Epistemic situationism

Abrol Fairweather (Editor), Mark Alfano (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Book/Anthologypeer-review


This volume is the first sustained examination of epistemic situationism: the clash between virtue epistemology and the situationist hypothesis inspired by research in empirical psychology. Situationism began as a challenge to the psychology of character traits, targeting ethical theories that presuppose a trait psychology. Psychological research suggests that (often trivial) environmental variables have greater explanatory power than character traits. Epistemology pursues questions about the nature of knowledge. While there are internal differences within virtue epistemology between responsibilists and reliabilists, they all analyze knowledge in terms of epistemic virtues and vices. Until recently, virtue epistemology and situationism were separate literatures, but philosophers have begun to examine the apparent incompatibility between situationist psychology and virtue epistemology. The essays in this volume take up this new problem of epistemic situationism from multiple points of view—some skeptical or revisionary, others conservative. The collection amounts to a comprehensive assessment of the current thinking on this wide ranging and crucial area of modern philosophy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages267
ISBN (Print)0191512524, 9780191767548, 9780191512520, 0191767549
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • virtue epistemology
  • knowledge
  • epistemic situationism
  • foundationalism


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