Ernest Sosa

Ernest Sosa
Born (1940-06-17) June 17, 1940 (age 79)
Alma materUniversity of Miami
University of Pittsburgh
Era21st-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
InstitutionsBrown University
Rutgers University
ThesisDirectives: A Logico-Philosophical Inquiry (1964)
Doctoral advisorNicholas Rescher
Doctoral studentsBrie Gertler
John Greco
Main interests
Metaphysics · Epistemology · Philosophy of mind
Notable ideas
Virtue epistemology

Ernest Sosa (born June 17, 1940) is an American philosopher primarily interested in epistemology.[1] Since 2007 he has been Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, but he spent most of his career at Brown University.

Education and career[edit]

Born in Cárdenas, Cuba, on June 17, 1940,[2] Sosa earned his BA and MA from the University of Miami and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964. His dissertation was supervised by Nicholas Rescher.

He joined the Rutgers faculty in 2007, having taught at Brown University since 1964. While full-time at Brown, he was also a distinguished visiting professor at Rutgers every spring from 1998 to 2006.[3] Sosa has been described as "one of the most important epistemologists of the last half-century."[4]

Sosa is a past president of the American Philosophical Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.[3] He edits the philosophical journals Noûs[5] and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.[6] In 2005 he delivered the John Locke Lectures at Oxford,[7] which formed the basis of his 2007 book.

Sosa received the 2010 Nicholas Rescher Prize for contributions to systematic philosophy, conferred by the University of Pittsburgh biennially.[8] His son, David Sosa, is a professor and chair of the philosophy department at the University of Texas, Austin.


In addition to epistemology, Sosa has also written on metaphysics, modern philosophy and philosophy of mind. In his books Knowledge in Perspective (1991) and A Virtue Epistemology (2007), he defends a form of virtue epistemology called "virtue perspectivism", which distinguishes animal knowledge from reflective knowledge.


  • Knowledge in Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 1991)
  • Epistemic Justification (Blackwell Publishers, 2003), with L. BonJour
  • Ernest Sosa and his Critics, ed by J. Greco (Blackwell, 2004)
  • A Virtue Epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Reflective Knowledge (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Knowing Full Well (Princeton University Press, 2011)
  • Virtuous Thoughts: The Philosophy of Ernest Sosa, ed by J. Turri (Springer 2013)
  • Epistemology (Princeton University Press, 2017)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  2. ^ The dictionary of modern American philosophers, Volume 1 by Richard T. Hull, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005, p.2287.
  3. ^ a b Ernest Sosa. "Ernest Sosa - Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae". Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Noûs - Journal Information". Wiley Blackwell. 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - Journal Information". Wiley Blackwell. 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Past Lectures - Faculty of Philosophy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  8. ^

External links[edit]