Epistemic Explanations: A Theory of Telic Normativity, and What it Explains

ISBN : 9780198856467

Ernest Sosa
256 ページ
138 x 216 mm

Epistemic Explanations develops an improved virtue epistemology and uses it to explain several epistemic phenomena. Part I lays out a telic virtue epistemology that accommodates varieties of knowledge and understanding particularly pertinent to the humanities. Part II develops an epistemology of suspension of judgment, by relating it to degrees of confidence and to inquiry. Part III develops a substantially improved telic virtue epistemology by appeal to default assumptions important in domains of human performance generally, and in our intellectual lives as a special case. This reconfigures earlier virtue epistemology, which now seems a first approximation. This part also introduces a metaphysical hierarchy of epistemic categories and defends in particular a category of secure knowledge.


Part I: Insight and Understanding, and Two Sides of Epistemology
1 Insight and Understanding
2 Gnoseology and Intellectual Ethics
Part II: The Nature and Varieties of Suspension
3 The Place of Suspension and Problems for Evidentialism
4 Suspension, Confidence, and Inquiry
5 When and How is Suspension Apt?
6 More on Suspension: Its Varieties and How It Relates to Being in a Position to Know
Part III: The Telic Nature of Knowledge, and Some Main Varieties
7 Knowledge, Default, and Skepticism
8 Grades of Knowledge
9 Reflection and Security
10 Competence and Justification
Part IV: A Historical Antecedent
11 The Relevance of Moore and Wittgenstein


Born in Cuba, Ernest Sosa immigrated to the USA as a teenager. After his BA from the University of Miami, and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, he has taught at Brown University and then at Rutgers, each for decades. During that time he has had numerous dissertation students who have attained distinction. He was a President of the American Philosophical Association (Eastern) and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1980 he inaugurated the virtue theoretic approach in epistemology, which he has developed through a half dozen books, many published articles, and replies in many author/critic sessions and books. He has given several distinguished lectures, including the Locke and the Carus Lectures, and has received several prizes. The APA has established a prize lectureship and a fellowship in his honor for excellence in epistemology.