Wisdom Research Forum 2017: Daniel Lapsley (video)

The Virtues Scientist Project: Intellectual Virtues, Epistemic Reasoning, and Science Education

The following is a recorded presentation of Daniel Lapsley, ACE Collegiate Professor of Psychology from the University of Notre Dame at the University of Chicago Center for Practical Wisdom Research Forum in August 2017.

Watch this video and previous wisdom research presentations on the Uchicago Wisdom Research YouTube channel!

Presentation Abstract: The Virtuous Scientist Project is concerned to reform college science education to include the formation of intellectual virtues and the development of sophisticated epistemic reasoning about science. This will require deep integration among three disciplines: Virtue epistemology (VE), epistemic cognition (EC) and science education (SE). Certain strains of VE argue that intellectual virtues are like traits of character and that the personal virtue of the agent contributes to the acquisition and transmission of epistemic goods. It is hardly possible to care about the truth, to pursue a question with dogged, careful perseverance, to interrogate the evidence carefully, to be industrious and open to surprise, to want to learn from others, to treat interlocutors and critics and their texts with justice, to participate in the shared collaborative work of science, without a minimum suite of “thinking dispositions.” But training better scientists is only an adjunct of forming better persons Our concern is to design science education in a way that equips students with the intellectual virtues that conduce to good citizenship when public discourse is corrupted by alt-facts and science denialism. The literatures of EC and the learning sciences provide benchmarks of epistemic development; and guide the design of SE curricula around authentic science inquiry and practice. How to engage these three literatures is the challenge of the VS project. Preliminary ideas about the way forward, including discussion of “scientific identity” as a bridging construct, will be presented.

Photo courtesy of Lloyd Degrane

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