Epistemic Situationism

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Abrol Fairweather, Mark Alfano
Oxford University Press, 2017 - Philosophy - 258 pages
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This volume is the first sustained examination of epistemic situationism: the clash between virtue epistemology and the situationist hypothesis inspired by research in empirical psychology. Situationism began as a challenge to the psychology of character traits, targeting ethical theories that
presuppose a trait psychology. Psychological research suggests that (often trivial) environmental variables have greater explanatory power than character traits. Epistemology pursues questions about the nature of knowledge. While there are internal differences within virtue epistemology between
responsibilists and reliabilists, they all analyze knowledge in terms of epistemic virtues and vices. However, despite promising normative results, virtue epistemology appears to assume the same character-based psychology as virtue ethics does.

Until recently, virtue epistemology and situationism were separate literatures, but philosophers have begun to examine the apparent incompatibility between situationist psychology and virtue epistemology. Much of the psychological research that raises questions about the empirical adequacy of the
moral psychology of virtue ethics also appears to raise doubts about the empirical adequacy of the epistemic psychology assumed by virtue epistemology. Responsibilist virtue epistemology appears particularly vulnerable because epistemic virtues like open mindedness, conscientiousness and
intellectual courage are traits of intellectual character, but reliabilist virtue epistemology appeals to the psychology of cognitive skills, abilities, and competences that may be similarly vulnerable. The essays in this volume take up this new problem of epistemic situationism from multiple points
of view - some sceptical or revisionary, others conservative.

 

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Contents

Epistemic Situationism
1
Is Every Epistemology aVirtue Epistemology?
20
Epistemic Situationism An Extended Prolepsis
44
Virtue Epistemology in the Zombie Apocalypse Hungry Judges Heavy Clipboards and Group Polarization
62
Situationism and Responsibilist Virtue Epistemology
77
Virtue Theory Against Situationism
90
Intellectual Virtue Now and Again
116
Responsibilism out of Character
135
Epistemic Situationism and Cognitive Ability
158
Epistemic Situationism Epistemic Dependence and the Epistemology of Education
168
The Situationist Challenge to Educating for Intellectual Virtues
192
Feminist Responsibilism Situationism and the Complexities of the Virtue of Trustworthiness
216
Moods and their Unexpected Virtues
235
Index of Topics
257
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About the author (2017)


Abrol Fairweather, San Francisco State University
Mark Alfano, Delft University of Technology

Abrol Fairweather is a lecturer in the philosophy department at San Francisco State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition to multiple articles, Abrol has edited four collections of papers related to virtue epistemology and intellectual
virtue, including Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue (CUP, 2014) with Owen Flanagan. His forthcoming book Knowledge and Dexterity (CUP, 2016) is co-authored with Carlos Montemayor and defends a theory epistemic agency utilizing recent research in the psychology of attention.

Mark Alfano is associate professor of philosophy at Delft University of Technology. He received a doctorate from the Philosophy Program of the City University of New York Graduate Center (CUNY GC) in 2011, and he has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and the
Princeton University Center for Human Values, as well as assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon.
Mark works on moral psychology, broadly construed to include ethics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of psychology. He also maintains an interest in Nietzsche, focusing on Nietzsche's psychological views.

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