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Roger Farnworth Discourse & Dinner guest speaker Professor Quassim Cassam on “Vices of the Mind”


Roger Farnworth Discourse & Dinner guest speaker

Professor Quassim Cassam on “Vices of the Mind”

Saturday, 28 March, 18:20

Epistemic vices are character traits, attitudes or thinking styles that prevent us from gaining, keeping or sharing knowledge. Quassim Cassam addresses accounts of the nature and importance of these vices, which include closed-mindedness, intellectual arrogance, wishful thinking, and prejudice. Vices of the Mind uses real examples drawn primarily from the world of politics to develop a compelling theory of epistemic vice. Quassim defends the view that, as well as getting in the way of knowledge, these vices are blameworthy or reprehensible.

The traits covered in this work include a hitherto unrecognised epistemic vice called 'epistemic insouciance'. Quassim examines both the extent to which we are responsible for our failings and the factors that make it difficult to know our own vices. If we are able to overcome self-ignorance and recognise our epistemic vices, then is there anything we can do about them? Vices of the Mind picks up on this concern by detailing possible self-improvement strategies and closing with a discussion of what makes some epistemic vices resistant to change.

Quassim is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Warwick. His current research is on intellectual vices, post-truth, extremism, the philosophy of terrorism, and the philosophy of general practice. His first four books were on the self, self-knowledge, and other topics in epistemology, the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of Kant. He is currently writing a book called Extremism: A

Philosophical Analysis.
He has published six books and many articles including:
• Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the Political (Oxford University Press, 2019) A review of Vices of the Mind in the New Statesman described it as 'superb' and 'icily furious'. The journal Mind described it as 'a landmark in the study of epistemic vices'.
• Conspiracy Theories. (Polity Press, 2019)
• Self-Knowledge for Humans (Oxford, 2014)
• Berkeley's Puzzle: What Does Experience Teach Us? (Oxford, 2014, written with John Campbell)
• The Possibility of Knowledge (Oxford, 2007)
• Self and World (Oxford, 1997)