The Virtue Epistemologist

Richard Marshall, 3:AM, Sept 16, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Longish interview with the philosopher Ernest Sosa, well known for his work in epistemology (that is, the philosophy of knowledge). I don't really agree with him, but it's an interesting approach: "Knowledge in my view," he writes, "is a form of action. It involves endeavors to get it right, and more broadly it concerns aimings, which can be functional rather than intentional. Through our perceptual systems, we represent our surroundings, aiming to do so accurately, where the aiming is functional or teleological, rather than intentional. And the same goes for our functional beliefs. Through our judgments, however, we do intentionally, even consciously, attempt to get it right." There's an extended discussion of epistemology as it relates to archery: what do we aim for, how do we know, what counts as a 'good' shot?

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