Advertisement

Epistemic Emotions and the Value of Truth

  • Laura CandiottoEmail author
Article

Abstract

In this paper, I discuss the intrinsic value of truth from the perspective of the emotion studies in virtue epistemology. The strategy is the one that looks at epistemic emotions as driving forces towards truth as the most valuable epistemic good. But in doing so, a puzzle arises: how can the value of truth be intrinsic (as the most valuable epistemic good) and instrumental (being useful to the epistemic agent)? My answer lies in the difference established by Duncan Pritchard (Pritchard 2014) between epistemic value and the value of the epistemic applied to the case of subjective motivations to knowing. I argue that the value of truth is intrinsic as epistemic value and that this is not only compatible with the idea that truth can have different kinds of instrumental values but also that the subjective value of truth, disclosed by epistemic emotions, can make the value of truth stronger if regulated within patterns of virtuous enquiry.

Keywords

Epistemic emotions Motivation Intrinsic and instrumental values The value of truth Intellectual virtues Ethics of knowledge 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Project: Bond. Positive Emotions for Group Cognition) and by IMéRA - Institute for Advanced Studies (Project: Epistemic Cooperation. The Function of Positive Emotions).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there are no conflict(s) of interest.

References

  1. Brady, M. S. (2018). Emotion: the basics. Abingdon: Routledge.- (2013). Emotional Insight. The Epistemic Role of Emotional Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.- (2009). Curiosity and the value of truth. In A. Haddock, A. Millar, & D. Pritchard (Eds.), Epistemic Value (pp. 265–283). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Candiotto, L. (2017a). Epistemic emotions: the building blocks of intellectual virtues. Studi di estetica, XLV, IV SERIE, N. 7, 7–25.Google Scholar
  3. Candiotto, L. (2017b). The route of goodness. Epistemic emotions, self-realization, and perfection. Thaumàzein 4, 243–258.Google Scholar
  4. Candiotto, L. (2019). Emotions in-between. The affective dimension of participatory sense-making. in L. Candiotto (Ed.), The Value of Emotions for Knowledge, (pp. 235–260). London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  5. Chandrasekhar, S. (1987). Truth and beauty: aesthetics and motivations in science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Code, L. (1993). Taking subjectivity into account. In L. Alcoff & E. Potter (Eds.), Feminist Epistemologies (pp. 15–48). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Code, L. (1987). Epistemic responsibility. Andover: University Press of New England. DeLancey, C. (2001). Passionate engines: What emotions reveal about mind and artificial intelligence. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. de Sousa, R. (1987). The rationality of emotion. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  8. Elgin, C. (2017). True enough. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press. - (1997). In Considered Judgement. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Elster, J. (2010). Self-poisoning of the mind. Philosophical Transactions B, 365, 221–226.Google Scholar
  10. Ferrari, F. (2018). The value of minimalist truth. Synthese, 195(3), 1103–1125.Google Scholar
  11. Fricker, M. (2007). Epistemic injustice. Power and the ethics of knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Fridja, N. H. (1986). The emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Geoffard, P.-Y., & Luchini, S. (2010). Changing time and emotions. In A. Kirman, M. Teschl, & P. Livet (Eds.), Rationality and Emotions (pp. 271–280) Philosophical transaction of the Royal Society B, 365: 1538.Google Scholar
  14. Griffiths, P. (1997). What emotions really are: the problem of psychological categories. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Grimm, S. (2014). Understanding as knowledge of causes. In A. Fairweather (Ed.), Virtue Scientia: Bridges Between Virtue Epistemology and Philosophy of Science (pp. 329–345). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  16. Grimm, S. (2010). Understanding. In S. Bernecker & D. Pritchard (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology (pp. 84–94). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Harding, S. (1993). Rethinking standpoint epistemology: what is strong objectivity? In L. Alcoff & E. Potter (Eds.), Feminist Epistemologies (pp. 49–82). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Hazlett, A. (2013). A luxury of the understanding. On the value of true belief. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hookway, C. (2003). Affective states and epistemic immediacy. Metaphilosophy, 34(1-2), 78–96.Google Scholar
  20. Horwich, P. (2006). The value of truth. Noûs, 40(2), 347–360.Google Scholar
  21. Hurka, T. (2011). The best things in life. A guide to what really matters. Oxford – New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Jaggar, A. (1989). Love and knowledge. Emotion in Feminist Epistemology. Inquiry, 32(2), 151–176.Google Scholar
  23. Jennings, C. D. (2012). The subject of attention. Synthese, 189, 535–554.Google Scholar
