Implications for virtue epistemology from psychological science: Intelligence as an interactionist virtue

In Heather Battaly (ed.), Handbook of Virtue Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 433-445 (2018)
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This chapter aims to expand the body of empirical literature considered relevant to virtue theory beyond the burned-over districts that are the situationist challenges to virtue ethics and epistemology. We thus raise a rather simple-sounding question: why doesn’t virtue epistemology have an account of intelligence? In the first section, we sketch the history and present state of the person-situation debate to argue for the importance of an interactionist framework in bringing psychological research in general, and intelligence research in particular, to bear on questions of virtue. In Section 2, we discuss the history and present state of intelligence research to argue for its relevance to virtue epistemology. In Section 3, we argue that intelligence sits uneasily in both responsibilist and reliabilist virtue frameworks, which suggests that a new approach to virtue epistemology is needed. We conclude by placing intelligence within a new interactionist framework.



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Mark Alfano
Macquarie University

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