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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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Ugly Analyses and Value

Ugly Analyses and Value

(p.112) 5 Ugly Analyses and Value
Epistemic Value

Michael R. DePaul (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines an argument that a number of philosophers have recently employed to show that something ordinarily considered valuable is not, in fact, valuable. The argument begins by emphasizing that the analysis of the concept of the putatively valuable thing is a ‘hodgepodge,’ ‘gerrymandered,’ ‘an ad hoc sprawl,’—in short, ugly. Reflecting upon the ugly analysis, we are supposed to intuitively judge that ‘things like that’ to lack value. The argument concludes that the putatively valuable thing is not valuable. Stephen Stich uses the argument to show true belief lacks value. The argument figures prominently in Jonathan Kvanvig's argument that knowledge has no distinctive value. Timothy Williamson flips the argument: since knowledge is obviously valuable, but its analyses have been forced to become increasingly ugly, knowledge is not analysable. This form of argument is rejected.

Keywords:   analysis of knowledge, conceptual analysis, knowledge, Jonathan Kvanvig, Stephen Stich, true belief, value, value of knowledge, value of truth, Timothy Williamson

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