What is the swamping problem?

Duncan Pritchard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses the constitutive relationship between belief and truth. This relationship is expressed in terms of the slogan that belief in some sense 'aims' at the truth; that the telos of belief is truth. The standard way of expressing the swamping problem is as posing a difficulty not for a general epistemological thesis like epistemic value T-monism but rather for particular epistemological proposals, such as reliabilism. The epistemic value conferred on a belief by that belief having an epistemic property is instrumental epistemic value relative to the further epistemic good of true belief. It is important to note that the problem that Plato expressed is different to the problem posed by the swamping problem. With epistemic value K-monism in play, however, the question of why knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief has a straightforward answer: because knowledge, unlike true belief, is a fundamental epistemic value.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReasons for belief
EditorsAndrew Reisner, Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780511977206
ISBN (Print)9781107006874
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'What is the swamping problem?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this