Epistemic virtues a prerequisite for the truth-seeking and constructor of intellectual identity

Theology 9 (19):123-146 (2018)
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Abstract
Abstract The present paper examines the role of epistemic virtues in the formation of intellectual identity and its impact on improving our truth-seeking behaviors. A epistemic virtue is a special faculty or trait of a person whose operation makes that person a thinker, believer, learner, scholar, knower, cognizer, perceiver, etc., or causes his intellectual development and perfection, and improves his truth-seeking and knowledge-acquiring behaviours and places him on the path to attain understanding, perception and wisdom. Virtue epistemology is a set of approaches in contemporary epistemology that regards knowledge as "a true belief arising from humans epistemic virtues." Virtue responsibilism and Virtue reliabilism are two important approaches to virtue epistemology that differ together in their attitude to the nature of epistemic virtue. Responsibilisms regards epistemic virtues as an acquired character traits that must be attained through practice and training with plenty of effort from the agent who possesses the will. In contrast, virtue reliabilisms considers epistemic virtues as reliable and innate cognitive faculties, and believes that this natural faculties has been placed in the human being from the very beginning and, if used in the appropriate condition and in a proper environment, is reliably truth-conducive. So virtue epistemology, which is distinguished from belief-based analytical epistemology by focusing on the cognitive character of the agent rather than the belief, regards epistemic virtues as the constructive factor of the epistemic agent and the condition of reaching the truth. From the two approaches of virtue reliabilism and virtue responsibilism, this paper focuses on the second approach and with using of the nine-fold virtues, that Jason Baehr posed, shows how to make epistemically good and thinker human by utilizing these virtues and avoiding the corresponding vices and through this, gained the truth in various epistemic areas. After explaining these virtues and their role in the two mentioned domains based on the virtue epistemology, the significance of this relationship in the view of Mulla Sadra as an example of Islamic philosophy is examined, For the reason that he sees knowledge as the produce of some factors that epistemic virtues is considered part of them. In the view of Sadra, epistemic virtues is the specific attributes and traits of reason faculty that their function causes man to be a very good and strong perciever, and their actual possesion or their gradual acquisition leads to the perfection of the soul and the dignity of human existence. In a new theory of soul-  Ph.D. Student of Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Qom University, Qom, Iran (Responsible author) hoseinhemmatzadeh@gmail.com  Associate Professor of Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Qom University, Qom, Iran. z.khazaei@gmail.com  Professor of Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Qom University, Qom, Iran. Moh_javadi@yahoo.com 2/ Comparative Theology, Vol: 9, No: 19, Spring & Summer 2018 knowledge, he considers the journey of the soul from the outset as evolutionary journey, and, on the other hand, he considers all human activities directly as an activity of the soul (epistemic agent), which he performs through his own faculties. As a result, the soul is a increasing and evolving being, while at the same time acquiring knowledge is also from its own activities, and therefore the factors that make up the soul are also influential in its products. Now, as knowledge comes from soul exposure to the outside world, the more this soul is refined from pollutions and adorned to virtues, the better reflection from reality will be. Undoubtedly, the desire to engage in the process of truth-seeking and the responsible use of cognitive virtues and skills lead man to a desirable goal (recognition of truth) and forms his true intellectual identity. In the end, the paper suggests that because of the importance of epistemic virtues in the improvement of truth-seeking behaviors, educating and cultivating of these types of virtues should be part of the spoken and written course content of universities and schools, and must be proper critical thinking is institutionalized and strengthened in the spirit of community members. Educational resources contain a wide range of information that can deeply influence our epistemic behaviors and actions. Hence, it is necessary to include praised cognitive skills and epistemic virtues training in them. Teachers play an important role in educating and developing epistemic virtues as part of the formal curriculum content of educational centers, perhaps as part of critical thinking and logic courses. The formal education of epistemic virtues and the creation of opportunities for practicing and exercising them will be a good starting point for institutionalizing and developing admired cognitive skills among members of the community. In a society where individuals in their epistemic processes use their own cognitive virtues and organize their beliefs on their basis, the community itself and the social relations will also be virtuous, because the necessity of such an virtues is that individuals interact with their peers and In these interactions, rule virtue. Observing fairness towards others, intellectual humility, intellectual generosity, courage against miscreant and one who has weak arguments, observance of neutrality and other epistemic virtues, if it is to be found in societies as a habit and praised skill, then that society will be virtuous and its relations will be healthier and with the cultivating of those virtues, Intellectual and moral development will also become easier and more common. Intellectual virtues (or praised cognitive skills) should be taught to the community members, so that they display such characteristics when engaging in social activities, whean expressing opinions, when doing research, and so on. It is important to change our education policies, because the decay of praised cognitive skills leads to devastating consequences for intellectual identity and the truth-seeking and knowledgeacquiring behavior of the community members.
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Archival date: 2019-02-14
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Virtue Epistemology.Battaly, Heather

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