Ratio 25 (2):216-230 (2012)

Authors
Daniel Whiting
University of Southampton
Abstract
Knowledge seems to be a good thing, or at least better than epistemic states that fall short of it, such as true belief. Understanding too seems to be a good thing, perhaps better even than knowledge. In a number of recent publications, Duncan Pritchard tries to account for the value of understanding by claiming that understanding is a cognitive achievement and that achievements in general are valuable. In this paper, I argue that coming to understand something need not be an achievement, and so Pritchard's explanation of understanding's value fails. Next, I point out that Pritchard's is just one of many attempts to account for the value of an epistemic state – whether it be understanding, knowledge, or whatever – by appeal to the notion of achievement or, more generally, the notion of success because of ability. Tentatively, I offer reasons to be sceptical about the prospects of any such account
Keywords epistemic value  epistemic normativity  virtue-theory  understanding  knowledge
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2012.00533.x
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References found in this work BETA

Luck, Knowledge, and Control.Wayne Riggs - 2009 - In Pritchard, Haddock & MIllar (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 204--221.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fake Barns and False Dilemmas.Clayton Littlejohn - 2014 - Episteme 11 (4):369-389.
The Value of Understanding.Stephen Grimm - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (2):103-117.
The Value of Knowledge.J. Adam Carter, Duncan Pritchard & John Turri - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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