Reliabilist Virtue Epistemology
According to reliabilist virtue epistemology, or virtue reliabilism, knowledge is true belief that is produced by intellectual excellence (or virtue), where intellectual excellence is understood in terms of reliable, truth-directed cognitive dispositions. This essay explains why virtue reliabilism is a form of epistemological externalism, is a moderately naturalized epistemology, and is distinct from virtue responsibilism. We explain virtue reliabilism’s answers to various forms of skepticism, its solution to the Gettier Problem, and its explanation of the value of knowledge. We also describe several varieties of contemporary virtue reliabilism. Finally, we offer replies to two recently prominent objections to virtue reliabilism: that it is committed to an untenable epistemological individualism, and that there are empirical reasons to doubt whether people generally have the kinds of intellectual abilities that virtue reliabilism requires for knowledge.