Philosophy MA/BSc/MA(SocSci)

Virtue Epistemology PHIL4019

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will survey and critically engage with a range of topics in contemporary virtue epistemology. Virtue epistemology is a popular and flourishing area in contemporary epistemology (roughly: the theory of knowledge) that gives intellectual virtues an important theoretical role.


16x1hr lectures; 4x1hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Philosophy and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2000 words) - 40%

Essay (end of course, 3000 words) - 60%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The course aims to:

■ Provide students with the opportunity to gain a detailed knowledge and understanding of debates in virtue epistemology.

■ Explore the place of intellectual virtues within epistemology.

■ Allow students to develop analytical and critical skills, by considering key arguments and positions, and formulating their own.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:


■ State the key characteristics of virtue epistemology as an approach to epistemological theorising.

■ Explain and assess virtue reliabilist and virtue responsibilist paradigms within virtue epistemology.

■ Explain and assess virtue-epistemological approaches to analysing propositional knowledge.

■ Explain and assess virtue responsibilist analyses of the nature and value of openmindedness and intellectual humility.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment