Philosophical Studies

, Volume 157, Issue 1, pp 93-105

First online:

Reliabilism and the extra value of knowledge

  • Wayne A. DavisAffiliated withGeorgetown University Email author 
  • , Christoph JägerAffiliated withUniversity of Innsbruck

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Goldman and Olsson (2009) have responded to the common charge that reliabilist theories of knowledge are incapable of accounting for the value knowledge has beyond mere true belief. We examine their “conditional probability solution” in detail, and show that it does not succeed. The conditional probability relation is too weak to support instrumental value, and the specific relation they describe is inessential to the value of knowledge. At best, they have described conditions in which knowledge indicates that additional epistemic value is likely to be forthcoming in the future. We also argue that their motive analogy breaks down. The problem, we conclude, is that being produced by a reliable process is not sufficient for a belief to be justified.


Knowledge Extra value Reliabilism Justification Truth Swamping problem