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Epistemology: Becoming Intellectually Virtuous

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  175 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
How do we know what we know? What have wisdom, prudence and studiousness to do with justifying our beliefs? Jay Wood begins this introduction to epistemology by taking an extended look at the idea of knowing within the context of the intellectual virtues. He then surveys current views of foundationalism, epistemic justification and reliabilism. Finally he examines the rela ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published October 9th 1998 by IVP Academic (first published August 1998)
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Jan 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epistemology
This was a really good book which incorporates epistemological virtues as a valuable part of a properly functioning epistemological agent. Since, as I would agree with the likes of John Frame, say, I believe that our knowing enterprise is a moral endeavor, the fact that we should take care to be certain kinds of cognitive agents is appealing. As appropriate cognitive agents we should be, argues Wood, inquisitive, teachable, attentive, persistent, and circumspect. Much like virtue ethics (which a ...more
Adam Borecky
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I stumbled across this book quite by accident on Amazon, expecting it to be an intro into basic epistemology. A few pages in, I realized that this was actually a work of Christian philosophy aimed at giving readers a very basic discussion of the secular epistemological tradition but then arguing for the authors preferred approach invoking what he terms the "intellectual virtues". In essence, he argues that cultivating intellectual virtues (attentiveness, loving truth, intellectual humility, inte ...more
Andy Jones
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I had a good time reading this book. It was helpful to me as it put names to a lot of different ideas that I had.. It showed me the strengths and weaknesses of these different ideas in relation to the human quest for knowledge.

On a less personal reading I found the book to be a bit lacking in focus.
The first chapter is spent introducing the topic of epistemology and intellectual virtues, fair enough, the second on clearing up the field of discussion, okay.
The third chapter is actually about inte
Kirk Lowery
Jul 24, 2011 added it
Shelves: philosophy
Epistemology is something that we all do, not just philosophers. We have beliefs, and we justify them. Or, we change them based upon evidence that seems compelling to us. And, the author argues, our beliefs are informed by intellectual virtue -- or vice.

This book argues for the case that epistemology has a moral and even spiritual dimension that is unavoidable. He reviews the major theories of knowledge, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses. By looking at the problem of justifying the bel
Brian Watson
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Wood presents some interesting ideas, but doesn't explain epistemology (the study of knowledge) all that well. The main point of the book is found in the subtitle: Wood is more concerned about intellectual virtues and how they relate to our knowing. In short, in order to know the truth, one must be true. That is, one must first commit to certain virtues like honesty and diligence if one is to know anything accurately.

Wood also examines some views of epistemology such as strong and weak foundati
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is an interesting exploration of how virtue epistemology can make up for the deficits of both internalist and externalist epistemplogies. The subtitle of the book "Becoming Intellectually Virtuous" is NOT accurate - this book doesn't provide any guidance at all on how you can develop the intellectual virtues. However it does highlight the role that intellectual virtues play in the acquisition of accurate knowledge. In the course of the book, the author also discusses the key roles that ...more
Kelle Craft
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Awesome overview of an entire epistemic worldview. Not only does W. Jay Wood elaborate on how ones worldview is rooted, but also gives great detail and concern for why it is so vital to care about epistemology. Though he comes from a Christian perspective, he evaluates moral and intellectual virtues fairly, and gives a comprehensive view of different possibilities, showing the strengths and weaknesses of the variety of views.
For anyone interested in learning why we should care about knowledge,
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This was a really good book that taught me a lot about epistemology, and about the intellectual-virtue method of pursuing it. More than just teaching me good head knowledge about the current discussions in epistemology, however, it taught me how to become a more virtuous pursuer of the truth. There were a couple places in the book where Wood spoke on a level that was too technical for me to really understand. But the other parts of the book more than made up for the confusing bits.

Rating: 4-4.5
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it
This book came very close to four stars, I only give it three based on a few chapters that were lacking clarity. The final chapter did a great job on "wrapping up" the intent of the book - I only wish it had been longer.
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
The and second chapters, along with the end of the seventh, and the whole of the eighth, were the best parts.
Good examples to explain philosophical concepts.
Ran into a street-sign while reading, go figure.
Ray A.
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those with a background in general philosophy or in epistemology
Shelves: virtues
Requires hard work. A somewhat easier and more rewarding read is a later book on the same subject author co-wrote with Robert C. Roberts: Intellectual Virtues: An Essay in Regulative Epistemology, which I review elsewhere on this site.
Bud Hewlett
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is another one of my top twenty books, and an excellent supplement to Philosophical Foundations for a Christian World View.
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
A needed approach to the topic. Looks at the interrelationship between knowledge and virtue or better yet true knowledge as virtue.
Douglas Wilson
Jan 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Jacob Aitken
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent introduction to epistemology and a decent pointer to deeper literature on the subject. Author veers towards a virtue ethic towards the end. Nice interaction with Reid and Plantinga.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Decent intro
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