A Critical Review of Zagzebski’s Theory of Virtue Epistemology: Some Preliminary Objections

Document Type : Original Research


Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran.


Linda Zagzebski’s reading of virtue epistemology is consisted of several elements. In her synthetic theory, if not eclectic, there are many defects. In this research, after providing a very short explanation of the core of the theory, four defects are introduced. The virtue and belief obtained throughout the path pictured by Zagzebski are not the required and adequate conditions to achieve knowledge; the difference between the natural and acquired virtue and their role in attaining virtue are not clearly elaborated and there is room for further debate; the position of agent and believer –as the possessor of knowledge- in her theory is questionable from mere naturalistic and reliablistic viewpoint, and there is a different way of elaborating on virtues and vices from experimental sciences viewpoint and the test-based philosophy perspective. Eventually, the position of the motivation to attain knowledge and the impulses that lead to knowledge are questionable. 


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