A Pluralistic Conception of the Value of Knowledge:
Das pluralistische Konzept des Werts der Erkenntnis:
The paper presents a pluralistic solution to the epistemological problem of the value of knowledge. In the first part, the starting points for the discussion on the value of knowledge are mapped out, including the key assumptions that knowledge is valu- able (1) distinctively, (2) universally and (3) necessarily. It then summarizes the most important routes to take towards solving this problem, which, however, bump up against an inability to satisfy all three of these assumptions at the same time. The second part of the paper presents an alternative pluralistic view of the value of knowledge, which is inspired by M. Weiner’s concept of knowledge as a “Swiss Army Knife”. Paradoxically, however, this approach simultaneously denies all three assumptions about the value of knowledge, which it explains as a variable and contextual quality of knowledge. However, as it ultimately turns out, this explanation might be fully in accordance with common intuitions about why knowledge is valuable.
Filosofický časopis, redakce, Filosofický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., Jilská 1, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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