Vices of the Mind

Vices of the Mind : From the Intellectual to the Political

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Epistemic vices are character traits, attitudes or thinking styles that prevent us from gaining, keeping or sharing knowledge. In this book, Quassim Cassam gives an account of the nature and importance of these vices, which include closed-mindedness, intellectual arrogance, wishful thinking, and prejudice. In providing the first extensive coverage of vice epistemology, an exciting new area of philosophical research, Vices of the Mind uses real examples drawn
primarily from the world of politics to develop a compelling theory of epistemic vice. Cassam defends the view that as well as getting in the way of knowledge these vices are blameworthy or reprehensible. Key events such as the 2003 Iraq War and the 2016 Brexit vote, and notable figures including Donald
Trump are analysed in detail to illustrate what epistemic vice looks like in the modern world. The traits covered in this landmark work include a hitherto unrecognised epistemic vice called 'epistemic insouciance'. Cassam examines both the extent to which we are responsible for our failings and the factors that make it difficult to know our own vices. If we are able to overcome self-ignorance and recognise our epistemic vices then is there is anything we can do about them? Vices of the
Mind picks up on this concern in its conclusion by detailing possible self-improvement strategies and closing with a discussion of what makes some epistemic vices resistant to change.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 149 x 224 x 18mm | 407g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198826907
  • 9780198826903
  • 454,764

Table of contents

1: The Anatomy of Vice
2: A Question of Character
3: Vicious Thinking
4: Epistemic Postures
5: Vice and Knowledge
6: Vice and Responsibility
7: Stealthy Vices
8: Self-Improvement
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Review Text

The publication of Cassam's Vices of the Mind is a landmark in the study of epistemic vices. Alessandra Tanesini, Mind
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Review quote

A stimulating and lively consideration of what the philosopher Quassim Cassam calls 'epistemic vices'. * Process North * absorbing * Pete Burgess, The Philosopher * A superb (and icily furious) book * Steven Poole, New Statesman * This timely book should be read by all who wonder why the quality of political life and decision-making in the US has deteriorated. * M.A. Michael, CHOICE * The publication of Cassam's Vices of the Mind is a landmark in the study of epistemic vices. * Alessandra Tanesini, Mind *
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About Quassim Cassam

Quassim Cassam is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick. He was previously Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge, and has also taught at Oxford and UCL. He is the author of Self and World (OUP 1997), The Possibility of Knowledge (OUP 2007), Berkeley's Puzzle: What Does Experience Teach Us? (OUP 2014) with John Campbell, and Self-Knowledge for Humans (OUP 2014).
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