Epistemic Emotions and the Value of Truth

  • Laura CandiottoEmail author


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.


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



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.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Freie UniversitätBerlinGermany

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