Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 July 2020
According to ambitious responsibilism (AR), the virtues that are constitutive of epistemic responsibility should play a central and fundamental role in the analysis of justification and knowledge. While AR enjoyed a shining moment in the mid-1990s, it has fallen on hard times. Part of the reason is that many epistemologists – including fellow responsibilists – think it paints an unreasonably demanding picture of knowledge and justification. This chapter argues that this concern only undermines the periphery of AR and develops a new version that avoids it. §2 begins by clarifying AR’s core commitments and how influential responsibilists have added to them in optional ways. §3 rehearses the standard objections to AR, explaining why they only impugn the add-ons. §4 turns to develop a two-tiered view I call Kantian responsibilism (KR). According to KR's first tier, epistemically virtuous thought is thought that manifests respect for truth; because manifesting certain reasons-sensitive dispositions is necessary and sufficient for respecting truth, KR's second tier takes epistemic virtues to coincide substantively with reasons-sensitive dispositions. After unpacking KR in §4, I show in §5 how it answers the objections to AR, and close in §6 with some broader points about KR's virtues.