The Inquiring Mind On Intellectual Virtues and Virtue Epistemology
Jason Baehr (Oxford University Press: Sep. 5, 2011), 272 pages.
This book is the first systematic treatment of 'responsibilist' or character-based virtue epistemology, an approach to epistemology that focuses on intellectual character virtues like open-mindedness, fair-mindedness, inquisitiveness, and intellectual courage, rigor, and carefulness. Baehr distinguishes four main varieties of character-based virtue epistemology and develops a comprehensive assessment of each. For students and professional philosophers looking for an introduction to this exciting new field, the book offers a brief history of virtue epistemology, an overview of contemporary research in the field, and an introduction to intellectual virtues that distinguishes them from intellectual talents, temperaments, faculties, and skills. For specialists in epistemology, it provides most in depth examination to date of the role that the concept of intellectual virtue might play in a philosophical account of knowledge. Baehr also argues for expanding the borders of epistemology proper to include a more immediate concern with intellectual virtues and their role in a good intellectual life. For virtue theorists and moral psychologists, the book contains an in depth defense of a 'personal worth' account of the nature and structure of an intellectual virtue and situates this account vis-á-vis the views of several other virtue ethicists and virtue epistemologists. Baehr also provides chapter-length analyses of two individual character virtues (open-mindedness and intellectual courage) and an appendix on the relation between intellectual virtues and moral virtues. Overall, the book is a comprehensive and groundbreaking treatment of an important cutting-edge topic in philosophy.
Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Intellectual Virtues
- 3. Knowledge and Intellectual Virtue
- 4. Virtue and Character in Reliabilism
- 5. Evidentialism, Vice, and Virtue
- 6. A Personal Worth Conception of Intellectual Virtue
- 7. The Personal Worth Conception and Its Rivals
- 8. Open-Mindedness
- 9. Intellectual Courage
- 10. The Status and Future of Character-Based Virtue Epistemology
- Appendix: On the Distinction between Intellectual and Moral Virtues