WIPS - Allan Hazlett, Washington University in St. Louis

Title: "Why do We Value Common Knowledge?"

This paper is a contribution to the "value turn" in epistemology, focusing specifically on the question of why we value common knowledge, i.e. cases in which everyone both knows that p and knows that everyone else knows that p. In the case of instrumentally valuable knowledge, common knowledge seems valuable vis-à-vis coordinated action, but in the case of non-instrumentally valuable knowledge, it is puzzling why we value common knowledge. An appeal to human nature is articulated, on which human beings have a natural desire to generate common knowledge, analogous to the natural desire to know posited by Aristotle.