Forum for Virtue & Understanding

The Forum for Virtue & Understanding was launched in 2019 with the aim of bringing together work on the virtues with work in the philosophy of understanding. The FVU is home to a number of University of Hertfordshire philosophers, and open to associate fellows. We organise regular public events such as Why the Virtues Matter at St Alban's Cathedral Study Centre (as part of Why Philosophy Matters) and Screening the Virtues (UH workshop, 25 Feb 2017).

Our official launch event took place on 11 June 2019 with the Inaugural conference, followed by a public lecture by Professor Quassim Cassam on ‘Vices of the Mind’.

We also run the Manifest Virtue blog (and related workshops), which considers how philosophical work on the virtues may be put to use in, but also benefit from, educational practices. We hope to be able to offer some postgraduate bursaries in the near future.

While researchers at FVU are interested in issues pertaining to (a) the virtues and (b) understanding in their own rights, the forum enables us to collaborate on issues uniting these two fields of enquiry. This includes, but is not limited to, questions such as:

  • Does epistemic well-being amount to having true beliefs, knowledge, or understanding?
  • How do compassion, love, empathy, and patience relate to understanding?
  • Are human vices and virtues universal or context-dependent?
  • Is understanding a form of wisdom reducible to knowledge or explanation?
  • Is the understanding of people (including oneself) a distinct intellectual achievement from the understanding of the rest of the world?

Researchers at the Forum for Virtue and Understanding

For any enquiries and potential collaborations please contact Dr Erin Plunkett