[lit-ideas] Re: Sick dogs and virtue epist.

  • From: Walter Okshevsky <wokshevs@xxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 11:52:26 -0230 (NDT)

> > Walter Okshevsky wrote:
> >
> > "[Can we] hold people morally responsible for their unjustified beliefs.
> > ... And if so, under what circumstances? For the past few months now,
> > I've been haunted with the matter of whether epistemic virtues and moral
> > virtues have some common root."

To which Phil Enns replied:

> > Wouldn't the common root be the Good?  Don't we expect people to do the
> > best they can with regards to holding justified beliefs because this
> > being truthful and acting rightly are goods proper to human beings?
> > Someone who holds beliefs without consideration of whether they are
> > justified or not is not merely right or wrong but untrustworthy.
> > Someone who refuses to reconsider their beliefs in light of
> > contradictory evidence is not merely wrong but of suspect character.
> > People have a moral responsibility to care whether their beliefs are
> > justified and act accordingly.  Therefore both epistemic and moral
> > virtues have their ends in human beings being truthful and acting
> > rightly.
> >
> > I am sure Walter has already considered this so I merely throw out the
> > above in order to provoke Walter to share what he has come up with.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> >
> > Phil Enns
> > Toronto, ON

I haven't come up with much more than what you so clearly and astutely
wrote in your response. But notice that your account doesn't reveal any
possible common root to moral and epistemic virtues or moral and epistemic
criteria. You're claiming that when it comes to our beliefs, we are BOTH
morally and epistemically responsible for our believings. One would be
"not merely right or wrong" epistemically, but ALSO morally culpable
(untrustworthy). My question is about whether the different obligations
("oughts") involved in our ascriptions of moral and epistemic virtue and
vice to persons (we'll keep dogs out of it for the time being) are based
in something that these two have in common. I can't go much further than
that for the time being.

Cheers, Walter
Memorial U
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