Montmarquet appeals to the concept of an intellectual virtue when further clarifying the relevant sense of doxastic responsibility. My belief about the time, for instance, fails to satisfy her conditions for knowledge because what explains my reaching the truth is not any virtuous motive or activity on my part, but rather a stroke of good luck. The Routledge Handbook of Virtue Epistemology answers all of these questions. DePaul, Michael and Linda Zagzebski. Greco’s account requires merely that an agent’s grounds be reliable, or rather, that an agent herself be reliable on account of a disposition to believe on reliable grounds. The result is an important reevaluation of epistemology that … Try. These character-based versions of virtue epistemology are referred to as instances of “virtue responsibilism,” since the traits they regard as intellectual virtues might also be viewed as the traits of a responsible knower or inquirer. The former view certain cognitive faculties or powers as central to epistemology and the latter certain traits of intellectual character. He claims, first, that if we were to learn that, say, owing to the work of a Cartesian demon, the traits we presently regard as intellectual virtues actually lead us away from the truth and the traits we regard as intellectual vices lead us to the truth, we would not immediately revise our judgments about the worth or virtue of those epistemic agents we have known to possess the traits in question (e.g., we would not then regard someone like Galileo as intellectually vicious) (20). The view relies on a distinction between an… Beliefs that satisfy this condition count as epistemically justified in a certain subjective sense (99). This suggests that any remaining hope for virtue responsibilism must lie with views that do not attempt to offer a virtue-based analysis of knowledge or justification. This explains why Zagzebski characterizes knowledge simply as belief – rather than true belief – arising from acts of intellectual virtue. Once epistemology is viewed in this light, many of its problems can be solved or fall away. The advent of virtue epistemology was at least partly inspired by a fairly recent renewal of interest in virtue concepts among moral philosophers (see, e.g., Crisp and Slote 1997). Indeed, taken as an account of epistemic justification in any of the usual senses, Montmarquet’s view is obviously problematic, since it is possible to be justified in any of these senses without satisfying Montmarquet’s conditions, that is, without exercising any virtuous intellectual character traits. Virtue epistemologists can be divided into two groups. But a belief can have its source in an intellectual virtue without one’s being aware of it and hence without one’s having any reason at all for thinking that the belief is true. Any such analysis presumably will make something like an exercise of intellectual virtue a necessary condition either for knowledge or for justification. “Sosa on Knowledge, Justification, and ‘Aptness’,”. Another crucial issue on Kvanvig’s view concerns “accounting for the superiority from an epistemological point of view of certain communities and the bodies of knowledge they generate.” This might involve asking, for instance, “what makes physics better off than, say, astrology; or what makes scientific books, articles, addresses, or lectures somehow more respectable from an epistemological point of view than books, articles, addresses or lectures regarding astrology” (176). Because of their close resemblance to standard reliabilist epistemologies, these views are referred to as instances of “virtue reliabilism.”. Greco replies by claiming that the skeptic’s reasoning presupposes a mistaken view of the relation between knowledge and epistemic grounds or reasons. Epistemology: Sosa, Ernest: Amazon.sg: Books. 1991], Sosa claims that the kind of justification just described is sufficient, when combined with the other elements of knowledge, merely for “animal knowledge” and not for “reflective” or “human knowledge.” The latter requires the possession of an “epistemic perspective” on any known proposition. Recognizing that any given quality is likely to be helpful for reaching the truth only with respect to a limited field of propositions and only when operating in a certain environment and under certain conditions, Sosa also offers the following more refined characterization: “One has an intellectual virtue or faculty relative to an environment E if and only if one has an inner nature I in virtue of which one would mostly attain the truth and avoid error in a certain field of propositions F, when in certain conditions C” (284). “Virtue Epistemology,”, Greco, John. 2000. They have claimed furthermore that these powers, but not the responsibilist’s character traits, have an important role to play in an analysis of knowledge, and that consequently, the former are more reasonably regarded as intellectual virtues (Greco 2000). Of course these considerations do not by themselves show virtue reliabilism to be implausible, as the internalist viewpoint in question is itself a matter of some controversy. It requires, first, that one be subjectively justified in believing the relevant claim. Thus, on several points, my belief fails to satisfy Zagzebski’s requirements for knowledge. Categories. Ernest Sosa, one of the most distinguished contemporary philosophers, is best known for his ground-breaking work in epistemology, and has al… In developing their views, they go on to focus more or less exclusively on cognitive faculties or powers like introspection, vision, reason, and the like. Since Code maintains that epistemic responsibility should be the focus of epistemology and thinks of epistemic responsibility in terms of virtuous intellectual character, she views the intellectual virtues as deserving an important and fundamental role in epistemology. Moreover, while I may not act differently than an intellectually virtuous person would in the circumstances, neither can I be said to act in a way that is characteristic of intellectual virtue. 