  24. Johnson, M. R. (2005). Aristotle on teleology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Kant, I. (2007) [1790, English translation 1952]. Critique of Judgement, tr. J. Creed Meredith, revised, edited and introduced by N. Walker. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Kochan, J. (2013). Subjectivity and emotion in scientific research. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 44, 354–362.Google Scholar
  27. Kvanvig, J. (2005). Truth is not the primary epistemic goal. In E. Sosa & M. Steup (Eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology (pp. 285–296). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  28. Kvanvig, J. (2003). The value of knowledge and the pursuit of understanding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press..Google Scholar
  29. Lynch, M. P. (2005). True to life: why truth matters. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  30. Livet, P. (2016). Emotions, beliefs, and revisions. Emotion Review, 8(3), 240–249.Google Scholar
  31. Mele, A. (2000). Self-deception and emotion. Consciousness & Emotion, 1(1), 115–137.Google Scholar
  32. Monteleone, J. M. (2017). Attention, emotion, and evaluative understanding. Philosophia, 45, 1749–1764.Google Scholar
  33. Morton, A. (2010). Epistemic emotions. In P. Goldie (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of philosophy of emotion (pp. 385–399). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Prinz, J. (2004). Gut reactions: a perceptual theory of emotions. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Pritchard, D. (2016). Seeing it for oneself: perceptual knowledge, understanding, and intellectual autonomy. Episteme, 13(1), 29–42.Google Scholar
  36. Pritchard, D. (2014). Truth as the fundamental epistemic good. In J. Matheson & R. Vitz (Eds.), The Ethics of Belief (pp. 112–129). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Pritchard, D. (2011). What is the swamping problem? In A. Reisner & A. Steglich-Petersen (Eds.), Reasons for Belief (pp. 244–259). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Pritchard, D. (2005). Epistemic luck. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Pritchard, D. H., Millar, A., & Haddock, A. (2010). The nature and value of knowledge: three investigations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Roeser, S., & Todd, C. (2014). Emotions and value. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Rorty, R. (1995). Is truth a goal of enquiry? Davidson vs. Wright. The Philosophical Quarterly, 45(180), 281–300.Google Scholar
  42. Scheffler, I. (1991). In praise of the cognitive emotions and other essays in the philosophy of education. New York-London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Scott, D. (2006). Plato’s Meno. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Slaby, J., & Wüschner, P. (2014). Emotion and agency. In S. Roeser & C. Todd (Eds.), Emotions and Value (pp. 212–228). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Solomon, R. C. (1998). Emotions as judgements. American Philosophical Quarterly, 25(2), 183–191.Google Scholar
  46. Sorabji, R. (2000). Emotion and peace of mind. From Stoic Agitation to Christian Temptation. The Gifford Lectures. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Sosa, E. (2001). For the love of truth? In A. Fairweather & L. Zagzebski (Eds.), Virtue Epistemology: Essays on Epistemic Virtue and Responsibility (pp. 49–62). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Stocker, M. (2004). Some considerations about intellectual desire and emotions. In R. C. Solomon (Ed.), Thinking about feeling (pp. 135-48). New York: Oxford University Press. - (1980). Intellectual desire, emotion, and action. In A. O. Rorty (Ed.), Explaining Emotions (pp. 323–338). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  49. Thagard, P. (2008). How cognition meets emotion: beliefs, desires and feelings as neural activity. In G. Brun, U. Doğuoğlu, & D. Kuenzle (Eds.), Epistemology and Emotions (pp. 163–184). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  50. Wilkinson, S., Deane, G., Nave, C., & Clark, A. (2019). Getting warmer: predictive processing and the nature of emotion. In L. Candiotto (Ed.), The Value of Emotions for Knowledge (pp. 101–119). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  51. Williams, B. (2004). Truth and truthfulness: an essay in genealogy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Wittgenstein, L. (2001) [1921, first English translation 1922]. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, tr. D. F. Pears, B. F. McGuinness, with an introduction by Bertrand Russell. London – New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Woolf, R. (2009). Truth as value in Plato's Republic. Phronesis, 54(1), 9–39.Google Scholar
  54. Wrenn, C. B. (2015). Truth. Cambridge, UK, and Malden, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  55. Zagzebski, L. (2003). Emotion and moral judgement. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66(1), pp. 104–24.Google Scholar
  56. Zagzebski, L. (2001). Recovering Understanding. In M. Steup (Ed.), Knowledge, Truth, and Obligation: Essays on Epistemic Justification, Virtue, and Responsibility (pp. 235-52). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Zagzebski, L. (1996). Virtues of the Mind. An inquiry into the nature of virtue and the ethical foundations of knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Freie UniversitätBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations