Knowledge and Final Value

Duncan Pritchard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter describes two forms of virtue epistemology: modest and robust. The latter is uniquely able to make a plausible case for the thesis that knowledge is a cognitive form of achievement. Since achievements are, arguably, finally valuable, robust virtue epistemology thus seems uniquely able to offer a defence of the thesis that knowledge is finally valuable, and thereby resolve the various forms of the value of problem for knowledge. Unfortunately, the view faces some fatal problems. In particular, it is shown that there are cases of knowledge - such as testimonial knowledge that is gained via trust - which do not constitute achievements. There are also cases of cognitive achievement - such as the cognitive achievement on display in the barn facade case - which do not constitute knowledge because of the presence of environmental epistemic luck. In light of the failure of robust virtue epistemology to deal with the value problem(s) for knowledge, it is argued that knowledge is not finally valuable.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Nature and Value of Knowledge
Subtitle of host publicationThree Investigations
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191723360
ISBN (Print)9780199586264
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Achievements
  • Epistemic luck
  • Epistemic value
  • Final value
  • Knowledge
  • Virtue epistemology


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