Synthese 197 (7):2913-2936 (2020)

Walker Page
Saint Louis University (PhD)
This paper provides an account of how virtue epistemology can accommodate knowledge acquired through testimony and extended cognition. Section 1 articulates the characteristic claim of virtue epistemology, and introduces the issues discussed in the paper. Section 2 details a related pair of objections to VE: that it is unable to accommodate cases of knowledge through testimony and extended cognition. Section 3 reviews two different virtue epistemologies and their responses to these objections presented in Greco :1–26, 2012). Considerations are presented for why both of these accounts and responses are inadequate. Because of this, I suggest that it is unlikely that an analysis of the attribution relation will provide an adequate response to the objections. Section 4 advocates for a revised VE and a different way of dealing with the objections, which accommodates how agents are sometimes epistemically dependent on external sources. The central claim, for which a novel argument is presented, is that in some cases of knowledge the success is attributable to the abilities of an information system of which the knower is a part. This requires an important revision to traditional VE, but the characteristic claim of VE still holds true–every instance of knowledge is an instance of success attributable to ability. Thus, VE’s solutions to problems concerning the nature and value of knowledge are secured.
Keywords Virtue Epistemology  Testimony  Extended Cognition  Epistemic Dependence
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1518-5
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Anti-Luck Virtue Epistemology.Duncan Pritchard - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (3):247-279.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):353-356.

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