Redrawing the Map: Medina on Epistemic Vices and Skepticism

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
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  • 1 University of Edinburgh

My aim in this paper is to closely examine José Medina’s account of socially-situated knowledge and ignorance in terms of epistemic virtues and vices in his 2013 book The Epistemology of Resistance. First, I’ll offer a detailed examination of the similarities and differences between Medina’s account and both standpoint epistemology and epistemologies of active ignorance. Medina presents his account as capturing and integrating the insights of both, but I will argue that, for better or worse, his account differs from familiar forms of standpoint epistemology in significant respects, and so should be treated as related but distinct. Second, I’ll expand on Medina’s brief suggestion that his vice-theoretic account of active ignorance reveals interesting analogues of traditional forms of skepticism about the external world, comparing and contrasting Medina’s proposal with both other analogues of skepticism found in the philosophical literature on oppression and with traditional forms of skepticism inspired by Descartes.

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