, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 273–295 | Cite as

Scientific Knowledge and Extended Epistemic Virtues

Original Paper


This paper investigates the applicability of reliabilism to scientific knowledge, and especially focuses on two doubts about the applicability: one about its difficulty in accounting for the epistemological role of scientific instruments, and the other about scientific theories. To respond to the two doubts, we extend virtue reliabilism, a reliabilist-based virtue epistemology, with a distinction of two types of epistemic virtues and the extended mind thesis from Clark and Chalmers (Analysis 58:7–19, 1998). We also present a case study on the quantitative research methodology of social sciences to show that the methodology is actually an extended virtue reliabilism on how social science instruments and theories contribute to the formation of social scientific knowledge.



The authors would like to thank Norman Teng and two anonymous reviewers for very helpful comments. Thanks are also due to audiences at the Fourth Workshop of Body, Meaning, and Cognition. Funding for this study was supported by research grants of Taiwan National Science Council (NSC-97-2628-H-194-063-MY3, NSC-98-2410-H-031-002-MY3, NSC-98-2314-B-039-017-MY2, NSC-100-2410-H-194-085 -MY3), and China Medical University (CMU99-S-36).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNational Chung Cheng UniversityChia YiTaiwan
  2. 2.School of NursingChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan

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