I have posted some chapters from my dissertation on Epistemic Value entitled "Epistemic Desert and the Value of Knowledge" over at my homepage. Please check it out. I am quite interested in comments.
Here is the abstract:
This dissertation examines the value problem in epistemology. Specifically, it offers a novel solution problem of explaining why knowledge is more epistemically valuable than mere true belief. This solution focuses on the concept of epistemic desert.
The first chapter is a survey of the current literature. It examines a variety of solutions that have been offered to the value problem [Goldman and Olsson (Forthcoming), DePaul (2001), DePaul and Grimm (2007), Kvanvig (2003b), Brogaard (2006), Zagzebski (2003), Riggs (2007), Greco (2003), and Sosa (2003)]. It argues that none of these solutions are adequate because either (a) they fail to genuinely account for the value of knowledge, (b) they fail to appeal to values that are strongly connected to true belief, or (c) they fail to offer an informative explanation of the value of knowledge.
The second chapter offers a solution to the value problem that overcomes these deficiencies. It argues that knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief because when a subject knows that subject has a true belief and deserves to have a true belief. Since it is good to deserve true belief and it is good that there is fitness between having true belief and deserving true belief, knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief.
The third chapter examines a further value associated with knowledge that explains why knowledge is more valuable than justified true belief. Knowledge is more valuable than justified true belief because, when one knows, one has a true belief because one deserves to have true belief.
The fourth chapter examines a further value associated with knowledge. This value has to do with comparative desert and it explains why knowledge is more valuable than what one has in a Fake Barn Case.
The fifth chapter examines epistemic values associated with the cognitive state of withholding. It offers a more complete account of epistemic value in terms of desert by arguing that withholding is valuable only when a subject withholds when they deserve to avoid error and miss success. This makes for a valuable fitness between what they have and what they deserve.
The sixth and final chapter examines epistemic normativity and draws a distinction between epistemic value and intrinsic value.