Distinguishing Intellectual and Moral Virtues in the Practices of Modern Science
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Virtue epistemologists of the responsibilist persuasion have rejected the classical, Aristotelian and Thomistic, distinction between the intellectual and moral virtues. They prefer to think of the intellectual virtues as a subset of the moral virtues. Thomas Aquinas defends the distinction and its importance. By Aquinas' lights, Linda Zagzebski, one of the most prominent responsibilists, not only denies the distinction between moral and intellectual virtues but collapses the one into the other. Aquinas would likely regard all of the virtues that Zagzebski describes as intellectual virtues. I argue that the Thomistic distinction between the intellectual and moral virtues remains significant. In this paper, I compare Zagzebski's and Aquinas' accounts of virtue and show why these differences matter, particularly for a consideration of the virtues of modern science.