Unifying the Intellectual Virtues



The intellectual virtues include two seemingly quite different types of traits: reliable faculties on the one hand and inquiry-regulating traits of intellectual character like conscientiousness and openmindedness on the other. Extant virtue theories do not appear to have provided a single account that adequately covers both types of virtue. In this paper, I examine the different ways in which a trait or disposition can contribute to our cognitive goal of acquiring significant true beliefs. I propose that the two types of virtues can be understood as contributing in different ways to our cognitive goal, and develop a general framework for understanding their value.