The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and Eindhoven University of Technology invite PhD candidates and ReMa students in philosophy to register for the course Virtue Epistemology 2023 to take place April 17-21, 2023
The course will take place in hybrid form, on location at the Eindhoven University of Technology and online. Participants will receive information on how to access the online platform.
Type of activity
Primary target group
If places available, also open to
The registration deadline is 3 April 2023.
About the topic
Intellectual virtue is one of the oldest philosophical notions. It broadly denotes the intellectual capacities or traits that enable one to arrive at knowledge. The topic of intellectual virtues has once again become a flourishing and lively field in contemporary epistemology, beginning with the works of Sosa, Montmarquet and Zagzebski. While epistemology in the 20th century mostly focused on the properties of beliefs, virtue epistemologists think that by investigating the properties of believers instead, we will be in a better position to resolve various traditional epistemological questions. Thus, virtue epistemology is characterized by an approach that grounds the normativity of knowledge in the virtuous intellectual qualities of epistemic agents. Beyond this basic consensus, two central notions characterize theorizing in the field: reliability and responsibility. Reliability is the truth-conduciveness of an epistemic process. Virtue reliabilists conceive epistemic virtues as natural or deeply entrenched, reliable cognitive capacities such as good memory, acute perception, or rational inference. Virtue responsibilists, on the other hand, focus on what it is that makes for a good epistemic life or for a good epistemic character, just as virtue ethics focuses on what it is that makes for a good human life or for a good moral character. From a virtue responsibilist perspective, intellectual virtues comprise epistemically praiseworthy character traits such as open-mindedness, perseverance, or intellectual courage. A recently emerged branch of virtue epistemology deals with intellectual vices such as arrogance, closed-mindedness, dogmatism, gullibility, and intellectual cowardice, as well as wishful or conspiratorial thinking. Other recent and highly active fields of virtue epistemology are extended virtue epistemology and collective virtue epistemology. These investigate whether intellectual virtues can extend beyond the biological boundaries of persons to include features of the environment (such as technological artifacts), and whether groups can manifest intellectual virtues in a non-metaphorical sense.
This course will survey a range of topics and debates in contemporary virtue epistemology. It will cover both the reliabilist and responsibilist schools of virtue epistemology, as well as the field of vice epistemology. Some of the core topics in virtue epistemology are among the fundamental debates in epistemology or theory of knowledge more broadly, such as the debate between internalism and externalism about justification and the Gettier problem.
Aim / objective
This course aims at bringing about in-depth acquaintance with the core topics and debates in virtue epistemology, and some core issues in epistemology more broadly. It will also help students to develop analytical and critical skills, by critically engaging with key arguments and positions, and formulating their own.
At the end of this course the students will be able to:
• State the key characteristics of virtue epistemology as an approach to epistemology.
• Explain and assess virtue reliabilist and virtue responsibilist schools of virtue epistemology.
• Explain and assess virtue-epistemological approaches to analyzing knowledge.
• State the key characteristics of vice epistemology as an approach to (virtue) epistemology.
• Explain and assess the concepts of extended and collective virtues.
The course will consist of lectures by the organizer, several guest and keynote lectures, student presentations and regular group discussions of the assigned materials that will be organized into the following topics:
1. Varieties of virtue epistemology
2. The Gettier problem and virtue epistemological solutions
3. Vice epistemology and the virtue perspective in social epistemology
4. Motivations for virtue epistemology
5. Extended and collective virtue epistemology
The PhD candidates will be required to write an essay at the end of the course (double line spacing; c. 20 pages). The ReMA students should write a relatively shorter essay (c. 15 pages).
Duygu Uygun Tunç,
Jaakko Hirvela (University of Helsinki),
Abida Malik (Universität Linz),
Nuno Venturinha (NOVA University of Lisbon),
Duncan Pritchard (UC Irvine),
Orestis Palermos (University of Ioannina),
Ian James Kidd (Nottingham),
Mandi Astola (TU Delft).
The participants are expected to read all the assigned literature, to do assignments, to actively participate in the discussions and to write a paper at the end of the course.
Last updated February 14, 2023.
Certificate / credit points
For this course participants can earn a certificate after successful completion. Please note, however, that the OZSW is not accredited to reward students with credits/ECTS directly. The study load is mentioned on the certificate, which can usually be exchanged for ‘real’ credits (ECTS) at your home university. For more info please see https://www.ozsw.nl/request-certificate/. The study load for this activity is: 5 ECTS.
20 euros for OZSW members and LOGOS members
275 euros for non-OZSW members.
How to apply / register
PhD candidates, ReMa students and others can register here.
If registration has been closed because the maximum amount of participants has been reached, you can submit your name to the waiting list by sending an email to Fenanda Jacobs email@example.com. Please also indicate whether you are a ReMa student or PhD candidate and whether you are a member of the OZSW or not.
Cancellation and registration policy
Duygu Uygun-Tunc ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), Department of Philosophy and Ethics, Eindhoven University of Technology.