Review of Metaphysics 52 (3):573 - 594 (1999)

IN THE INTRODUCTION TO HIS STUDY of contemporary epistemology, Alvin Plantinga asserts that the “ahistoricism” of analytic philosophy has proven an impediment to progress in epistemology; what we need, he urges, is “history and hermeneutics.” In its turning to history, epistemology is beginning to resemble recent ethical theory, which has readily availed itself of the history of philosophy as a means of enriching its discourse and circumventing seemingly insoluble debates. There are other similarities between contemporary epistemology and recent ethical theory. The standard division in contemporary epistemology pits internalism against externalism. The former demands that individuals have cognitive access to the justifying conditions of their belief and that the belief be formed in accord with appropriate rules. The latter drops the requirement of internal access but demands that a belief be formed by a process, reliably aimed at the production of truth. Internalism’s accentuation of epistemic rights and duties calls to mind ethical deontology, while the externalist emphasis on the production of true beliefs is akin to moral consequentialism. Lately, virtue epistemology has emerged to counter the two dominant theories of knowledge, just as virtue ethics arose as an alternative to deontology and utilitarianism.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph19995233
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: 72,634
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Virtue Epistemology.John Turri, Mark Alfano & John Greco - 1999 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-51.
Virtue Epistemology.John Greco & John Turri - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Medieval Skepticism.Charles Bolyard - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Aquinas on The Graceless Unbeliever.Justin M. Anderson - 2012 - Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Theologie 59 (1):5-25.
Moral Virtues, Epistemic Virtues, and the Big Five.Christian Miller - 2014 - In Flanagan Owen & Fairweather Abrol (eds.), Naturalizing Virtue. Cambridge University Press. pp. 92-117.
Towards a Eudaimonistic Virtue Epistemology.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Naturalizing Virtue Epistemology. Synthese Library.
Virtue Epistemology.Jason S. Baehr - 2004 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Character, Reliability and Virtue Epistemology.Jason Baehr - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):193–212.


Added to PP index

Total views
51 ( #226,113 of 2,533,811 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #259,908 of 2,533,811 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes