One of the chapters that I referred to from Nelson Goodman’s final book, Reconceptions in Philosophy and Other Arts and Sciences,was “The Epistemic Efficacy of Stupidity.”
I’ve found that article online (I can’t swear it’s exactly the same as the version in Reconceptions, but it seems to have all the elements intact) here. It critiques both the correspondence and coherence theories of truth, saying that neither recognizes the superiority in understanding that a smart person will have over a dumb person in any given situation: Dumb people will find it easier to have “justified, true belief” because they will believe less critically and ask questions that require less justification and are easier to answer/confirm. Likewise, it will be easier for a dumb person to bring new information into coherence with existing beliefs, because he has fewer and simpler existing beliefs and just doesn’t see subtleties that would create problems for more discerning seekers of knowledge. The solution, then, is to shoot for “understanding” which does admit of depth and complexity, as opposed to simply “knowledge,” which is presented here as a species of understanding along with the understanding of works of art, which is not typically considered “knowledge” at all yet which Goodman wants acknowledge as important too.
It turns out that, like the introductory chapter of that book that omits Goodman’s talk of “worlds” in favor of “schemes” this essay was primarily written by Goodman’s co-author, Catherine Z. Elgin. Now, I don’t know what the story was re. their writing Reconceptions together; she also wrote at least one other article with him and a couple of books about his work. Reconceptions was published when Goodman was about 84 years old, and while I’m sure that some of the articles were written earlier, I imagine at that point he wasn’t averse to the idea of having someone else do the hard work of coming up with new and persuasive formulations of his overall epistemological project while he took the chief role in writing in some specific areas of art (e.g. architecture occupies a big chunk of the book) that he hadn’t fully explored.