Skip to main content

The Value and Expected Value of Knowledge

  • Julien Dutant (a1)

ABSTRACT: Meno’s Thesis—the idea that knowing something is better than merely having a true belief about it—is incompatible with the joint claims that (a) believing the truth is the sole source of the value of knowledge and (b) true belief and knowledge are equally successful in believing the truth. Recent answers to that so-called “swamping” problem reject either (a) or (b). This paper rejects Meno’s Thesis instead, as relying on a confusion between expected value and value proper. The proposed solution relies on an externalist view of rationality, which is presented.

Hide All
Broome J. 1999Normative Requirements.” Ratio 12: 398419.
Broome J. 2004Reasons.” In Reason and Value: Essays on the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz. Wallace R. J., Smith M., Scheffler S., and Pettit P., eds. Oxford University Press.
Goldman A. 2011Reliabilism.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition). Zalta E. N. ed.
Goldman A. and Olsson E. 2009Reliabilism and the Value of Knowledge.” In Epistemic Value. Pritchard D., Millar A., and Haddock A., eds. Oxford University Press.
Goldman A. I. 1986 Epistemology and Cognition. Harvard University Press.
Greco J. 2003Knowledge as Credit For True Belief.” In Intellectual Virtue: Prespectives from Ethics and Epistemology. Depaul M., ed. Oxford University Press.
Greco J. 2010 Achieving Knowledge: A Virtue-Theoretic Account of Epistemic Normativity. Cambridge University Press.
Hawthorne J. and Stanley J. 2008Knowledge and Action.” Journal of Philosophy 105(10): 571590.
Hyman J. 1999How Knowledge Works.” Philosophical Quarterly 49: 433451.
Jones W. 1997Why Do We Value Knowledge?American Philosophical Quarterly 34(4): 423439.
Kvanvig J. L. 2003 The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding. Cambridge University Press.
Kvanvig J. L 2008Pointless Truths.” Midwest Studies in Philosophy 22: 199212.
Lackey J. 2004Review of Michael DePaul and Linda Zagzebski, eds. Intellectual Virtue: Perspectives from Ethics and Epistemology.” Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Available at:
Leslie S.-J. 2008Generics: Cognition and Acquisition.” Philosophical Review 117(1): 147.
Olsson E. 2007Reliabilism, Stability, and the Value of Knowledge.” American Philosophical Quarterly 44: 343–55.
Parfit D. 2011 On What Matters, Vol. 1. Oxford University Press.
Piller C. 2009a “Reliabilist Responses to the Value of Knowledge Problem.” Grazer Philosophische Studien 79: 121–35.
Piller C. 2009b “Valuing Knowledge: a Deontological Approach.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12: 413–28.
Riggs W. D. 2002Reliability and the Value of Knowledge.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 64(1): 7996.
Sosa E. 2001For the Love of Truth?” In Epistemology: Essays on Epistemic Virtue and Responsibility. Fairweather A. and Zagzebski L., eds. VirtueOxford University Press.
Swinburne R. 1999 Providence and the Problem of Evil. Oxford University Press.
Williamson T. 2000 Knowledge and its Limits. Oxford University Press.
Zagzebski L. 2003The Search for the Source of Epistemic Good.” Metaphilosophy 34(1–2): 1228.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 30 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 218 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 20th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.