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The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding

Jonathan L. Kvanvig (Cambridge University Press: August 2003), 232 pages.

Jonathan Kvanvig argues that epistemology cannot ignore the question of the value of knowledge. He also questions one of the most fundamental assumptions in epistemology, namely that knowledge is always more valuable than the value of its subparts.Taking Platos’ Meno as a starting point of his discussion, Kvanvig tackles the different arguments about the value of knowledge and comes to the conclusion that knowledge is less valuable than generally assumed. Clearly written and well argued, the book will appeal to students and professionals in epistemology.

Table of Contents

    • Introduction
    • 1    The Value of Knowledge Is External to It    1
    • 2    The Value of True Belief    28
    • 3    The Value of Justification    44
    • 4    Reliabilism, Normativity, and the Special Promise of Virtue Epistemology    76
    • 5    The Gettier Problem and the Value of Knowledge    108
    • 6    Knowledge as Irreducibly Valuable    140
    • 7    Epistemic Attitudinalism: Semantic and Pragmatic Approaches    157
    • 8    Knowledge and Understanding    185
    • 9    Conclusion    204
    • References    207
    • Index    213