Zagzebski’s Criticism of Plantinga’s Theory of Proper Function



The present essay is a critical study of Zagzebski’s reading and criticism of Plantinga’s virtue-epistemology. Zagzebski, on the account of her definition of knowledge and the role that she assigns to ‘volition’ and ‘awareness’ in virtuous acts, along with her acceptance of the uniformity of moral and epistemic virtue, challenges Plantinga’s theory of Knowledge. Zagzebski believes that although Plantinga’s theory of Proper Function is better than Straight Reliabilism and that it is possible to interpret it in a way that is analogous to her own theory of Knowledge and even the fact that its calling virtue-epistemology seems appropriate, yet taking into account Plantinga’s epistemological presuppositions and his mechanistic picture of the theory of Knowledge, his theory of Proper Function owing to its disregard for the elements of volition and awareness, in the final analysis, cannot be considered as a type of virtue-epistemology.