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The Inquiring OrganizationHow Organizations Acquire Knowledge and Seek Information$
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Chun Wei Choo

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199782031

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782031.001.0001

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Epistemic Virtues and Vices

Epistemic Virtues and Vices

(p.91) 5 Epistemic Virtues and Vices
The Inquiring Organization

Chun Wei Choo

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces virtue epistemology, a theory of knowledge based on an evaluation of the character traits of the agent. Knowledge is then a state of belief arising out of acts of epistemic virtue, where epistemic virtue is an acquired character trait such as epistemic responsibility and epistemic conscientiousness. The chapter extends these ideas to describe an organizational epistemic culture that is virtuous. A virtuous epistemic culture is defined by an authentic motivation for knowledge, buttressed by norms that uphold epistemic virtues such as open-mindedness, intellectual courage, intellectual integrity, and epistemic responsibility. The chapter also examines epistemic vices that diminish or distort motivation for knowledge and that compromise reliable success in attaining knowledge. Specifically, the chapter looks at epistemic injustice, epistemic conformity, closed-mindedness, confirmation bias, intellectual dogmatism, learning myopia, attributional biases, and organizational defensive routines.

Keywords:   virtue epistemology, epistemic virtues, epistemic vices, epistemic culture, epistemic responsibility, epistemic injustice, confirmation bias, attributional bias, organizational defensive routine

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