My PhD thesis sits within the field of vice epistemology: the philosophical study of intellectual vices, their nature, and epistemological significance.
Specifically, I am investigating the relationship between intellectual character, epistemic vices, and the concept of epistemic corruption.
What is epistemic corruption?
Epistemic corruption refers to the dynamic ways in which certain social conditions or environments can lead people like you and me to develop, foster, or exercise intellectual character vices. The traits below in red illustrate some common intellectual vices.
A common property intellectual vices share is that they i) either reflect poor motivations towards wanting true beliefs/knowledge/understanding or ii) lead to bad outcomes – obstructing the acquisition, retention, or transmission of epistemic goods.
I am looking at the variations and mechanisms behind epistemic corruption, and ways we might combat this phenomenon. This involves asking:
1) What is an intellectual or ‘epistemic’ character and what does it consist of?
2) How does epistemic corruption operate? Is is purely restricted to character-based epistemology?
3) Is there a distinctly ‘collective’ type of epistemic corruption?
4) To what extent do epistemic vices damage our intellectual characters?
5) Can epistemic corruption be remedied by ‘corrective’ epistemic virtues?