Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

Philosophy

Date of Defense

11-9-2009

Graduate Advisor

Berit Brogaard, PhD.

Committee

Eric Wiland, Ph.D.

John Greco, Ph.D.

Abstract

There is a widespread intuition that knowledge is more valuable than any of its subparts. In the literature the need to show that this is the case is known as the secondary value problem. In this paper I propose to defend this intuition by solving the secondary value problem. In the first part of the paper I introduce and explain the problem I propose to solve. In the second part of the paper I discuss two objections to the very possibility of solving the secondary value problem. In parts three and four I attempt to solve the secondary value problem and respond to the two objections by setting forth a certain view of the nature of knowledge and the value of its subparts. The conclusion the paper aims at is that each constituent part of knowledge has fundamental epistemic value, meaning that all the parts together are more valuable than any of the subparts – i.e. the whole is more valuable than any subset of the parts.

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