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Knowledge, Belief, And Character

Guy Axtell, ed. (Rowman & Littlefield: January 2000), 256 pages.

There have been many books over the past decade, including outstanding collections of essays, on the topic of the ethical virtues and virtue-theoretic approaches in ethics. But the professional journals of philosophy have only recently seen a strong and growing interest in the "intellectual" virtues and in the development of virtue-theoretic approaches in "epistemology". There have been four single-authored book length treatments of issues of virtue epistemology over the last seven years, beginning with Ernest Sosa’s Knowledge in Perspective ("Cambridge", 1991), and extending to Linda Zabzebski’s Virtue of the Mind ("Cambridge", 1996). Weighing in with Jonathan Kvanvig’s The Intellectual Virtues and the Life of the Mind (1992), and James Montmarquet’s Epistemic Virtue and Doxastic Responsibility (1993), Rowman & Littlefield has had a particularly strong interest in the direction and growth of the field. To date, there has been no collection of articles directly devoted to the growing debate over the possibility and potential of a virtue epistemology. This volume exists in the belief that there is now a timely opportunity to gather together the best contributions of the influential authors working in this growing area of epistemological research, and to create a collection of essays as a useful course text and research source. Several of the articles included in the volume are previously unpublished. Several essays discuss the range and general approach of "virtue theory" in comparison with other general accounts. What advantages are supposed to accrue from a virtue-based account in epistemology, in handling well-known problems such as "Gettier," and "Evil-Genie"-type problems? Can reliabilist virtue epistemology handle skeptical challenges more satisfactorily than non-virtue-centered forms of epistemic reliabilism? Others provide a needed discussion of relevant analogies and disanalogies between ethical and epistemic evaluation. The readings all contribute to our understanding of the relative importance, for a theory of justified belief, of the reliability of our cognitive faculties and of the individual’s responsibility in gathering and weighing evidence. Highlights of the readings include direct exchanges between leading exponents of this approach and their critics. In addition, the volume includes contributions from feminist writers who offer a reassessment of the intellectual virtues from witin their own research paradigm. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Acknowledgments
    • Introduction
  • Pt. I    Reliability and Intellectual Virtue
    • 1    Epistemic Folkways and Scientific Epistemology    3
    • 2    Reliabilism and Intellectual Virtue    19
    • 3    Three Forms of Virtue Epistemology    33
    • 4    Ever Since Descartes    41
  • Pt. II    Knowledge and Skepticism
    • 5    Virtue, Skepticism, and Context    55
    • 6    Supervenience, Virtues, and Consequences    73
    • 7    Sosa on Knowledge, Justification, and "Aptness"    87
    • 8    Perspectives in Virtue Epistemology: A Response to Dancy and BonJour    99
  • Pt. III    Responsibility, Motives, and Consequences
    • 9    From Reliabilism to Virtue Epistemology    113
    • 10    Moral and Epistemic Virtue    123
    • 11    An "Internalist" Conception of Epistemic Virtue    135
    • 12    Regulating Inquiry: Virtue, Doubt, and Sentiment    149
  • Pt. IV    Special Interest Topics in Virtue Theory
    • 13    Critical Thinking, Moral Integrity, and Citizenship: Teaching for the Intellectual Virtues    163
    • 14    Virtue Theory and the Fact/Value Problem    177
    • 15    Epistemic Vice    195
    • 16    Phronesis and Religious Belief    205
    • Index of Names    221
    • About the Contributors    223