Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Enquiry and the value of knowledge
Author: Walker, Barnaby
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 1895
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Philosophical discussion of the value of knowledge, inspired by Plato’s seminal discussion in the Meno, typically focuses on the question why it is better to know that p than to have a mere true belief that p. This question is notoriously difficult to answer in a satisfactory way. I argue that the difficulty we experience in trying to solve this problem is a symptom of the fact that we are approaching issues about the value of knowledge in the wrong way. Beneath the traditional problem there lurks a more fundamental issue about the aim of enquiry, namely, why should an enquirer who wants the truth about whether p aim to find out (i.e. acquire knowledge of) whether p, and not merely aim to arrive at a true belief about whether p? Identifying respects in which knowledge is superior to mere true belief is only one way of trying to answer this question, and, I argue, it is difficult to see how this approach to the question can succeed. An alternative is called for. Central to my alternative proposal is the idea that an enquirer will not have arrived at so much as a belief about whether p until he takes himself to have acquired knowledge of whether p. It is because this is so that an enquirer cannot make life easier for himself by merely aiming to arrive at true beliefs instead of knowledge. I justify this proposal by developing an account of belief according to which outright belief involves a disposition to judge that p, where judging that p is distinct from merely supposing that p for the sake of argument or guessing that p.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BD Speculative Philosophy