The educational potential of intellectual exemplars

Michel Croce

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This paper explores the educational potential of epistemic exemplars, namely those individuals who possess intellectual virtues to an exceptional degree. It purports to do so by applying the exemplarist framework proposed by Linda Zagzebski in her Exemplarist Moral Theory (2017) to the domain of intellectual virtues. After a brief summary of the main features of her view, I explain how the exemplarist dynamics can apply to the intellectual domain. Then, I introduce the basics of an exemplar-based account of education and explain how it can be employed to educate the young to intellectual virtues. Finally, I attempt to show how this model can accommodate several objections and, in particular, how it addresses the charge of indoctrinating the students raised by proponents of a critical thinking approach to education.
Translated title of the contributionThe educational potential of intellectual exemplars
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)143-162
JournalEthics & Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • moral exemplarism
  • epistemic exemplars
  • intellectual virtues
  • education
  • critical thinking


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