Value and Epistemic Normativity

Forthcoming in Normativity and Control (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

39 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2016

Date Written: September 19, 2016


Many writers have sought to ground epistemic normativity in the value of knowledge or truth or else in the value of successful agency. Here it is proposed that epistemic norms derive their authority from the fact that it is good for us to subject ourselves to such norms by forming beliefs. And being subject to the relevant norms may be good for us whether or not conformity to those norms is good for us. In particular, beliefs serve our interest in being subject to the norms that govern our emotions. Unless I believe that John stole my bike, whilst I can hope or fear that he did but I cannot be pleased or angry that he did. Having the capacity for this sort of emotional engagement with things that matter to us is a human good, even though we may suffer from the exercise of that capacity.

Suggested Citation

Owens, David, Value and Epistemic Normativity (September 19, 2016). Forthcoming in Normativity and Control (Oxford: Oxford University Press), Available at SSRN:

David Owens (Contact Author)

Kings College London ( email )

Philosophy Building
The Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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