Exploring Epistemic Vices: A Review of Cassam's Vices of the Mind [Book Review]

Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 8 (8):48-55 (2019)
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Abstract

In Vices of the Mind, Cassam provides an accessible, engaging, and timely introduction to the nature of epistemic vices and what we can do about them. Cassam provides an account of epistemic vices and explores three broad types of epistemic vices: character traits, attitudes, and ways of thinking. Regarding each, Cassam draws insights about the nature of vices through examining paradigm instances of each type of vice and exploring their significance through real world historical examples. With his account of vices in hand, Cassam turns to addressing three questions in the remainder of the book: how can we be responsible for our epistemic vices? how can we be aware of our epistemic vices? And how can we address our epistemic vices? This book provides an excellent introduction to the debates about epistemic vices and is easy to engage regardless of one’s philosophical background. In being the first book-length treatment of epistemic vices, Vices of the Mind is sure to shape the debates surrounding epistemic vices for some time. In what follows we provide brief chapter summaries and raise several challenges to the account Cassam defends in the book.

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Author Profiles

James Charles Lang
University of Toronto (PhD)
Jonathan Matheson
University of North Florida
Valerie Joly Chock
Fordham University
1 more

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