On Epistemic Consequentialism and the Virtue Conflation Problem

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):239-248 (2016)
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Abstract

Addressing the ‘virtue conflation’ problem requires the preservation of intuitive distinctions between virtue types, that is, between intellectual and moral virtues. According to one influential attempt to avoid this problem proposed by Julia Driver, moral virtues produce benefits to others—in particular, they promote the well-being of others—while the intellectual virtues, as such, produce epistemic good for the agent. We show that Driver's demarcation of intellectual virtue, by adverting to the self-/other distinction, leads to a reductio, and ultimately, that the prospects for resolving the virtue conflation problem look dim within an epistemic consequentialist approach to the epistemic right and the epistemic good.

Author Profiles

Ian M. Church
Hillsdale College
J. Adam Carter
University of Glasgow

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