Combining conceptual analysis with well established empirical evidence, this is an important new book in analytical epistemology.Contemporary epistemology debates have largely been occupied with formulating a definition of knowledge that is immune to any counterexample. To date, no definition has been able to escape unscathed.Moving away from debates about definitions, "Virtue Epistemology" shows what conditions are essential for knowledge and applies this account to different domains. It proposes that agents must be motivated correctly to acquire knowledge, even in the case of perception.Stephen Napier examines closely the empirical research in cognitive science and moral psychology to build an account of knowledge wherein an agent must perform acts of virtue in order to get knowledge. In so doing, Napier provides answers to two key questions: 'what is knowledge?' and 'how do we get it?'
Stephen Napier has a PhD in Philosophy from Saint Louis University, USA, and was previously Professor of Ethics at Belmont University and Fellow in Medical Ethics at St Thomas Hospital, Nashville. He is currently a full-time ethicist for the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia.
1. Introduction; 2. Competing Conceptions of a Cognitive Virtue; 3. A Virtue Account of Perception; 4. A Virtue Account of Memory; 5. Testimony and Cognitive Virtue; 6. Moral Expertise: The Role of Cognitive Virtue in Generating Knowledge; 7. Cognitive Virtue, Divine Hiddenness and Reasonable Belief or Non-Belief.; 8. Conclusion; Bibliography.