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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 24, Issue 3, 2014

Philosophy: In Search for Knowledge and Ways of Life

Shane Ryan
Pages 84-88

The Value of Knowledge

In this paper I make the case that we should reject an argument that even knowledge of pointless truths has pro tanto final value. The argument draws on Greco’s virtue epistemological account of knowledge, according to which knowledge is an achievement and achievements have final value in virtue of being constitutive of the good life. I argue for my position by drawing on a case of knowledge of a pointless truth unlike previous cases of pointless truths discussed in the literature. This is a case in which knowledge of a pointless truth is very cheaply gained, and so it is a case in which the disvalue of the cost of gaining the knowledge cannot plausibly outweigh the supposed pro tanto final value of knowledge.