Full Text

Virtue Epistemology


Subject Philosophy » Epistemology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405139007.2010.00008.x


The term “virtue epistemology” was first introduced into the literature by Ernest Sosa, who argued that epistemology might benefit by adopting an approach analogous to virtue theory in ethics. By adopting a virtue-theoretic approach to justification and knowledge, Sosa argued, we can make progress on a variety of epistemological problems, including skepticism, the analysis of knowledge, the debate between foundationalism and coherentism, and the debate between internalism and externalism. Since Sosa's seminal work, epistemologists have defended a variety of positions and approaches that might properly be classified as “virtue epistemology”. One important division among these concerns how we are to understand the notion of an intellectual virtue. Some epistemologists, including Sosa, understand the intellectual virtues as cognitive powers or abilities, such as accurate perception, reliable memory and sound reasoning ( Sosa, 1991 and 2003a ; Goldman, 1992 ; Kvanvig, 1992 ; Plantinga, 1993 ; Greco, 1999a and 2000a ). Others understand the intellectual virtues as character traits more analogous to the moral virtues, such as intellectual courage, intellectual honesty, and fair-mindedness ( Code, 1984 and 1987 ; Montmarquet, 1987 and 1993 ; Zagzebski, 1996 ). Another important division concerns the projects in which virtue epistemologists are engaged. Whereas some have argued that ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top