How navigation systems transform epistemic virtues: Knowledge, issues and solutions

Cognitive Systems Research 56 (56):36-49 (2019)
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In this paper, we analyse how GPS-based navigation systems are transforming some of our intellectual virtues and then suggest two strategies to improve our practices regarding the use of such epistemic tools. We start by outlining the two main approaches in virtue epistemology, namely virtue reliabilism and virtue responsibilism. We then discuss how navigation systems can undermine five epistemic virtues, namely memory, perception, attention, intellectual autonomy, and intellectual carefulness. We end by considering two possible interlinked ways of trying to remedy this situation: [i] redesigning the epistemic tool to improve the epistemic virtues of memory, perception, and attention; and [ii] the cultivation of cognitive diligence for wayfinding tasks scaffolding intellectual autonomy and carefulness

Author Profiles

Richard Heersmink
Tilburg University
Alexander James Gillett
Macquarie University


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