2001. Knowledge is acquired when one forms a belief out of one or more acts of this sort. But the divide between virtue reliabilism and virtue responsibilism is not entirely what it seems. Virtue reliabilists conceive of intellectual virtues, broadly, as stable and reliable cognitive qualities. His concern is considerably narrower. Epistemology (Princeton University Press, 2017) Ernest Sosa prizes established in 2017 by the American Philosophical Association, for excellence in epistemology. Consider, for example, a version of internalism according to which one is justified in believing a given claim just in case one has an adequate reason for thinking that the claim is true. Shopping. To a certain extent, this approach is quite reasonable. Sosa characterizes an intellectual virtue, very generally, as “a quality bound to help maximize one’s surplus of truth over error” (1991: 225). 2000. Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality, Philosophy, Introductions and Anthologies, 9780199297023   9780199568208   0199297029. Linda Zagzebski, for instance, claims that knowledge is belief arising from what she calls “acts of intellectual virtue” (1996). My belief in this case is true, but only as a result of good luck. Ernest Sosa interviewed by Richard Marshall. Composed of 41 chapters, all published here for the first time, it breaks new ground in four areas. But she sees this as an advantage. He concludes that moral responsibility is sometimes grounded in doxastic responsibility. In Cartesian epistemology, Sosa finds a virtue-theoretic account, one that he extends beyond the Cartesian context. The main problem with coherentism, he argues, is that it fails to give adequate epistemic weight to experience. In response, virtue reliabilists have pointed out that, whatever his conception of moral virtue, Aristotle apparently conceived of intellectual virtues more as truth-conducive cognitive powers or faculties than as good intellectual character traits. Virtue reliabilist accounts of knowledge and justification are versions of epistemological externalism: they deny that the factors grounding one’s justification must be cognitively accessible from one’s first-person or internal perspective. U. S. A. Axtell, Guy. It is only those who, in their knowing, strive to do justice to the object – to the world they want to know as well as possible – who can aspire to intellectual virtue … Intellectually virtuous persons value knowing and understanding how things really are” (59). While these things may play a role in such an explanation, this role is likely to be secondary to the role played by other qualities, for instance, the scientist’s creativity, ingenuity, intellectual adaptability, thoroughness, persistence, courage, and so forth. But the debate between internalists and externalists remains a live one and the foregoing indicates that the promise of virtue reliabilism hangs in a deep and important way on the outcome of this debate. She characterizes Gettier cases as situations in which the connection between the warrant condition and truth condition for knowledge is severed by a stroke of bad luck and subsequently restored by a stroke of good luck. Virtue epistemology is a collection of recent approaches to epistemology that give epistemic or intellectual virtue concepts an important and fundamental role. Videos you watch may be … Or to reach the truth about whether one is in pain, one need only be able to introspect. Ernest Sosa, A Virtue Epistemology: Apt Belief and Reflective Knowledge, Volume 1, Oxford University Press, 2007, 149pp., $35.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199297023. Greco discusses several alleged virtues of his account of knowledge. A second group of virtue epistemologists conceives of intellectual virtues, not as cognitive faculties or abilities like memory and vision, but rather as good intellectual character traits, traits like inquisitiveness, fair-mindedness, open-mindedness, intellectual carefulness, thoroughness, and tenacity. Sosa, for instance, attempts to resolve the conflict between foundationalism and coherentism by offering an externalist version of foundationalism. Second, Greco’s definition of knowledge requires that one’s belief be objectively justified. Montmarquet argues that the status of these traits as virtues cannot adequately be explained on account of their actual reliability or truth-conduciveness. As a result, Greco’s more lenient requirements for knowledge are likely to seem to internalists more like a capitulation to rather than a victory over skepticism. Prime. In his books Knowledge in Perspective (1991) and A Virtue Epistemology (2007), he defends a form of virtue epistemology called "virtue perspectivism", which distinguishes animal knowledge from reflective knowledge. In the case just noted, I do not exhibit any virtuous intellectual motives. But