Core and Ancillary Epistemic Virtues

Terry Horgan, Matjaž Potrč, Vojko Strahovnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We argue, primarily by appeal to phenomenological considerations related to the experiential aspects of agency, that belief fixation is broadly agentive; although it is rarely (if ever) voluntary, nonetheless, it is phenomenologically agentive because of its significant phenomenological similarities to voluntary-agency experience. An important consequence is that epistemic rationality, as a central feature of belief fixation, is an agentive notion. This enables us to introduce and develop a distinction between core and ancillary epistemic virtues. Core epistemic virtues involve several inter-related kinds of epistemic rationality in belief fixation. Other “habits of mind” pertinent to belief fixation constitute ancillary epistemic virtues. Finally, we discuss the relationship between both kinds of virtues, offering a unified account of epistemic virtuousness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-309
Number of pages15
JournalActa Analytica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Agency
  • Ancillary epistemic virtues
  • Epistemic virtuousness
  • Rationality
  • Truth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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