Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the Political
Epistemic vices are character traits, attitudes or thinking styles that prevent us from gaining, keeping or sharing knowledge. In this book, Quassim Cassam gives an account of the nature and importance of these vices, which include closed-mindedness, intellectual arrogance, wishful thinking, and prejudice. In providing the first extensive coverage of vice epistemology, an exciting new area of philosophical research, Vices of the Mind uses real examples drawn primarily from the world of politics to develop a compelling theory of epistemic vice. Cassam defends the view that as well as getting in the way of knowledge these vices are blameworthy or reprehensible. Key events such as the 2003 Iraq War and the 2016 Brexit vote, and notable figures including Donald Trump are analysed in detail to illustrate what epistemic vice looks like in the modern world. The traits covered in this landmark work include a hitherto unrecognised epistemic vice called 'epistemic insouciance'. Cassam examines both the extent to which we are responsible for our failings and the factors that make it difficult to know our own vices. If we are able to overcome self-ignorance and recognise our epistemic vices then is there is anything we can do about them? Vices of the Mind picks up on this concern in its conclusion by detailing possible self-improvement strategies and closing with a discussion of what makes some epistemic vices resistant to change.
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active critical reflection affective postures argue attitude vices Bar-Joseph behaviour bias Birmingham Six blame blameworthy Brexit Chapter character traits character vices closed-mindedness cognitive biases confident confirmation bias conspiracy theories conspiracy thinking contempt described detect dogmatism Dunning-Kruger effect effective epistemic attitude epistemic insouciance epistemic malevolence epistemic virtues epistemically harmful epistemically vicious evaluative evidence example fast thinking Fricker Guildford Four gullibility and foolishness Heidemann high fidelity Hitler diaries Holocaust Holocaust denier ignorance implicit biases inconsistent triad intellectual arrogance intellectual vices Iraq judgement lack Lord Denning malleable managerial control mindedness moral need for closure notion obstacles to knowledge obstruct obstructivism one's epistemic vices open-mindedness outsmarting person possible prejudice propositional attitudes question reason reflect badly reprehensible revision responsible Ricks Rumsfeld self-improvement self-knowledge sense slow thinking someone stance stealthy vices structural sub-personal suppose Taliban thing thinker thinking vices tobacco strategy traumatic experiences vice explanations voluntary control wishful thinking Zeira