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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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Stealthy Vices

Stealthy Vices

Chapter:
(p.144) 7 Stealthy Vices
Source:
Vices of the Mind
Author(s):

Quassim Cassam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198826903.003.0007

Stealthy vices, such as closed-mindedness, are epistemic vices that are inherently hard to detect because it is in their nature to block their own detection. This chapter defends the view that at least some epistemic vices are stealthy and some are stealthier than others. The stealthiness of stealthy vices is explained on the basis that such vices negate or nullify the epistemic virtues on which active critical reflection on one’s own vices depends. The stealthiness of stealthy vices is the vice epistemological analogue of the Dunning-Kruger effect, but traumatic experiences can sometimes open one’s eyes to one’s own epistemic vices. In such cases one acquires self-knowledge by transformational insight rather than by active critical reflection.

Keywords:   stealthy vices, active critical reflection, epistemic virtues, Dunning-Kruger effect, traumatic experiences, self-knowledge, transformational insight

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