To start with, though he concedes EEE Is Not a Shoe Size, he does find my first assertion:
a little too “broad”:
[Read more] for my response.
To start with, I do think Alan makes a very important distinction, and for purposes of epistemology I think it is fine to instead use:
I-a. Belief in truth is inherently good
However, I just want to make sure we’re clear about what we’re giving up in so doing. In particular, I don’t think this statement fully supports my original definition of Hard Truths:
In short, I am asserting that it is virtuous to pursue truth (no matter the cost), and vicious to suppress truth (no matter how convenient). That may not mean we should always tell the truth to others (there’s often wiggle-room for self-preservation :-), but that we should at least be honest with ourselves.
The result is what I might instead call Solid Truth. By downgrading truth from ‘absolute’ to ‘inherent’, we leave open at least the theoretical possibility that there may be other ‘inherent’ goods which could on occasion supersede, or at least conflict with, Truth. For example, I might say that “Health” is “inherently good”, but that doesn’t necessarily justify any and all measures to promote health.
Put another way, we can no longer use “Belief in Truth” as an inviolate ‘greatest good’, i.e., the basis of a full-blown normative ethics. We can certainly come up with “corollary goods” that are supportive of Truth’s “inherent good”, but we must (for now, at least) remain agnostic about whether they are “always” good. That doesn’t mean they are not, or can not be, completely good — we just don’t know they are, so we can’t rely on that.
All that said, I actually think this is a good change to make to ensure that this epistemology truly reflects our shared beliefs. However, I just want to make sure my understanding of the significance of the change is consistent with his.