Epistemic luck in light of the virtues

In Abrol Fairweather & Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski (eds.), Virtue epistemology: essays on epistemic virtue and responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 158--177 (2001)
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Abstract

The presence of luck in our cognitive as in our moral lives shows that the quality of our intellectual character may not be entirely up to us as individuals, and that our motivation and even our ability to desire the truth, like our moral goodness, can be fragile. This paper uses epistemologists' responses to the problem of “epistemic luck” as a sounding board for this fragility; it locates the source of much of the internalist-externalist debate in epistemology in divergent, value-charged “interests in explanation,” which epistemologists bring with them to discussions of knowledge and justification. In so doing, It delineates commonalities and key differences between those authors I describe as virtue reliabilists and those I describe as virtue responsibilists, while showing how they each provides resources for leading beyond the impasse between internalism and externalism as standardly understood in the literature.

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Guy Axtell
Radford University

Citations of this work

Virtue epistemology and epistemic luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2003 - Metaphilosophy 34 (1/2):106--130.
Virtue and Luck, Epistemic and Otherwise.John Greco - 2003 - Metaphilosophy 34 (3):353-366.
Problems for virtue theories in epistemology.Robert Lockie - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):169 - 191.

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