Descartes’s Pyrrhonian Virtue Epistemology

Ernest Sosa

in Judgment and Agency

Published in print April 2015 | ISBN: 9780198719694
Published online April 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191788765 | DOI:
Descartes’s Pyrrhonian  Virtue Epistemology

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Here it is argued that in his epistemology Descartes offers a virtue epistemological account of certainty, and by implication of knowledge more generally, and that in doing so he is focused on Pyrrhonian concerns. According to this account, Descartes adopts the Pyrrhonian framework. But he takes himself to provide the rationale required for proper endorsement. Accordingly, he can judge rationally on the first order, even by the highest standards, in line with first-order credence and in line with first-order judgments. The chapter argues in detail for why this interpretation is the best way to read Descartes, and for how well it illuminates the texts.

Keywords: epistemic certainty; error; assent; endorsement; judgment

Chapter.  9619 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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