Intellectual Virtues and Scientific Endeavor: A Reflection on the Commitments Inherent in Generating and Possessing Knowledge

Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 43 (1-2):18-31 (2023)
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Abstract

In this essay, I reflect on the implications of intellectual virtues in scientific endeavor. To this end, I first offer a depiction of scientific endeavor by resorting to the notion of academic attitude, which involves aspects concerning the generation and possession of knowledge. Although there are differences between these activities, they have in common the engagement of diverse intellectual agents (scientists). In this sense, I analyze how intellectual virtues are linked to 1) scientific research tasks, such as theory appraisal, and 2) those tasks of vigilance and intervention in the uses of scientific knowledge. I conclude that intellectual virtues play a leading role in achieving higher quality scientific research and adequate foresight on the uses and impacts of scientific findings. In this order of ideas, I propose an agenda for further inquiries on these matters, highlighting the relevance of reflecting and empirically researching the relationship between intellectual virtues and science, as well as cultivating intellectual virtues in various stages of scientific training.

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