The Nature and the Function of Epistemological Virtue in Ernest Sosa’s View

@ Sa’ida Fayyazi / PhD Student of Comparative Philosophy Qom University

Zahra Khazaie / Professor in Department of Philosophy Qom University

Received: 2020/04/03 - Accepted: 2020/09/05


The present article analyzes the nature and the function of epistemological virtue in Ernest Sosa’s view. In Sosa’s epistemic system, virtues are defined as trustable faculties that play a basic role in producing, justifying and explaining knowledge. Perceptive faculties along with intellection, deduction, and introspection are among the epistemic faculties that would lead, if working rightly, to knowledge, and add features of deservingness, skillfulness, and soundness to belief. Recently, Sosa mentions character virtues and agentive virtues which play a role in creating knowledge, but do not produce belief. Even the agentive virtues do, despite being necessary, produce judgment, not belief. Sosa considers having an epistemic view as the distinctive factor between animal cognition and speculative cognition; and although he attempts to explain why, how and to what extent each of the virtues play a role in the process of producing and justifying belief, his narrow look at the limit and nature of the virtues necessary for creating knowledge makes his view face, despite all its attractions, with difficulties that we deal with in the final section of the article.

KEY WORDS: Ernest Sosa, epistemic virtue, trustable faculties, character virtues, agentive virtues, knowledge, justification.



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