Volume 5, Issue 1, 2018
Rizalino Noble Malabed
Declaring the Self and the Social
Intellectual Responsibility and the Politics of the Cognitive Self
The epistemological problem is traditionally expressed in the question “How do we know that we know?” The emphasis is on the relationship between the claim that we know and what it is that we know. We notice, only belatedly, that the agent who knows does not really matter in the question. The knower is but an abstracted entity whose only qualification is that s/he claims to know. Virtue epistemology’s virtue lies in the centering of the knower: What is it about the knower that enables her to claim that she knows or that enables us to agree that she indeed knows? The concept of intellectual responsibility in virtue epistemology does not only brings us into the realm of the normative but also implicates, necessarily, the social and the political. Invoking the openness of alternative virtue epistemology to unconventional sources and methods, this essay turns to metaphysics and social ontology in order to explore the problems of intellectual responsibility, society, and politics in humankind’s disposition and striving to know.