Philosophy 120 - 7.1.2 The Normative Nature of Epistemology

This chapter began with the observation that knowledge is the goal of many disciplines. If knowledge is a goal, then it is desirable. Humans do not like being proven wrong in their beliefs. Possessing justification in the form of reasons and support for beliefs makes a person less likely to be wrong. Hence, both justification and knowledge are valuable. If knowledge is valuable and there are proper methods of justification that we should follow, then epistemology turns out to be a normative discipline. Normativity is the assumption that certain actions, beliefs, or other mental states are good and ought to be pursued or realized. One way to think of epistemology is that in describing what knowledge, truth, and justification are, it further prescribes the proper way to form beliefs. And we do treat knowledge as valuable and further judge others according to the justification for their beliefs.

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The content of this course has been taken from the free Philosophy textbook by Openstax