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26 April 2022 - 26 April 2022

5:00PM - 7:00PM

PO004, Department of Philosophy (and Zoom)

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CHESS Seminar Series 2021/22: Quassim Cassam (University of Warwick) SPEAKER IN PERSON

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Quassim Cassam

Some Vices of Vice Epistemology

Abstract: Vice epistemology is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, identity, and significance of epistemic vices. Epistemic vices are blameworthy or reprehensible character traits, attitudes, or ways of thinking that get in the way of knowledge or understanding. A vice attribution is the judgement that another person has a specific epistemic vice, such as closed-mindedness or gullibility. Such attributions are often attempts to explain another person’s defective epistemic conduct. However, the assumption that the attributee’s conduct is epistemically defective may be questionable. Furthermore, vice epistemology’s focus on epistemic vices can easily result in a failure to notice other important explanatory factors. In some cases, vice attributions can themselves be epistemically vicious. Among the potential epistemic vices of vice epistemology is insensitivity, which consists in a certain type of inattentiveness to the lives of others. The effects of this vice can be detected in vice epistemological explanations of phenomena such as vaccine hesitancy.  


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