this view allows for knowledge of the external world in certain cases where a person lacks any cogent or even merely non-question-begging reasons for thinking that the external world exists. But without seeing the issues and questions he touches on developed and addressed in considerably more detail, it is difficult to tell whether they really could support a genuine alternative approach to epistemology and whether the intellectual virtues would really be the main focus of such an approach. If Sosa’s criticisms of traditional coherentist and foundationalist views together with his own positive proposal are plausible, virtue reliabilism apparently has the resources to deal effectively with one of the more challenging and longstanding problems in contemporary epistemology. “Virtues in Epistemology,”, Hookway, Christopher. In other words, one’s being objectively justified must be a necessary and salient part of the explanation for why one believes the truth. • Knowledge in Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 1991) This point has obvious implications for a view like Zagzebski’s. As this characterization indicates, the justification or warrant condition on Zagzebski’s analysis of knowledge entails the truth condition, since part of what it is to perform an act of intellectual virtue is to reach the truth or to form a true belief, and to do so through certain virtuous motives and acts. Kvanvig maintains that the intellectual virtues should be the focus of epistemological inquiry but that this is impossible given the Cartesian structure and orientation of traditional epistemology. A Virtue Epistemology presents a new approach to some of the oldest and most gripping problems of philosophy, those of knowledge and skepticism. Once epistemology is viewed in this light, many of its problems can be solved or fall away. Goldman, Alvin. It follows that as long as a disposition to form beliefs about the external world on the basis of sensory experience of that world is reliable, knowledge of the external world is possible for a person who possesses this disposition. Ernest Sosa's A Virtue Epistemology, Vol. A Virtue Epistemology presents a new approach to some of the oldest and most gripping problems of philosophy, those of knowledge and skepticism. Epistemic responsibility, she claims, is the chief intellectual virtue and the virtue “from which other virtues radiate” (44). Sosa also sees standard foundationalist accounts of justification as seriously flawed. Circularity, Reliability, and the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception. Keywords. I will immediately know that the lighting in the room has changed. Zagzebski, Linda. While Sosa is not entirely clear on the matter, this apparently requires the satisfaction of something like either traditional coherentist or traditional foundationalist conditions for justification [see, e.g., BonJour 1995].). Apt Belief and Reflective Knowledge, Volume 1 book. Kvanvig maintains that answers to these and related questions will give a crucial role to the intellectual virtues, as he, like Code, thinks that the success of a cognitive agent in the more social and diachronic dimensions of the cognitive life depends crucially on the extent to which the agent embodies these virtues (183). First, virtue responsibilists think of intellectual virtues, not as cognitive faculties like introspection and memory, but rather as traits of character like attentiveness, intellectual courage, carefulness, and thoroughness. Unlike Code, Montmarquet does not call for a reorientation of epistemology on the intellectual virtues. Thus by making it a necessary condition for knowledge that a person reach the truth through or because of virtuous motives and actions, Zagzebski apparently is able to rule out cases in which a person gets to the truth in the fortuitous manner characteristic of Gettier cases. Indeed, reaching the truth about things that matter most to human beings – e.g., matters of history, science, philosophy, religion, morality, etc. There are substantial and complicated differences between the various virtue epistemological views; as a result, relatively little can be said by way of generalization about the central tenets of virtue epistemology. Other virtue responsibilists like Lorraine Code (1987) have eschewed more traditional epistemological problems. John Greco also gives the intellectual virtues conceived as reliable cognitive faculties or abilities a central epistemological role. First, by defining the notion of intellectual virtue in terms of intellectual character, virtue responsibilists seem to rule out ex hypothesi any significant role in their theories for the cognitive abilities that interest the virtue reliabilist. 