Date of Award

12-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Philosophy

Major Professor

EJ Coffman

Committee Members

John Hardwig, Richard Aquila

Abstract

It is my overall aim in this work to defend the view that knowledge is no more valuable than true belief or empirically adequate belief, and thus is not the primary epistemic good. I engage predominately with Jonathan Kvanvig‟s work for an assessment of the value of knowledge. In turn, I assess the arguments for the value of knowledge for their ability to support the view that knowledge is uniquely valuable. First I will consider an argument which relies on a purported connection between knowledge and proper action. It will then be suggested that arguments tying knowledge to our proper action are not adequate to justify this standard view of the value of knowledge. Furthermore, I will assess an argument that appeals to the value of truth to explain the superior value of knowledge. From this it will be concluded that truth is also less valuable than typically thought, consequently resulting in an overvaluation of knowledge. Lastly, I will investigate the possibility that knowledge has its value because of its stability and resistance to irrationality. Again, I will argue that this is insufficient justification of the standard view about the value of knowledge by offering counterexamples to both the stability of knowledge and knowledge‟s resistance to irrationality. After this I will discuss the implications of my analysis on the value of knowledge.

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Epistemology Commons

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