The Nature and Value of Knowledge: Three Investigations

Duncan Pritchard*, Alan Millar, Adrian Haddock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

220 Citations (Scopus)


The three parts of the book comprise three distinct investigations under a common theme: enquiry into inter-relationships between issues about the nature of knowledge and issues about the value of knowledge. The first investigation provides an analysis of problems concerning the value of knowledge and a critical examination of responses to these by virtue epistemologists. The book finds virtue-theoretic accounts wanting and argues that there is a cognitive state - understanding - which is similar to, but different from knowledge, and which has final value. In the second investigation the book presents accounts of perceptual knowledge, knowledge from indicator phenomena, and knowledge from testimony, in each of which recognitional abilities feature prominently. Consideration of these abilities, the book claims, enables us to reach a better understanding of knowledge and its value. The third investigation focuses on the relationship between perceptual knowledge and knowledge of our own intentional actions. The book argues for an account of knowledge and justification to which a certain kind of second-order knowledge is central and applies this both to perceptual knowledge, and knowledge of our own intentional actions, with a view to explaining ways in which knowledge is of value.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford, United Kingdom
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages286
ISBN (Electronic)9780191723360
ISBN (Print)9780199586264
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Epistemic luck
  • Epistemic value
  • Epistemology
  • Final value
  • Intentional action
  • Knowledge
  • Recognitional abilities
  • Second-order knowledge
  • Understanding
  • Value of knowledge


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