The Social Dimension of the Ethics of Knowledge. Intellectual Virtues and Intellectual Vices in Epistemic Practices


EXTENDED DEADLINE for submissions: the 31th of December 2020

Significant work has been done in social epistemology in the last decades. Looking at the generation and acquisition of knowledge in social contexts, scholars considered not only ontological and epistemological issues, like the ontology of group minds and the epistemology of the many and different in-group epistemic practices but also the normative dimension that seems to be required for regulating social epistemic activities, such as group learning and revision of beliefs. Scholars have thus studied the truth-conduciveness of abilities and character traits of the epistemic agents, the so-called intellectual virtues, like open-mindedness, scrutiny, and perseverance, in conjunction with the elaboration of the ethics of knowledge.  Most recently, epistemic vices, such as hermeneutical injustice, false testimony, and conspiracy, have been discovered within knowledge management and production, and the spread of misinformation and fake news in the age of the internet have pushed scholars to engage with vice epistemology as well.

In this monographic issue of Humana.Mente, we aim to discuss the social dimension of the ethics of knowledge, primarily focusing on the conditions that rule out the emergence of intellectual virtues and intellectual vices in epistemic practices at the intersection between virtue and vice epistemology, also exploring some real-life situations from a case-based applied epistemology.

These are some of the questions we aim to discuss:

  • What is the role of epistemic virtues and epistemic vices in knowledge management and production? How are they entangled?
  • What are the formal objects of intellectual virtues and intellectual vices? Is the truth the only value that should be taken into account for assessing the success condition of epistemic practices?
  • What are the motivational components of intellectual virtues and vices? What are the character traits of virtuous/vicious epistemic agents and communities? In particular, what is the role of emotions and other affective dispositions in motivating virtuous/vicious epistemic agency? What is the role played by personal and institutional responsibility?
  • What are the rules which regulate the ethics of knowledge? What are the conditions that should be fulfilled for avoiding epistemic vices in social epistemic practices? What is the role of institutions and epistemic communities?

    Contributions must be original and not under review elsewhere. All papers will be subject to double-anonymous peer-review.
    Manuscripts should be submitted online through Humana.Mente Editorial Manager:

For further details on how to prepare the manuscripts, please follow the instructions for authors available on the Journal’s website:

For further information, please contact the guest editor: