Author(s): Jason S. Baehr
This book is the first systematic treatment of 'responsibilist' or character-based virtue epistemology, an approach to epistemology that focuses on intellectual character virtues like open-mindedness, fair-mindedness, inquisitiveness, and intellectual courage, rigor, and carefulness. Baehr distinguishes four main varieties of character-based virtue epistemology and develops a comprehensive assessment of each. For students and professional philosophers looking for an introduction to this important and exciting new field, Baehr provides a brief history of virtue epistemology, an overview of contemporary research in the field, and an introduction to the intellectual virtues that distinguishes them from intellectual talents, temperaments, faculties, and skills. For specialists in epistemology, the book offers the most in depth examination to date of the role that the concept of intellectual virtue should play in a philosophical account of knowledge. Baehr also argues for expanding the borders of epistemology proper to include a more immediate concern with intellectual virtues and their role in a good intellectual life. For virtue theorists and moral psychologists, Baehr defends a 'personal worth' account of the nature and structure of an intellectual virtue, situating this account vis-à-vis several related accounts of moral and intellectual virtue in the literature. The book also contains chapter-length analyses of two individual character virtues (open-mindedness and intellectual courage) and an appendix on the relation between intellectual virtues and moral virtues. Overall, the book is a comprehensive and groundbreaking treatment of an important topic in philosophy.