1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Edition 61 (November 2021)
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eISSN
2182-2875
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16 Apr 2017
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Anglais
access type Accès libre

The Aim of Inquiry

Publié en ligne: 23 Nov 2021
Volume & Edition: Volume 13 (2021) - Edition 61 (November 2021)
Pages: 95 - 119
Détails du magazine
License
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2182-2875
Première parution
16 Apr 2017
Périodicité
4 fois par an
Langues
Anglais
Abstract

I defend the thesis that the constitutive aim of inquiring into some question, Q, is improving one’s epistemic standing with respect to Q. Call this the epistemic-improvement view. I consider and ultimately reject two alternative accounts of the constitutive aim of inquiry—namely, the thesis that inquiry aims at knowledge and the thesis that inquiry aims at (justified) belief—and I use my criticisms as a foil for clarifying and motivating the epistemic-improvement view. I also consider and reject a pair of normative theses about when inquiry goes awry or is inappropriate. The first is the normative thesis defended by Dennis Whitcomb who claims that inquiry goes awry if it culminates in a belief that falls short of knowledge and that one should not inquire into Q if one already knows the answer to Q. The second is the normative thesis defended by Jane Friedman who claims that one should not inquire into Q if one already believes some complete answer to Q.

Keywords

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