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.
- Epistemological individualism
- Social epistemology
- Virtue epistemology
ASJC Scopus subject areas