Philosophical Studies 106 (3):171--191 (2001)

Stephen Grimm
Fordham University
This paper offers and analysis of Ernest Sosa's Virtue Perspectivism. Although Sosa has been credited with fathering the influential contemporary movement known as Virtue Epistemology, I argue that Sosa imprudently abandons the reliabilist-based insights of Virtue Epistemology in favor of a reflection-based, "perspectival"' view. Sosa's mixed allegiance to reliabilist-based and reflection-based views of knowledge, in fact, leads to an unwelcome tension in his thought which can be relieved by recognizing that his reflection-based view is in fact an account of the cognitive state of understanding, rather than an account of knowledge. Sosa makes matters difficult for himself because he expects too much, as it were, from the concept of knowledge, and in the process burdens his view with elements of reflection it does not require. To solve the problem, I suggest that Sosa needs to develop a two-tiered epistemology which recognizes that knowledge, on the one hand, and understanding, on the other, both have necessary and sufficient conditions unique to themselves.
Keywords epistemology, knowledge, Reliabilism, sosa e, understanding, virtue
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1013354326246
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,564
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What is Justified Belief?Alvin Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.
Externalist Theories of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence Bonjour - 1980 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1):53-73.
Externalist Theories of Empirical Knowledge.Laurence BonJour - 2000 - In Sven Bernecker & Fred I. Dretske (eds.), Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology. Oxford University Press.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Virtue Epistemology.John Turri, Mark Alfano & John Greco - 1999 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-51.
Kant on the Radical Evil of Human Nature.Paul Formosa - 2007 - Philosophical Forum 38 (3):221–245.
Knowledge Is All You Need.Lisa Miracchi - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):353-378.
Virtue Epistemology and the Acquisition of Knowledge.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Philosophical Explorations 8 (3):229 – 243.
Explanation and the Nature of Scientific Knowledge.Kevin McCain - 2015 - Science & Education 24 (7-8):827-854.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sosa in Perspective.Hilary Kornblith - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (1):127--136.
Perceptual Knowledge and Epistemological Satisfaction.Barry G. Stroud - 2004 - In John Greco (ed.), Ernest Sosa and His Critics. Malden MA: Blackwell. pp. 165--173.
Human Knowledge, Animal and Reflective.Ernest Sosa - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 106 (3):193 - 196.
Reflective Knowledge and Epistemic Circularity.C. S. I. Jenkins - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (3):305-325.
Generic Reliabilism and Virtue Epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 1992 - Philosophical Issues 2:79-92.


Added to PP index

Total views
156 ( #77,292 of 2,533,568 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #390,861 of 2,533,568 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes