Everybody needs to know?

Imogen Dickie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


I propose an amendment to Sosa’s virtue reliabilism. Sosa’s framework assigns a central role to sophisticated, conceptual, motivational states: ‘intentions to affirm aptly’. I argue that the suggestion that ordinary knowers in fact are motivated by such intentions in everyday belief-forming situations is at best problematic, and explore the possibility of an alternative virtue reliabilist framework. In this alternative framework, the role Sosa assigns to ‘intentions to affirm aptly’ is played instead by non-conceptual motivational states, which I call ‘needs’. The first part of the paper sketches Sosa’s framework. The second develops the need-based alternative. I close by comparing the two proposals, concluding that the onus is at least on Sosa to say why his intention-based framework should be preferred.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2571–2583
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number10
Early online date20 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Virtue reliabilism
  • Gettier
  • Safety
  • Motivation
  • Conceptual
  • Non-conceptual
  • Sosa


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