Workshop on Epistemic Virtue from the Ancient to Early Modern Period – School of Humanities Workshop on Epistemic Virtue from the Ancient to Early Modern Period – School of Humanities


Workshop on Epistemic Virtue from the Ancient to Early Modern Period

Workshop on Epistemic Virtue from the Ancient to Early Modern Period

The desire to satisfy our curiosity, engage in inquiry and acquire understanding are remarkable features of a human life. An individual in pursuit of moral and epistemic (intellectual) excellence seeks the truth above all else and avoids error at all costs. Such an individual is obliged to cultivate character traits and skills that help them to achieve the goal of acquiring knowledge and avoiding errors in their judgement and reasoning. What these character traits were and how they participated in the acquisition of knowledge was a widely discussed topic in early modern philosophy. Alongside these discussions, philosophers asked whether intellectual excellence was a reasonable goal for a postlapsarian individual and prescribed practices as wide-ranging as logic, mathematics, natural history, philosophy and rhetoric for their role in cultivating epistemic virtues. This workshop brings together historians of ancient and early modern philosophy to examine the role of virtue in the acquisition of epistemic goods.

When: April 20-21, 2022

Where: This workshop will take place in person in Room N494, Quadrangle A14 and online via Zoom.

Keynote speakers

Jacqueline Broad (Monash University)
Daniel Hutto (University of Wollongong)

Registration and Attendance

Attendance is free and open to anyone interested in the topics of the workshop.
COVID-19 restrictions mean numbers allowed in Room N494 are limited. Registration is essential.

To register for on campus attendance or zoom link, please click on eventbrite registration here



Full Program
DAY ONE – 20th April 2022

Note: all times displayed are in AEST

9:00 – 9:15 Introductory Remarks | Laura Kotevska and Elena Gordon

9:15 – 10:15 Keynote: Daniel Hutto (University of Wollongong) | Three Ghosts of Virtue Epistemology – Classical, Early Modern, Contemporary

Theme I: Passions and Affects

10:15 – 11:00 Anthony Hooper (University of Wollongong) | Plato & Chill? Loving Well to Think Well in the Symposium

11:00 – 11.30 Morning Tea

11:30 – 12.15 Luke Ciancarelli (Harvard University) | Cartesian Virtue and the Remedy for the Passions

12:15 – 1:00 Julie Klein (Villanova University) | Ideas and Affects: Spinoza on Education

1:00 – 2:15 Lunch

2:15 – 3:00 Francessca Di Poppa (Texas Tech University) | Shaftsbury as Virtue Epistemologist

3:00 – 3:45 Elena Gordon (University of Sydney) | Virtuous Language and Conceptual Correctness in Hume

3.45 – 4:15 Afternoon Tea

4:15 – 5:00 Melissa Merritt (University of New South Wales) | Kant’s Eupathic Account of Admiration

Theme II: Language and Persuasion

5:00 – 5.45 Anik Waldow & Laura Kotevska (University of Sydney) | The Art of Thinking as a Communicative Practice: Affect and Association in the Port-Royal Logic

DAY TWO – April 21st 2022

9:00 – 9:45 Katarina Peixoto (Paderborn University) | Judgement as Virtue in the Port-Royal Logic

9:45 – 10:30 Manuel Vasquez Villavicencio (University of Toronto) | A virtuous way of doing philosophy: Scepticism and the moderation of curiosity in Hume’s philosophical method

10:30 – 11.00 Morning Tea

11:00 – 12:00 Keynote: Jacqueline Broad (Monash University) | Mary Astell on Epistemic Virtue and Women’s Education: An Illusory Feminism?

Theme III: Moral and Epistemic Virtue

12:00 – 12:45 David Bronstein (University of Notre Dame – Sydney) | Aristotle on Moral and Intellectual Virtue

12:45 – 2 Lunch

2:00 – 2.45– Ian Robertson (University of Wollongong) | Virtue beyond competence.

2.45 – 3.30 Samuel Kaldas (Sydney College of Divinity) | Remembering What Virtue Tastes Like: John Smith’s Sentimentalist Refitting of Meno’s Paradox

3.30 – 4 Afternoon Tea

Theme IV: Character and Vice

4:00 – 4.45 Jennifer Mensch (Western Sydney University) | Epistemic Vice: On the Use and Abuse of Travel Reports by Kant and his German Contemporaries

4:45 – 5:00 Concluding Remarks | Laura Kotevska and Elena Gordon

Further Inquiries

Please direct any questions about this call to     


  • Laura Kotevska – University of Sydney
  • Anik Waldow – University of Sydney
  • Elena Gordon – University of Sydney

Philosophy Social Media

This workshop is sponsored by the Sydney Intellectual History Network.

Image credit: Large Triumphal Carriage, Albrecht Dürer, 1523.


Apr 20 - 21 2022


Hybrid Event - in person & on Zoom



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