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EPISTEMIC MALEVOLENCE

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Abstract

Abstract: Against the background of a great deal of structural symmetry between intellectual and moral virtue and vice, it is a surprising fact that what is arguably the central or paradigm moral vice—that is, moral malevolence or malevolence proper—has no obvious or well-known counterpart among the intellectual vices. The notion of “epistemic malevolence” makes no appearance on any standard list of intellectual vices; nor is it central to our ordinary ways of thinking about intellectual vice. In this essay, I argue that there is such a thing as epistemic malevolence and offer an account of its basic character and structure. Doing so requires a good deal of attention to malevolence simpliciter. In the final section of the essay, I offer an explanation of our relative unfamiliarity with this trait.

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