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Vices of the MindFrom the Intellectual to the Political$
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Quassim Cassam

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826903.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

The Anatomy of Vice

The Anatomy of Vice

(p.1) 1 The Anatomy of Vice
Vices of the Mind

Quassim Cassam

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains and defends obstructivism about epistemic vice, the view that epistemic vices are blameworthy or otherwise reprehensible character traits, attitudes, or ways of thinking that systematically obstruct the gaining, keeping, or sharing of knowledge. It explains how epistemic vices get in the way of knowledge and criticizes motivational accounts of epistemic vice. Obstructivism focuses on the epistemic consequences of epistemic vices and is a form of consequentialism. The focus in this chapter is on arrogance and its role in obstructing the acquisition and sharing of knowledge during preparations for the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. Epistemic vices are distinguished from mere cognitive defects and an account is given of different senses in which we might have responsibility for our own epistemic vices.

Keywords:   obstructivism, epistemic vice, knowledge, consequentialism, arrogance, Iraq, cognitive defects, responsibility

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