which is what would be the case on the view ofknowledge that they reject), it follows that they must have the samevalue. Hence, it is crucial to understand knowledge as having distinctintrinsic properties from true belief before one can hope to resolvethe value problem.
If one holds that there is only intrinsic and instrumental value, thenthis conception of value is compelling, since objects with the sameintrinsic properties trivially have the same amount of intrinsicvalue, and they also plausibly have the same amount of instrumentalvalue as well (at least in the same sort of environment). As Brogaardpoints out, however, the Moorean conception of value is problematicbecause—as Wlodek Rabinowicz & Toni Roennow-Rasmussen (1999;2003) have pointed out—there seem to be objects which we valuefor their own sake but whose value derives from their beingextrinsically related to something else that we value. That is, suchobjects are finally—i.e.,non-instrumentally—valuable without thereby being intrinsicallyvaluable. For criticism of this account of final value, see Bradley(2002).
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As well as visual sources, many ideas for the illustrations emerged from reading history. Almost every image can, for instance, be footnoted with a reference to Henry Reynold’s “The Other Side of the Frontier”, my most valuable reference book. Accounts of Aboriginal impressions of the arrival of European ships, animals, customs and technologies, the immense cultural rift between visitors and inhabitants, the patterns of escalating violence: all these proved to be indispensable in the creation of an equivalent imagined universe populated by strange animals and machines.
There are thus two key theses to this account of the value ofknowledge—that achievements are finally valuable, and thatknowledge is a form of achievement—both of which could be calledinto question. As regards the first thesis, one might object that somesuccesses that are because of ability—i.e., achievements, onthis view—are too trivial or easy or wicked to count as finallyvaluable. This line of objection is far from decisive. After all, itis open to Greco to argue that the claim is only that allachievements qua achievements are finally valuable, not thatthe overall value of every achievements is particularly high. It isthus consistent with the proposal that some achievements have a verylow—perhaps even negative, if that is possible—value invirtue of their other properties (e.g., their triviality). Indeed, asecond option in this regard is to allow that not all achievementsenjoy final value whilst nevertheless maintaining that it is in thenature of achievements to have such value (e.g., much in the way thatone might argue that it is in the nature of pleasure to be a good,even though some pleasures are bad). Since, as noted above, all thatis required to meet the (tertiary) value problem is to show thatknowledge is generally distinctively valuable, this claim would almostcertainly suffice for Greco's purposes.
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Matisse: The Joy of Things | by Claire Messud | NYR …
One potential objection to this way of understanding BonJour'sdiscussion is that it presupposes that the weak conception ofknowledge must be paired a continuous model ofepistemic justification. But there are views of justification whichunderstand it , with potentially significantdifferences between adjacent levels or grades of justification(compare Chisholm 1989 and Conee and Feldman 2004:esp. 277–306)). For example, following Chisholm (1989: 16), itmight be proposed justification for a belief might come in thefollowing grades: (1) probable, (2) epistemically in the clear, (3)beyond reasonable doubt, (4) evident, (5) obvious, and (6) certain. Ifwe pair the weak conception of knowledge with a qualitative model ofjustification such as this, then it's no longer clear that theresulting view will fail to respect the closure of knowledge underconjunction, because the rules of probability theory employed inBonJour's argument don't obviously apply to the qualitativecategories. (At the same time, neither is it obvious thatthere be analogues of these rules for the qualitativecategories.) And it's no longer clear that the resulting view will beincapable of providing a principled account of the minimal level ofjustification sufficient for knowledge, because there is an importantqualitative difference between, say, a belief's and notmerely . We might still have toexplain why a belief must reach level 4 rather 3 to be knowledge, butthis preference is not open to the charge of arbitrariness in the sameway as would be a decision to prefer .83 to .829.
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A type of test intended to evaluate and document what students have learned; the term is used to distinguish such tests from formative tests, which are used primarily to diagnose what students have learned in order to plan further instruction.
2012: An essay on Othello that got 20/20 at Sydney Boys High School
A different response to the challenge that Zagzebski raises forreliabilism is given by Michael Brady (2006). In defence ofreliabilism, Brady appeals to the idea that to be valuable is to be afitting or appropriate object of positive evaluative attitudes, suchas admiration or love (e.g., Brentano 1969; Chisholm 1986; Wiggins1987; Gibbard 1990; Scanlon 1998). That one object is more valuablethan another is thus to be understood, on this view, in terms of thefact that that object is more worthy of positive evaluation. Thus, thevalue problem for reliabilism on this conception of value comes downto the question why knowledge is more worthy of positive evaluation onthis view than mere true belief. Brady's contention is that, at leastwithin this axiological framework, it is possible for thereliabilist to offer a compelling story about why reliable truebelief—and thus knowledge—is more valuable than mere truebelief.
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