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  • Print publication year: 1996
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Part III - The nature of knowledge


Part I surveyed the use of ethical theory in epistemology, showed the advantages of a pure virtue theory, and distinguished this approach from that typically used in contemporary epistemology and from other forms of “virtue epistemology” Part II developed a theory of virtue and vice broad enough to handle epistemic as well as moral evaluation and showed how the concepts of justified belief and epistemic duty can be defined within the theory Now we turn to an investigation of the most critical concern of epistemology: the analysis of knowledge. We have already seen that the motivation to know is the most basic constituent of every intellectual virtue, and each intellectual virtue is constructed in such a way as to regularly lead to its end of attaining knowledge. Since intellectual virtues are forms of moral virtue, it follows that knowledge is intimately bound up with moral concepts, although it has not always been treated that way. In this, the final, part of the book, I begin by locating the concept of knowledge within the domain of ethics. I then propose a definition of knowledge and show how it is immune to Gettier problems. The theory is externalist according to the most common definition of externalism but has a stronger internalist aspect than the more common externalist theories. theory – and answer anticipated objections to my theory.

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Virtues of the Mind
  • Online ISBN: 9781139174763
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