Evidentialism, Vice, and Virtue

Jason Baehr

in The Inquiring Mind

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604074
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729300 | DOI:
Evidentialism, Vice, and Virtue

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This chapter argues that the concept of intellectual virtue also merits a secondary or background role in connection with evidentialist accounts of epistemic justification. According to these accounts, a person's belief is justified at a given time (roughly) just in case it is supported by this person's evidence at that time. Two kinds of cases are presented which indicate that the evidentialist's condition for justification is not sufficient. The first are cases that involve defective inquiry and the second are cases that involve the “doxastic mishandling” of evidence. It is argued what these cases have in common is a manifestation of intellectual vices. The suggested antidote is a virtue‐based “proviso” or “constraint.” The resulting version of evidentialism retains the traditional thrust of evidentialism while safeguarding it against the relevant cases. An upshot of Chapters 5 and 6 is that the weaker version of autonomous character‐based virtue epistemology is viable.

Keywords: Earl Conee; Richard Feldman; Laurence BonJour; evidentialism; knowledge and evidence; intellectual virtue; intellectual vice; epistemic justification

Chapter.  9245 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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