The present paper argues that there are at least two equally plausible yet mutually incompatible answers to the question of what is of non-instrumental epistemic value. The hypothesis invoked to explain how this can be so—moderate epistemic expressivism—holds that (a) claims about epistemic value express nothing but commitments to particular goals of inquiry, and (b) there are at least two viable conceptions of those goals. It is shown that such expressivism survives recent arguments against a more radical form of epistemic expressivism, as well as two further arguments, framed in terms of the two most promising attempts to ground claims about epistemic value in something other than commitments to particular conceptions of inquiry. While this does not establish that moderate epistemic expressivism is true, its ability to explain a significant but puzzling axiological datum, as well as withstand strong counterarguments, makes clear that it is a theory to be reckoned with.
KeywordsEpistemic value Expressivism Epistemology
Many thanks to J. C. Bjerring, Jeff Dunn, Mikkel Gerken, Alvin Goldman, Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen, Klemens Kappel, Hilary Kornblith, Michael Lynch, Emil Møller, Jonathan Vogel, Åsa Wikforss, and an anonymous reviewer for this journal for valuable comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Research underlying the present paper was conducted with generous support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation.
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