The Value and Importance of Knowledge

Jeremy Fantl and Matthew McGrath

in Knowledge in an Uncertain World

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199550623
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722684 | DOI:
The Value and Importance of Knowledge

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There has been a recent renewal of interest — inspired in part by Jonathan Kvanvig — in questions about whether knowledge is of distinctive epistemic value and, more general, what exactly is of distinctive epistemic value. One implication of the literature is that if knowledge is not of distinctive epistemic value, it doesn't deserve its central place in epistemology. After arguing that what should matter for epistemological attention is the importance, rather than the value, of knowledge, the chapter turns to arguing that conclusions in earlier chapters show a way toward explaining the distinctive importance of knowledge: unless knowledge requires certainty, earlier conclusions can be used to construct a biconditional account of knowledge that explains its distinctive importance better than rival accounts. Along the way the chapter argues that true belief is not particularly valuable.

Keywords: knowledge; value; importance; Jonathan Kvanvig; true belief; epistemic

Chapter.  10424 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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