The epistemic virtues, as identified by virtue epistemologists, reflect their contention that belief is an ethical process, and thus susceptible to the intellectual virtue or vice of one's own life and personal experiences. Epistemology is the branch of philosophy concerned with the question "How do we know?" Some epistemic virtues have been identified by W. Jay Wood, based on research into the medieval tradition. The list below substantially overlaps with his.
- benevolence (Principle of Charity)
- intellectual honesty
- intellectual humility
- interpretive sensitivity
- parsimony (Occam's razor)
- prudence/practical wisdom
Note that in this context curiosity bears the modern connotation of inquisitiveness, in contrast to the medieval connotation of attraction to unwholesome things.
These can be contrasted to the epistemic vices such as:
- curiosity [see below]
- epistemic blindness
- intellectual dishonesty
- superficiality of thought
- willful naïveté
- wishful thinking
Note that in this context curiosity bears the medieval connotation of attraction to unwholesome things, in contrast to the positive studious (or perhaps inquisitive).
- Bishop, M., & Trout, J. D. 2004. Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Other sources to consult
- W. Jay Wood, Epistemology: Becoming Intellectually Virtuous (InterVarsity Press, 1998)
- Robert C. Roberts and W. Jay Wood, Intellectual Virtues: An Essay in Regulative Epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2007)
- Linda Zagzebski, Virtues of the Mind (Cambridge University Press, 1996)
- Michael DePaul and Linda Zagzebski, eds. Intellectual Virtue (Oxford University Press, 2003)
- Virtue Epistemology entry by John Greco in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Epistemic virtue at PhilPapers
- Epistemic virtue entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- Virtue Epistemology at the Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project
- Epistemic akrasia (irrationality) as a deficit of virtue by Christopher Hookway
- Is Inclusion an Epistemic Virtue? by Harvey Siegel
- Review of James Montmarquet's Epistemic Virtue and Doxastic Responsibility by Jonathan L. Kvanvig