The social virtues: Two accounts

S. Goldberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Social (epistemic) virtues are the virtues bound up with those forms of inquiry involved in social routes to knowledge. A thoroughly individualistic account of the social virtues endorses two claims: (1) we can fully characterize the nature of the social virtues independent of the social factors that are typically in play when these virtues are exemplified, and (2) even when a subject's route to knowledge is social, the only epistemic virtues that are relevant to her acquisition of knowledge are those she herself possesses. A social (or anti-individualistic) account of the social virtues, by contrast, denies one or both of these claims. I will offer some reasons for thinking that the individualistic account is not acceptable, and that one or the other social account provides a better understanding of the social virtues. The argument is not decisive, but it does suggest that the social dimension of social epistemic virtues is not fully characterizable in individualistic terms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalActa Analytica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Epistemological individualism
  • Social epistemology
  • Testimony
  • Virtue epistemology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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