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Ross Inman

Ross Inman

Ross Inman recently completed his Ph.D. in philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin in June 2013. His dissertation was titled Substantial Priority: An Essay in Fundamental Mereology and broadly served to explicate and defend a metaphysical grounding-based conception of the part-whole structure of material objects. This past year Ross was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame, Center for Philosophy of Religion. His research to date has focused primarily on themes in metaphysics such as substance, powers, persistence, time, and truthmaking and has appeared in journals like Philosophical Studies, Metaphysica, Philosophia Christi as well as an edited volume dedicated to the intersection of Aristotelian-Scholastic metaphysics and contemporary analytic metaphysics. He also spent part of the 2012-2013 academic year at Oxford University working alongside the Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies project. Ross and his wife Suzanne, who are high school sweethearts, will celebrate their eighth year of marriage this summer.



On the Moral Perils of Epistemic Vanity and Curiosity

The broad aim of the project is to draw on the rich insights of the medieval Christian tradition regarding the various connections between human cognitive character and overall human well-being. While there has been a resurgence of interest in virtue epistemology ranging from virtue analyses of knowledge to a detailed examination of irreducible cognitive goods such as wisdom and understanding and their role in epistemic flourishing in particular, there has been comparatively little discussion of how distinctively epistemic virtues and vices can help or hinder the moral life and visa versa. In particular, my aim is to examine two distinctive epistemic virtues and their counterpart vices: epistemic humility (vice: vanity) and the proper love of knowledge (vice: curiosity). I aim to explore how these cognitive states affect human flourishing broadly understood, with a particular eye toward the work of Augustine and Aquinas. I then turn to explore the potential connections between the above issues and wider areas of epistemology and philosophy of religion. These include: epistemic dependence and the normative role of testimony in human well-being, communitarian forms of epistemology and the notion that human cognizers are by nature highly interdependent creatures, and how the virtue of intellectual humility might be relevant in discussions pertaining to evidential problems of evil, divine hiddenness, and theological method and theory-construction.