PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

Philosophical Papers

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register



DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Open Access  DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Subscription or Fee Access

Metaethics Meets Virtue Epistemology: Salvaging Disagreement about the Epistemically Thick

H Battaly

Abstract




Virtue ethics and virtue epistemology shift the focus of evaluation from thin
concepts to thick ones. Simon Blackburn has argued that a shift to thick ethical concepts
dooms us to talking past one another. I contend that virtue epistemologists can answer
Blackburn's objection, thus salvaging genuine disagreement about the epistemically thick.
Section I introduces the standard cognitivist and non-cognitivist analyses of thick concepts.
Section II argues that thick epistemic concepts are subject to combinatorial vagueness. I
contend that virtue epistemologists share vague concepts of intellectual virtue and openmindedness. Section III addresses Allan Gibbard's worry that appealing to vagueness
exacerbates the problem. I conclude that for genuine disagreement to occur, the parties
must (1) share vague concepts; and (2) agree on the goals of their conceptual analyses.

Philosophical Papers Vol. 37 (3) 2008: pp. 435-454



http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/05568640809485230
AJOL African Journals Online