'Enquiry' Seminar Series
Guest Speaker: David Horst (Porto Alegre)
Title: Virtue, Skill and Epistemic Competence'
Abstract: Many virtue epistemologists conceive of epistemic competence on the model of skill—such as archery, playing baseball or chess. In this paper, I argue that this is a mistake: epistemic competences and skills are crucially and relevantly different kinds of capacities. This, I suggest, undermines the popular attempt to understand epistemic normativity as a mere special case of the sort of normativity familiar from skillful action. In fact, as I argue further, epistemic competences resemble virtues, rather than skills—a claim that is based on an important, but largely overlooked, distinction between virtue and skill, one that Aristotle highlights in the Nicomachean Ethics. The upshot is that virtue epistemology should indeed be based on virtue, not on skill.