Abstract: The Virtuous Self

The following is the abstract for my paper, The Virtuous Self: A Kierkegaardian Virtue Epistemology, that has been accepted for presentation at the 2013 Midwest Evangelical Philosophical Society. This paper will also be submitted to an upcoming conference focusing on Kierkegaard. In highest hopes, it will one day turn into my dissertation.

ABSTRACT: Epistemological emphasis often focuses on what is true, or what is right. Possessing knowledge and truth is valuable, but perhaps the concern with epistemic rightness ought not be primary. Indeed perhaps the epistemic process, i.e., the pursuit of knowledge and truth and the characteristics of the learning agent thereof, ought instead be prioritized. This paper seeks to argue for the prioritization of the building of knowledge using the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaardian epistemology is often relegated to fideism, but perhaps with too much haste. Kierkegaard’s praise and emphasis on the developing Self warrant epistemological examination. It is the purpose of this essay to examine epistemic themes in Kierkegaard’s writings, namely that his philosophy falls under what is currently known as virtue epistemology. This will be done through the examination of (1) Kierkegaard’s focus on the developing the Self, (2) his exposition on subjectivity, and (3) his analysis of arrival at beliefs.

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