The Mismeasure of the Self: A Study in Vice Epistemology

ISBN : 9780198858836

Alessandra Tanesini
224 ページ
156 x 234 mm

The Mismeasure of the Self is dedicated to vices that blight many lives. They are the vices of superiority, characteristic of those who feel entitled, superior and who have an inflated opinion of themselves, and those of inferiority, typical of those who are riddled with self-doubt and feel inferior. Arrogance, narcissism, haughtiness, and vanity are among the first group. Self-abasement, fatalism, servility, and timidity exemplify the second. This book shows these traits to be to vices of self-evaluation and describes their pervasive harmful effects in some detail. Even though the influence of these traits extends to any aspect of life, the focus of this book is their damaging impact on the life of the intellect. Tanesini develops and defends a view of these vices that puts vicious motivations at their core. The analyses developed in this work build on empirical research in attitude psychology and on philosophical theories in virtue ethics and epistemology. The book concludes with a positive proposal for weakening vice and promoting virtue.


1 The Measure and Mis-measure of the Self
Part I: The Philosophy and Psychology of Intellectual Vice
2 Intellectual Virtues and Vices: Sensibilities, Thinking Styles and Character Traits
3 Attitude Psychology and Virtue Epistemology: A New Framework
Part II: Virtues and Vices of Intellectual self-evaluation
4 Intellectual Humility, Proper Pride and Proper Concern with Others' Esteem
5 Superbia, Arrogance, Servility and Self-Abasement
6 Vanity, Narcissism, Timidity and Fatalism
Part III: Epistemic Harms and Moral Wrongs
7 Harms and Wrongs
8 Wrongs, Responsibility, Blame and Oppression
9 Teaching Intellectual Virtues, Changing Attitudes


Alessandra Tanesini is Professor of Philosophy at Cardiff University. She is the author of An Introduction to Feminist Epistemologies (Blackwell, 1999), Wittgenstein: A Feminist Interpretation (Polity, 2004), and of several articles in epistemology, feminist philosophy, the philosophy of mind and language, and on Nietzsche. Her current work lies at the intersection of ethics, the philosophy of language, and epistemology with a focus on epistemic vice, silencing, prejudice, and ignorance.