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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: 22 October 2021

Epistemic Postures

Epistemic Postures

(p.78) 4 Epistemic Postures
Vices of the Mind

Quassim Cassam

Oxford University Press

Epistemic insouciance is an epistemic vice that takes the form of an affective epistemic posture. Epistemic insouciance is the epistemic vice behind bullshit in Harry Frankfurt’s sense. Epistemic insouciance, which consists in a casual lack of concern about whether one’s beliefs have any basis in reality or adequate evidential support, is different from epistemic malevolence. The latter is a voluntarily adopted epistemic stance rather than an affective posture. Epistemic malevolence, defined by Jason Baehr as opposition to knowledge as such or to another person’s share of knowledge, is illustrated by reference to what Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway refer to as the ‘tobacco strategy’.

Keywords:   epistemic insouciance, bullshit, epistemic posture, stance, epistemic malevolence

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