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Vices of Other Minds

Review of Cassam’s Vices of the Mind
  • Mark AlfanoEmail author
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Quassim Cassam’s Vices of the Mind ( 2019) is both a systematic theory of the dispositions that obstruct knowledge and a diagnosis of the epistemic causes of recent and contemporary political and military crises in Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere. Cassam begins on an ominous note: quoting Susan Stebbing’s Thinking to Some Purpose, which was published in 1939and warned that contemporary challenges to democracy were due “partly to our own stupidity” but also “partly to the exploitation of that stupidity.” In so doing, he suggests that the reemergence of reactionary and fascist politics in the form of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and other paragons of the global far-right may also be due to our stupidity and the exploitation of that stupidity. Cassam is well-aware that these ongoing crises are in the first instance political, but his book makes clear that they have an epistemic dimension. He is primarily concerned with the role of self-regarding epistemic...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands

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