The value and normative role of knowledge

Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Why does knowledge matter? Two answers have been influential in the recent literature. One is that it has value: knowledge is one of the goods. Another is that it plays a significant normative role: knowledge is the norm of action, belief, assertion, or the like. This paper discusses whether one can derive one of the claims from the other. That is, whether assuming the idea that knowledge has value — and some defensible general hypotheses about norms and values —, we could derive the claim that it plays the alleged normative role. Or whether, assuming that knowledge does play that role — and some defensible general hypotheses —, we could derive the claim that it has value. It argues that the route from Value to Norms is unsuccessful. The main problem here is that the idea that knowledge has value does not seem enough to derive the idea that one should act on what one knows. It finds the route from Norms to Value more promising, though a complete path is missing. The main idea here is that knowledge is good because it is normatively required to do good things, such as believing the truth and acting in view of true propositions. But since not all normative conditions for doing something good is itself good, we still lack an explanation of why knowledge would be so. The paper finally suggests an alternative perspective, on which we do not try to derive the idea that knowledge has value from its normative role, but rather use its normative role to explain away the idea that it has value.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Knowledge and normativity.Clayton Littlejohn - 2018 - In Markos Valaris & Stephen Hetherington (eds.), Knowledge in Contemporary Philosophy. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Contextualism and Knowledge Norms.Alex Worsnip - 2017 - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. Routledge. pp. 177-189.
Knowledge-how is the Norm of Intention.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1703-1727.
Replies: on norms of belief and knowledge.Pascal Engel - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1555-1564.
In what sense is knowledge the Norm of assertion?Pascal Engel - 2008 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 77 (1):45-59.
The aim of belief.Ralph Wedgwood - 2002 - Philosophical Perspectives 16:267-97.
The unity of reason.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Clayton Littlejohn & John Turri (eds.), Epistemic Norms: New Essays on Action, Belief, and Assertion. Oxford University Press.
Learning from Learning from our Mistakes.Clayton Littlejohn - 2016 - In Pedro Schmechtig & Martin Grajner (eds.), Epistemic Reasons, Norms and Goals. De Gruyter. pp. 51-70.
Knowledge and Other Norms for Assertion, Action, and Belief: A Teleological Account.Neil Mehta - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):681-705.
Knowledge in the image of assertion.Jonathan Schaffer - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):1-19.


Added to PP

258 (#47,698)

6 months
24 (#49,105)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Julien Dutant
King's College London

Citations of this work

Knowledge first, stability and value.Barnaby Walker - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3833-3854.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
Unreasonable Knowledge.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):1-21.
The Rejection of Epistemic Consequentialism.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Issues 23 (1):363-387.
Epistemic rationality as instrumental rationality: A critique.Thomas Kelly - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):612–640.

View all 15 references / Add more references