Philosophical Papers 37 (3):413-434 (2008)

Authors
Guy Axtell
Radford University
J. Adam Carter
University of Glasgow
Abstract
Abstract Do the central aims of epistemology, like those of moral philosophy, require that we designate some important place for those concepts located between the thin-normative and the non-normative? Put another way, does epistemology need "thick" evaluative concepts and with what do they contrast? There are inveterate traditions in analytic epistemology which, having legitimized a certain way of viewing the nature and scope of epistemology's subject matter, give this question a negative verdict; further, they have carried with them a tacit commitment to what we argue to be an epistemic analogue of the reductionistic centralist thesis which Bernard Williams, in our view, successfully repudiates in ethics. In this essay, we challenge the epistemic analogue of the traditional but mistaken thesis. In offering an alternative to it which provides a comfortable home for the epistemic normativity which attends thick evaluative concepts, we align ourselves with what has been recently called the Value Turn in epistemology. From this perspective, we defend that, contrary to tradition, as influenced by centralist assumptions, epistemology does need thick evaluative concepts. Further, the sort of theories that will be able to give thick evaluative concepts an irreducible role in both belief and agent evaluation are adequately social epistemologies. What loosely refer to as second-wave of virtue epistemology is the widespread interest to provide a comfortable home for the role of thick normativity, as it is connected both with epistemic evaluation, and guidance. We recognize that, in breaking from centralism, there is a worry that a resulting anti-centralist theory will be reductionistic in the other direction, making the thick primary. We contend however that second-wave virtue epistemologies take different sources of social and epistemic value into account; they seek the 'right thickness' to ride with conception of epistemology and a field which due in part to virtue theory's resurgence, is today normative, diverse and expansive than was the traditional set of problems from which it emerged.
Keywords epistemic norms  thick concepts  internalism and externalism  epistemic value  virtue epistemology  reliabilism and responsibilism  Bernard Williams  zetetic epistemology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/05568640809485229
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.

View all 39 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Veritism Unswamped.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):381-435.
Virtue Epistemology.John Turri, Mark Alfano & John Greco - 1999 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-51.
Reducing Responsibility: An Evidentialist Account of Epistemic Blame.Trent Dougherty - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):534-547.
Unifying the Intellectual Virtues.Christopher Lepock - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):106-128.
Novel & worthy: creativity as a thick epistemic concept.Julia Sánchez-Dorado - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-23.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Genealogy of Epistemic Virtue Concepts.Alan Thomas - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (3):345-369.
Education and “Thick” Epistemology.Ben Kotzee - 2011 - Educational Theory 61 (5):549-564.
Slim Epistemology with a Thick Skin.Pekka Väyrynen - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (3):389-412.
Shapelessness and the Thick.Debbie Roberts - 2011 - Ethics 121 (3):489-520.
Is 'Education' a Thick Epistemic Concept?Harvey Siegel - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (3):455-469.
What Are Thick Concepts?Matti Eklund - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):25-49.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
1,192 ( #4,812 of 2,506,007 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
35 ( #25,645 of 2,506,007 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes