You will write about epistemic virtue and vice. Your goal is to give a through description of the concept of epistemic virtue, which will include describing several other ideas that make up a virtue or are otherwise relevant.
Your paper should have the following three components:
1. First, explain what a virtue is, focusing on (i) epistemic agency, (ii) what makes something a character trait or habit, (iii) what makes a virtue a good character trait (and vice a bad one), and (iv) the Doctrine of the Mean and the relationship between a virtue and its vices.
2. Next, use the material from class to describe the features of good reasoning that epistemically virtuous agents exhibit. This will include things like conscientiousness, evidence, self-knowledge, duty, responsibility, goals, motivation, etc.
3. Finally, use conspiracy theorists as a case study in epistemic vice. Using your earlier discuss and the material from Cassam and/or Kidd, show in detail how conspiracy theorists are irresponsible epistemic agents.
This paper needs to be more content-heavy and will need to incorporate all the relevant material from class. You will likely also have to seek outside sources to bolster you discussion of some conceptions (e.g. what the Doctrine of the Mean is).
Each of these three components should take at least a page, probably more. Add an intro and conclusion (1/2 page each), and you should hit at least five pages. But this is also a paper where it is easy to go too long, so try to be conscientious of where the appropriate middle ground is.
Instructions Each short paper should be roughly 1000-1750 words (about 5-7 pages). 12 pt. font, doublespaced.
For this paper, you will need to properly cite your sources. Add a short bibliography/work cited at the end.
Rubric: Each response paper is worth 20 pts, which equals 20% of your final grade.
I will grade your papers according to the following rubric:
4 pts: Accurately & sufficiently explains concept of epistemic virtue
4 pts: Accurately & sufficiently explains features of epistemic virtue
4 pts: Accurately & sufficiently explains how conspiracy theorists think
4 pts: Accurately & sufficiently applies theory of epistemic vice to conspiracy theorists
2 pt: Makes good use of course material and (if necessarily) outside sources 2 pt: Has proper formal features (intro & conclusion, thesis statement, paragraphing, etc)
A proper paper introduction serves as a brief table of contents for your paper. It should include an explicit thesis statement, something like “In this paper I will argue that ___ because ____” or “I think that ___ because ____”.
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