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(2014) Virtue epistemology naturalized, Dordrecht, Springer.

Bridges between virtue epistemology and philosophy of science

Abrol Fairweather

pp. 1-9

The essays collected here seek to establish bridges between virtue epistemology and philosophy of science (broadly construed, including the history of science, the use of specific scientific results to construct naturalistic philosophical theories, formal epistemology, modeling, theory choice, etc.). Since Ernest Sosa's ground breaking essay "The Raft and the Pyramid" (1980) and Linda Zagzebski's Virtues of The Mind (1996), epistemologists have become increasingly interested in the normative aspects of knowledge, justification, understanding and other epistemic states. Virtue epistemologists seek to ground the epistemic norms used to evaluate human cognition in a general commitment to aretaic (or virtue theoretic), rather than deontological or consequentialist, forms of normativity. Two broad defining features of this movement are often seen through a commitment to the following principles: (a) Knowledge and other important epistemic concepts are essentially normative and (b) epistemically valuable states of agents confer epistemically valuable properties on their beliefs, not the other way around. Virtue epistemology thus borrows liberally from the rich tradition in virtue ethics for a range of normative resources that have proven quite useful for epistemologists interested in addressing traditional problems regarding epistemic luck and epistemic value. While much more will be said about virtue epistemology below, and there are indeed many species of virtue epistemology on offer in contemporary literature, what unifies this movement can fruitfully be seen through the unique way virtue epistemology foregrounds the normativity of knowledge and places the agent at the center of the analysis.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-04672-3_1

Full citation:

Fairweather, A. (2014)., Bridges between virtue epistemology and philosophy of science, in A. Fairweather (ed.), Virtue epistemology naturalized, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 1-9.

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