Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

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Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski (born 1946) is an American philosopher. She is George Lynn Cross Research Professor, and Kingfisher College Chair of the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at the University of Oklahoma. She writes in the areas of epistemology, philosophy of religion, and virtue theory. She is (2015-2016) president of the American Philosophical Association Central Division, and will give the Gifford Lectures at the University of Saint Andrews in the fall of 2015. She is past president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers.[1] She was a 2011-2012 Guggenheim Fellow.[2]

Life and philosophy[edit]

She received her BA from Stanford University, her MA from University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from University of California Los Angeles (dissertation: Natural Kinds).

Her research in recent years has consisted of topics such as the intersection of ethics and epistemology, religious epistemology, religious ethics, virtue theory, and the varieties of fatalism. She delivered the Wilde Lectures in Natural Religion at Oxford University in the Spring of 2010 on epistemic authority. She is (2015-2016) president of the American Philosophical Association Central Division, and will give the Gifford Lectures at the University of Saint Andrews in the fall of 2015 on the topic of Exemplarist Virtue Theory. She is past president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (1997-1998), and past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers (2004-2007).[3]


Epistemology[edit]

Zagzebski is a pioneer in the field of virtue epistemology.[4] In Virtues of the Mind (1996), she sets out to solve certain problems in modern epistemology by developing an Aristotelian version of virtue theory, and in the course of this project she lays out a general analysis of virtue. In Divine Motivation Theory (2004) she deals extensively with problems in the relationship between reason, faith, and ethics.

She has done work on questions of epistemic value including expressing the "espresso machine" thought experiment (a predecessor to the swamping problem) as a counter to reliabilism.[5][6]

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