In order to clarify what I mean by this question, I suppose that I should give at least one example! Let's consider certain arcane astronomical studies, such as the study of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). There are many other examples that can be given, and studies often have some type of spinoff that might be put to practical use, but let's assume there are no such practical spinoffs.
EDIT: Let me rephrase this question so that I can get a straightforward answer from an Objectivist. (I'm not looking to debate anything here. Thank you.)
Is knowledge of value only because it has practical application?
In the question (as edited and expanded) and follow-up comments, the questioner expresses dissatisfaction with the answer offered by Gregg and reinforced by John. Perhaps what the questioner is missing is the issue of the actual versus the potential. Knowledge doesn't have to have actual practical utility in order to have the potential to have such utility in the future, as man continues to learn more about whatever he is studying and how it relates to everything else.
answered Jul 29 '12 at 01:45
Ideas for Life ♦