04 May 2006

What I've been up to

Hi guys! Sorry it's taken me a while to join up - I was overseas on a conference trip. Anyway, my contribution at the moment is very much on the side of 'epistemological self-control'. With the very able help of Daniel I'm slowly getting my head around the current landscape in virtue epistemology. A lot of work currently being done in the area seems to me at least so far to be a relatively shallow trading in -isms. In-depth discussion of plausible examples is rare.

Christopher Hookway has an interesting paper on 'epistemic akrasia'. One example he examines in detail is that of a mother who receives word that her son has committed a horrible crime and naturally doesn't want to believe it. This can be a genuine epistemological analogue to ethical akrasia, but only if the mother is actually aware that she is, for example, refusing to examine or accept all available evidence. Part of his conclusion is that some of our epistemic virtues are 'managerial' - correct husbanding of finite epistemic resources.

I've also just come across a paper by Michael Bishop entitled, "In Praise of Epistemic Irresponsibility: How Lazy and Ignorant can you Be?" (Synthese 2000). But I haven't read it yet.

Ideally I'd like to work up a paper on this stuff for the AAP, but don't have much time left...


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