Virtues and Vices in Public and Political Debate

In Jeroen De Ridder & Michael Hannon (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology. London, UK: pp. 325-335 (2021)
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In this chapter, after a review of some existent empirical and philosophical literature that suggests that human beings are essentially incapable of changing their mind in response to counter-evidence, I argue that motivation makes a significant difference to individuals’ ability rationally to evaluate information. I rely on empirical work on group deliberation to argue that the motivation to learn from others, as opposed to the desire to win arguments, promotes good quality group deliberation. Finally I provide an overview of some epistemic virtues and vices crucial to the politico-epistemic activities of arguing, debating, and listening to a contrary point of view.

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Alessandra Tanesini
Cardiff University


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