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The Social Virtue Of Blind Deference

Ahlstrom-Vij, Kristoffer (2015) The Social Virtue Of Blind Deference. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 91 (3). pp. 545-582. ISSN 0031-8205. E-ISSN 1933-1592. (doi:10.1111/phpr.12158) (KAR id:42847)

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Recently, it has become popular to account for knowledge and other epistemic states in terms of epistemic virtues. The present paper focuses on an epistemic virtue relevant when deferring to others in testimonial contexts. It is argued that, while many virtue epistemologists will accept that epistemic virtue can be exhibited in cases involving epistemically motivated hearers, carefully vetting their testimonial sources for signs of untrustworthiness prior to deferring, anyone who accepts that also has to accept that an agent may exhibit epistemic virtue in certain cases of blind deference, involving someone soaking up everything he or she is told without any hesitation. Moreover, in order to account for the kind of virtue involved in the relevant cases of blind deference, virtue epistemologists need to abandon a widespread commitment to personalism, i.e., the idea that virtue is possessed primarily on account of features internal to the psychology of the person, and accept that some virtues are social virtues, possessed in whole or in large part on account of the person being embedded in a reliable social environment.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/phpr.12158
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Funders: John Templeton Foundation (
Depositing User: Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2014 08:22 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 10:57 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Ahlstrom-Vij, Kristoffer.

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