The Genealogy of Epistemic Virtue Concepts
This paper examines the treatment of thick ethical concepts in Williams's work in order to evaluate the consistency of his treatment of ethical and epistemic concepts and to assess whether the idea of a thick concept can be extended from ethics to epistemology. A virtue epistemology is described modeled on a cognitivist virtue ethics. Williams's genealogy of the virtues surrounding propositional knowledge (the virtues of ‘truthfulness') is critically evaluated. It is concluded that this genealogy is an important contribution to the project of virtue epistemology. Thick concepts must not only feature in the account but will sustain more of the marks of objectivity than their ethical counterparts. This is so even on Williams's demanding assumptions.
Philosophical Papers Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 345-369