Charging Others With Epistemic Vice

The Monist 99 (3):181-197 (2016)
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Abstract

This paper offers an analysis of the structure of epistemic vice-charging, the critical practice of charging other persons with epistemic vice. Several desiderata for a robust vice-charge are offered and two deep obstacles to the practice of epistemic vice-charging are then identified and discussed. The problem of responsibility is that few of us enjoy conditions that are required for effective socialisation as responsible epistemic agents. The problem of consensus is that the efficacy of a vice-charge is contingent upon a degree of consensus between critic and target that is unlikely or impossible where vice-charging is most likely to be provoked. It emerges that a robust critical practice of vice-charging is possible in principle, but very difficult in practice.

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Ian James Kidd
Nottingham University