1992. Some virtue responsibilists (e.g., Zagzebski 1996) have argued that the character traits of interest to them are the intellectual counterpart to what Aristotle and other moral philosophers have regarded as the moral virtues and that these traits are therefore properly regarded as intellectual virtues. Ernest Sosa is the father of modern virtue epistemology, having first introduced such an approach near the end of "The Raft and the Pyramid" (Sosa 1980). Virtue responsibilist views clearly are a diverse lot. The disagreement has been over the logical structure of such a reason, with coherentists claiming that the structure should be characterized in terms of doxastic coherence relations and foundationalists that it should be characterized mainly in terms of relations between foundational beliefs and the beliefs they support. Intuitions Are Used as Evidence in Philosophy. He therefore supplements his account with three additional kinds of virtues that regulate this desire. This definition is broken down by Greco as follows. She also claims that all virtues have two main components: a motivation component and a success component. Ernest Sosa and His Critics (edited by John Greco), with replies, in the Series Philosophers and Their Critics ... Philosophy,” Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol. She believes that the scope of traditional epistemology is too narrow and that it overemphasizes the importance of analyzing abstract doxastic properties (e.g., knowledge and justification) (253-54). Indeed, Sosa and Greco alike have argued vigorously against internalism and have lobbied for externalism as the only way out of the skeptical bog. Ernest Sosaintroduced the notion of an intellectual virtue into contemporary epistemological discussion in a 1980 paper called "The Raft and the Pyramid". 1997. Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge and related notions. In such cases, the belief in question intuitively is unjustified, thereby indicating the inadequacy of the coherentist’s criterion for justification (1991: 184-85). Unknown to me, however, the clock unexpectedly stopped exactly 12 hours prior, at 12:05 AM. Code also claims that the structure of the intellectual virtues and their role in the intellectual life are such that an adequate conception of these things is unlikely to be achieved via the standard methodologies of contemporary epistemology. Central to Sosa’s virtue epistemology – and, as a result, to much of contemporary virtue epistemology in the reliabilist camp – is a normative framework for the assessment of performances with an aim. This model provides an explanation of the unity of foundationalist epistemic principles by incorporating the foundationalist sources of epistemic justification under the concept of an intellectual virtue and offering a unified account of why beliefs grounded in intellectual virtue are justified (namely, because they are likely to be true). Second, some supporters of virtue reliabilism have claimed outright that the character traits of interest to the virtue responsibilist have little bearing on the questions that are most central to a virtue reliabilist epistemology (Goldman 1992: 162). 7 -18. Intellectual Virtues: An Essay in Regulative Epistemology. One of the first contemporary philosophers to discuss the epistemological role of the intellectual virtues conceived as character traits is Lorraine Code (1987). Virtue reliabilists are concerned with traits that are a critical means to intellectual well-being or “flourishing” and virtue responsibilists with traits that are both a means to and are partly constitutive of intellectual flourishing. Montmarquet’s “epistemic conscientiousness” bears a close resemblance to Code’s “epistemic responsibility.” But Montmarquet is quick to point out that a desire for truth is not sufficient for being fully intellectually virtuous and indeed is compatible with the possession of vices like intellectual dogmatism or fanaticism. My overall aim is to present a kind of virtue epistemology in line with a tradition found in Aristotle, Aquinas, Reid, and espe- cially Descartes (though none of these advocates it in all its parts), and to shine its light on varieties of skepticism, on the nature and status of intuitions, and on epistemic normativity. Ernest Sosa argues for two levels of knowledge, the animal and the reflective, each viewed as a distinctive human accomplishment. Crisp, Roger and Michael Slote, eds. The skeptic assumes that to know a given claim, one must be in possession of grounds or reasons which, via some inductive, deductive, or other logical or quasi-logical principle, provide one with a cogent reason for thinking that the claim is true or likely to be true. “Cognitive Virtues and Epistemic Evaluations,”, Montmarquet, James. This leaves the impression that while Code has identified an important insight about the value of the intellectual virtues, this insight does not have significant theoretical implications and therefore cannot successfully motivate anything like an alternative approach to epistemology. But reaching the truth often requires much more than the proper operation of one’s cognitive faculties. The views of Code and Montmarquet appear to falter with respect to either one or the other of these two conditions. It remains, however, that one is likely to find these views plausible only to the extent that one is already convinced of a certain, not wholly uncontroversial position that undergirds and partly motivates them. But once it is acknowledged that these concepts should not play a central role in an analysis of knowledge or justification, it becomes difficult to see how the virtue responsibilist’s claim about the epistemological importance of the intellectual virtues can be defended, for it is at best unclear whether there are any other traditional epistemological issues or questions that a consideration of intellectual virtue is likely to shed much light on. It is unclear, for instance, how reflection on the intellectual virtues as understood by virtue responsibilists could shed any significant light on questions about the possible limits or sources of knowledge. 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