The Special Value of Experience

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Abstract

Why think that conscious experience of reality is any more epistemically valuable than testimony? I argue that conscious experience of reality is epistemically valuable because it provides cognitive contact with reality. Cognitive contact with reality is a goal of experiential inquiry which does not reduce to the goal of getting true beliefs or propositional knowledge. Such inquiry has awareness of the truth-makers of one’s true beliefs as its proper goal. As such, one reason why conscious experience of reality is more epistemically valuable than testimony about reality is that it gives us more epistemic goods than only true belief or propositional knowledge. I defend this view from two rival accounts. First, that while conscious experience of reality has greater value than testimony, its value is only eudaimonic. Second, that while it has greater epistemic value than testimony, this value is not distinctive: for it only promotes truth better than testimony.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1
EditorsUriah Kriegel
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford UP
Chapter6
Pages130-167
Number of pages38
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)9780192584670, 9780191880995
ISBN (Print)9780198845850
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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