Virtue epistemology and the acquisition of knowledge

Philosophical Explorations 8 (3):229 – 243 (2005)
Abstract
The recent literature on the theory of knowledge has taken a distinctive turn by focusing on the role of the cognitive and intellectual virtues in the acquisition of knowledge. The main contours and motivations for such virtue-theoretic accounts of knowledge are here sketched and it is argued that virtue epistemology in its most plausible form can be regarded as a refined form of reliabilism, and thus a variety of epistemic externalism. Moreover, it is claimed that there is strong empirical support in favour of the virtue epistemic position so understood, and an empirical study regarding the cognitive processes employed by medical experts in their diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy is cited in this regard. In general, it is argued that one can best account for 'expert' knowledge in terms of a virtue-theoretic epistemology that retains key reliabilist features. It is thus shown that understanding knowledge along virtue-theoretic lines has important implications for our understanding of how knowledge is acquired, and thus for the philosophy of education.
Keywords Cognition, education, epistemology, knowledge, Reliabilism, virtue
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    Citations of this work BETA
    James A. Marcum (2009). The Epistemically Virtuous Clinician. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (3):249-265.
    Duncan Pritchard (2013). Epistemic Virtue and the Epistemology of Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (2):236-247.
    Boudewijn de Bruin (2013). Epistemic Virtues in Business. Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4):583-595.

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