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Was Sir William Crookes epistemically virtuous?
Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2014 Dec; 48 Pt A:67-74.SH

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to use Sir William Crookes' researches into psychical phenomena as a sustained case study of the role of epistemic virtues within scientific enquiry. Despite growing interest in virtues in science, there are few integrated historical and philosophical studies, and even fewer studies focussing on controversial or 'fringe' sciences where, one might suppose, certain epistemic virtues (like open-mindedness and tolerance) may be subjected to sterner tests. Using the virtue of epistemic courage as my focus, it emerges that Crookes' psychical researches were indeed epistemically courageous, but that this judgment must be grounded in sensitivity to the motivational complexity and context-sensitivity of the exercise of epistemic virtues. The paper then considers Crookes' remarks on the relationship between epistemic virtuousness and the intellectual integrity and public duties of scientists, thereby placing epistemic virtues in the context of wider debates about the authority of science in late modern societies. I conclude that Crookes' researches into psychical phenomena offer instructive lessons for historians of science and virtue epistemologists concerning the complexity and contextuality of epistemic virtues, and the profitable forms that future studies of virtues in science could take.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Philosophy, Durham University, 50 Old Elvet, Durham, County Durham DH1 3HN, United Kingdom. Electronic address: i.j.kidd@durham.ac.uk.

Pub Type(s)

Historical Article
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25091260

Citation

Kidd, Ian James. "Was Sir William Crookes Epistemically Virtuous?" Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, vol. 48 Pt A, 2014, pp. 67-74.
Kidd IJ. Was Sir William Crookes epistemically virtuous? Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2014;48 Pt A:67-74.
Kidd, I. J. (2014). Was Sir William Crookes epistemically virtuous? Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 48 Pt A, 67-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2014.06.004
Kidd IJ. Was Sir William Crookes Epistemically Virtuous. Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci. 2014;48 Pt A:67-74. PubMed PMID: 25091260.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Was Sir William Crookes epistemically virtuous? A1 - Kidd,Ian James, Y1 - 2014/08/02/ PY - 2014/06/21/received PY - 2014/06/23/accepted PY - 2014/8/6/entrez PY - 2014/8/6/pubmed PY - 2015/7/28/medline KW - Epistemic virtues KW - Psychical research KW - Sir William Crookes KW - Spiritualism KW - Virtue epistemology SP - 67 EP - 74 JF - Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences JO - Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci VL - 48 Pt A N2 - The aim of this paper is to use Sir William Crookes' researches into psychical phenomena as a sustained case study of the role of epistemic virtues within scientific enquiry. Despite growing interest in virtues in science, there are few integrated historical and philosophical studies, and even fewer studies focussing on controversial or 'fringe' sciences where, one might suppose, certain epistemic virtues (like open-mindedness and tolerance) may be subjected to sterner tests. Using the virtue of epistemic courage as my focus, it emerges that Crookes' psychical researches were indeed epistemically courageous, but that this judgment must be grounded in sensitivity to the motivational complexity and context-sensitivity of the exercise of epistemic virtues. The paper then considers Crookes' remarks on the relationship between epistemic virtuousness and the intellectual integrity and public duties of scientists, thereby placing epistemic virtues in the context of wider debates about the authority of science in late modern societies. I conclude that Crookes' researches into psychical phenomena offer instructive lessons for historians of science and virtue epistemologists concerning the complexity and contextuality of epistemic virtues, and the profitable forms that future studies of virtues in science could take. SN - 1879-2499 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25091260/Was_Sir_William_Crookes_epistemically_virtuous L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1369-8486(14)00078-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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