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I examine here whether reliability is a defining feature of (moral or intellectual) virtues. I argue (1) that reliability is not a defining feature of a virtue where virtues are conceived (as they often are) as “personal excellences,” but (2) that there is another (also intuitive and familiar) conception of a virtue according to which reliability is a defining feature. I also argue (3) that even on the former conception, a certain rational belief pertaining to reliability is essential and (4) that reliability itself, while not a defining feature of a virtue thus conceived, nevertheless is a concomitant of it.
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Keywords: intellectual virtue; moral virtue; reliability; virtue epistemology; virtue ethics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA., Email:

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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