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Erika Schwarzenberger
+49 721 608-48832

Yvonne Siegrist
+49 721 608-42149

Geb. 09.20
Douglasstraße 24
4. OG, Raum 513

Mo, Mi, Do, 9-12h
oder nach Vereinbarung



DebateLab brings together scholars who

# study normative models of reasoning and argumentation;

# carry out logical analyses of policy debates and scientific controversies;

# develop methods and tools to improve the argumentative quality of public reasoning.

DebateLab @ KIT

Moral Philosophy and Politics

Moral Philosophy and Politics (MOPP) ist eine internationale Zeitschrift, die philosophische Beitrage zu Themen von öffentlicher Relevanz publiziert. Editor-in-chief: Michael Schefczyk. Managing editor: Christoph Schmidt-Petri.

MOPP Homepage

Intellectual Virtues in Science and Engineering

Intellectual Virtues in Science and Engineering

Rafaela Hillerbrand und Michael Poznic





In ethics and epistemology there have been recent trends to reconsider virtues as important cornerstones of success and apt practices, both in practical and theoretical perspectives. As a result of this, the approaches of “virtue ethics” and “virtue epistemology” are now established sub-fields in philosophy. According to these two fields virtues form the basis of either right actions or of knowledge processes. Especially so-called “intellectual virtues” that are studied in epistemology seem relevant for science, engineering and technology. Examples are the virtues of open-mindedness, intellectual integrity, sobriety, transparency and creativity among others. In general, intellectual virtues can be understood not only as character traits of persons but also as features of groups of persons and their social interrelations. A general question of this project is how can the ideas of virtue epistemology be transferred to science and technology. Specific questions to be addresses are: What are intellectual virtues of scientists or epistemic virtues of scientific communities? How are virtues embedded in technology? Do engineers need the same or other particular intellectual virtues than scientists? The engineering sciences are often associated with practical forms of knowledge (knowing how vs. knowing that) and it is claimed that engineers – in contrast to scientists - want to change the world rather than to understand it. Can certain intellectual virtues of engineers explain this contrast? Or, is this contrast only an apparent one and is this apparent contrast to be explained by a common understanding of knowledge that is relevant for science and technology alike. Do particular interpretations of intellectual virtues allow for such a broad understanding of knowledge that encompasses not only knowing that but also knowing how and other forms of practical knowledge?