Confidence, Humility, and Hubris in Nineteenth Century Philosophies

In Herman Paul & Jeroen van Dongen (eds.), Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Humanities (Dordrecht:). Springer. pp. 11-25 (2017)
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Most historians explains changes in conceptions of the epistemic virtues and vices in terms of social and historical developments. I argue that such approaches, valuable as they are, neglect the fact that certain changes also reflect changes in metaphysical sensibilities. Certain epistemic virtues and vices are defined relative to an estimate of our epistemic situation that is, in turn, defined by a broader vision or picture of the nature of reality. I defend this claim by charting changing conceptions of the virtue of epistemic humility in 19th century intellectual culture - specifically the scientific naturalists.
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