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Intellectual VirtuePerspectives from Ethics and Epistemology$
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Michael DePaul and Linda Zagzebski

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199252732

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199252732.001.0001

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Humility and Epistemic Goods

Humility and Epistemic Goods

(p.257) 11 Humility and Epistemic Goods
Intellectual Virtue

Robert C. Roberts (Contributor Webpage)

W. Jay Wood (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Some of the most interesting works in virtue ethics are the detailed, perceptive treatments of specific virtues and vices. This chapter aims to develop such work as it relates to intellectual virtues and vices. It begins by examining the virtue of intellectual humility. Its strategy is to situate humility in relation to its various opposing vices, which include vices like arrogance, vanity, conceit, egotism, grandiosity, pretentiousness, snobbishness, haughtiness, and self-complacency. From this list vanity and arrogance are focused on in particular. Humble persons are not distinguished from arrogant persons by being unaware of or unconcerned with entitlements; rather, they lack the arrogance that entails a specific kind of motivation called ‘ego-exalting potency’. Humble people are motivated by pure interests regarding entitlements given their ability to serve as means to some valuable purpose or project. The chapter ends by considering a wide variety of ways intellectual humility can promote the acquisition of epistemic goods.

Keywords:   ego-exalting potency, epistemic goods, intellectual arrogance, intellectual humility, intellectual vice, intellectual virtue, Robert C. Roberts, vanity, virtue epistemology, W. Jay Wood

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