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Epistemic Value$
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Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar, and Duncan Pritchard

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231188.001.0001

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The Value of Understanding

The Value of Understanding

Chapter:
(p.95) 4 The Value of Understanding
Source:
Epistemic Value
Author(s):

Jonathan Kvanvig (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231188.003.0005

Understanding has a special kind of value that other epistemic states such as knowledge do not, and this fact threatens the justification for the focus on knowledge that the history of epistemology displays. Elsewhere it has been argued that knowledge does not possess this special value. There are a couple of lines of argument, however, that threaten to extend the denial of this special value for knowledge to a denial of a special value for understanding. Underlying all such challenges is the obvious fact that the language of knowing and the language of understanding are closely related. In this discussion it is argued that the kind of understanding that we prize most is immune from the concerns that have plagued the theory of knowledge.

Keywords:   episteme, knowing how, knowing-wh, understanding, value of knowledge, value of understanding

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