Why is modesty a virtue? Classically, to be virtuous is to be wise, thoughtful, and prudent. But modesty seems to depend on ignorance.
Julia Driver writes, “For a person to be modest, she must be ignorant with regard to her self-worth. She must think herself less deserving, or less worthy, than she actually is. … Since modesty is generally considered to be a virtue, it would seem that this virtue rests upon an epistemic defect.”
As Sherlock Holmes says, “To underestimate one’s self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one’s own powers.”