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Intellectual Perseverance

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This essay offers a working analysis of the trait of intellectual perseverance. It argues that intellectual perseverance is a disposition to overcome obstacles, so as to continue to perform intellectual actions, in pursuit of one’s intellectual goals. The trait of intellectual perseverance is not always an intellectual virtue. This essay provides a pluralist analysis of what makes it an intellectual virtue, when it is one. Along the way, it argues that the virtue of intellectual perseverance can be contrasted with both a vice of deficiency (capitulation) and a vice of excess (recalcitrance). It also suggests that the virtues of intellectual courage and intellectual self-control are types of intellectual perseverance. The essay ends with several open questions about the virtue of intellectual perseverance. My hope is that this essay will stimulate further interest in, and analysis of, this important intellectual trait.

Affiliations: 1: California State University, Fullerton


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