Knowledge and Intellectual Virtue

Jason Baehr

in The Inquiring Mind

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604074
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729300 | DOI:
Knowledge and Intellectual Virtue

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The guiding question of this chapter is whether the concept of intellectual virtue merits a central and fundamental role within traditional epistemology. It is argued, first, that the answer to this question depends on whether the concept of intellectual virtue merits a primary role in an analysis of knowledge. The rest of the chapter is an inquiry into the plausibility of a virtue‐based account of knowledge. The central focus is Linda's Zagzebski's (1996) account, according to which knowledge is (roughly) true belief arising from intellectually virtuous motives and actions. It is argued that Zagzebski's conditions for knowledge are neither necessary nor sufficient, and that the problems with her analysis are likely to plague any virtue‐based analysis of knowledge. It is concluded that the concept of intellectual virtue does not merit a central or fundamental role in traditional epistemology and thus that the stronger version of conservative character‐based virtue epistemology fails.

Keywords: analysis of knowledge; intellectual virtue; knowledge and intellectual virtue; virtue‐based account of knowledge; agency and knowledge; Gettier problem; Linda Zagzebski

Chapter.  6564 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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