Responsibilist virtues and the “charmed inner circle” of traditional epistemology
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In Judgment and Agency, Ernest Sosa takes “reliabilist” virtue epistemology deep into “responsibilist” territory, arguing that “a true epistemology” will assign “responsibilist-cum-reliabilist intellectual virtue the main role in addressing concerns at the center of the tradition.” However, Sosa stops short of granting this status to familiar responsibilist virtues like open-mindedness, intellectual courage, and intellectual humility. He cites three reasons for doing so: responsibilist virtues involve excessive motivational demands; they are quasi-ethical; and they are best understood, not as constituting knowledge, but rather as putting one “in a position” to know. I elaborate on and respond to each of these concerns. I argue that none of them provides Sosa with a good reason for excluding responsibilist virtues from occupying a central role in his reliabilist virtue epistemology. I conclude that Sosa owes virtue responsibilism an even wider embrace.
KeywordsResponsibilist virtues Reliabilist virtues Reflective knowledge Agency Epistemic motivation Open-mindedness Intellectual courage Scope of epistemology
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