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Vices of the Mind By Quassim Cassam (Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick)

Summary

Quassim Cassam introduces the idea of epistemic vices, character traits that get in the way of knowledge, such as closed-mindedness, intellectual arrogance, wishful thinking, and prejudice. Using examples from politics to illustrate the vices at work, he considers whether we are responsible for such failings, and what we can do about them.

Vices of the Mind Summary

Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the Political by Quassim Cassam (Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick)

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.

Vices of the Mind Reviews

The publication of Cassam's Vices of the Mind is a landmark in the study of epistemic vices. * Alessandra Tanesini, Mind *
This timely book should be read by all who wonder why the quality of political life and decision-making in the US has deteriorated. * M.A. Michael, CHOICE *
A superb (and icily furious) book * Steven Poole, New Statesman *
An excellent introduction to the debates about epistemic vices and is easy to engage regardless of one's philosophical background. In being the first book-length treatment of epistemic vices, Vices of the Mind is sure to shape the debates surrounding epistemic vices for some time. * Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective *
absorbing * Pete Burgess, The Philosopher *
A stimulating and lively consideration of what the philosopher Quassim Cassam calls 'epistemic vices'. * Process North *

About Quassim Cassam (Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick)

Quassim Cassam is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick. He was previously Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge, and has also taught at Oxford and UCL. He is the author of Self and World (OUP 1997), The Possibility of Knowledge (OUP 2007), Berkeley's Puzzle: What Does Experience Teach Us? (OUP 2014) with John Campbell, and Self-Knowledge for Humans (OUP 2014).

Table of Contents

1: The Anatomy of Vice 2: A Question of Character 3: Vicious Thinking 4: Epistemic Postures 5: Vice and Knowledge 6: Vice and Responsibility 7: Stealthy Vices 8: Self-Improvement

Additional information

NGR9780198826903
9780198826903
0198826907
Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the Political by Quassim Cassam (Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick)
New
Hardback
Oxford University Press
2019-02-14
224
N/A
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