Both epistemology and education are concerned about knowledge. E. Gettier put forward a potentially devastating problem to challenge the long-held justified true belief (or JTB) account of knowledge in 1963 and his challenge caused much heated discussion. Virtue epistemology emerged in such an intellectual climate. Ernest Sosa as one important representative of virtue reliabilism, one school of virtue epistemology, also questioneds the JTB account of knowledge. Moreover, he claimed that knowledge is true belief out of intellectual virtue and intellectual virtue is the cognitive disposition or ability conducive for the knower to reach true belief. Meanwhile, Sosa suggested that knowledge can be divided into two types, namely animal knowledge, the attainment of which requires the first-order aptness displayed by the knower, and reflective knowledge, the attainment of which the second-order aptness. This paper consists of three sections: The challenge raised by the Gettier problem and Sosa’s response are firstly expounded; secondly, the main ideas inherent in Sosa’s virtue reliabilism are made clear; thirdly, Sosa’s views on knowledge and intellectual virtue are separately examined first and then contrasting discussions between Sosa’s epistemic perspective and cognitive perspective put forward in philosophy of education are carried out in the hope of mutual interpretations.
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