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Thaddeus Metz
University of Missouri, St. Louis (St. Louis, MO 63121)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2004 – 7/31/2004

What Makes Knowledge Important

Certain types of knowledge are more important than others apart from any practical benefits they might have. For instance, it is more important to know the theory of evolution than to know how many blades of grass are on one's lawn, and not merely because knowledge of the latter is particularly useless. Specifically, the object (what the information is about) largely determines whether knowledge is particularly worth discovering, promoting, or honoring. I propose to refute two predominant answers to the question of which objects of knowledge make it important and then to develop and defend a promising new one.