The University of Edinburgh is pleased to announce a call for papers for the 4th Annual Edinburgh Graduate Epistemology Conference. Our keynote speakers this year will be Professor Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern/Edinburgh) and Professor Susanna Siegel (Harvard). The conference will take place in Edinburgh from 27th-28th June 2014.
This is an intimate event with only a few high-quality papers chosen from graduate students around the world. A distinguishing feature of this conference is that all graduate presentations will have respondents from faculty members at Edinburgh or a neighbouring university.
We’re inviting graduate students to submit essays within any area of epistemology (broadly construed). Essays should be of high quality, approximately 4000 words, and should be anonymised for blind review.
Submissions from under-represented groups in philosophy are strongly encouraged. We will be happy to help arrange childcare for any attendees who would find it helpful, so please feel free to get in touch to discuss this, or any accessibility requirements you may have.
The deadline for submissions is 14 March 2014. For more information, including details of how to submit, please visit our conference page.
This conference is generously sponsored by the Scots Philosophical Association, the Eidyn Research Centre, the Mind Association, and is supported by the Edinburgh Women in Philosophy Group.
Available here. There will be minor editorial changes before publication, I expect, since OUP’s copy editors usually have good recommendations. But the content is pretty much fixed.
The Southern Normativity Group will hold its Inaugural Normativity Conference at the University of Kent, Canterbury on March 22, 2014. The keynote will be given by Sharon Street (NYU).
We hereby invite submissions of papers on any aspect of normativity (e.g., in ethics, epistemology or aesthetics) to be presented at the conference. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2014.
The Southern Normativity Group is a collaboration between researchers working on normativity at University of Kent, University of Sussex, University of Southampton, University of Reading and Cardiff University. For more information about the group and its activities, please visit our website: http://southnorm.wordpress.com.
The new issue of the International Journal for the Study of Skepticism is now out.
In the “Science Beyond Scientism” Project at the University of Amsterdam, especially related to the the intellectual virtues, and to the concepts of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
Details here. A good time to be a young epistemologist, with the availability of this prize as well as the Sanders Prize in Epistemology.
The 7th annual meeting of the Midwest Epistemology Workshop (MEW7) will be held on the campus of Notre Dame (South Bend, Indiana) November 8-9. The schedule is here:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8th
Session I: 9:00-10:30 Chair: Eileen Nutting
Speaker: E.J. Coffman
“Three Approaches to Gettiered Belief”
Session II: 11:00-12:30 Chair: Rene van Woudenberg
Speaker: Thomas Senor
“You’ll Know It Only When You See It”
Session III: 2:00-3:30 Chair: Holly Smith
Speaker: Jennifer Nagel
“Knowledge and Fallibility”
Session IV: 4:00-5:30 Chair: Sven Bernecker
Speaker: Alvin Goldman
Workshop Banquet: 7:00-9:00
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9th
Session V: 9:00-10:30 Chair: Maria Lasonen-Aarnio
Speaker: Blake Roeber
“Knowledge and Intellectual Interests”
Session VI: 11:00-12:30 Chair: Sara Worley
Speaker: Jennifer Lackey
“What is Justified Group Belief”
Session VII: 2:00-3:30 Chair: Peter J. Graham
Speaker: James Joyce
“Outline of an Accuracy-centered Epistemology for Credences”
Session VIII: 4:00-5:30 Chair: Sharon Ryan
Speaker: Kirk Ludwig
“The Epistemology of Epistemology
Pedagogy is a pillar of human culture and society. Our main vehicle for transmitting information is assertion. As we leave the forest, we tell our friend that there is a jaguar nearby. We also teach each other skills and crafts. We show our friend how to get a jaguar to reveal its location to avoid becoming its next meal.
A strong case has been made that declarative knowledge is the norm of assertion, which is our primary way of telling others information. So can an analogous case be made for the hypothesis that procedural knowledge is the norm of instructional demonstration, which is a primary way of showing others how to do things?
In a new paper with John Turri to appear in Analysis, we argue that the same sorts of observed patterns surrounding the give, take and evaluation of conversational exchanges used to support the knowledge rule for assertion also strongly suggest a knowledge rule for instructional demonstration. For example, just as knowledge features in prompts and challenges to assertion, so too can knowledge feature in prompts and challenges to instructional demonstrations. In other words, we propose that just as knowing that is the norm of telling, knowing how is the norm of showing. Putting the two hypotheses together, we get a unified theory of instructional norms common to both main forms of human pedagogy: knowledge is the norm of instruction.
An expert is talking on the TV news about a mafia boss who just disappeared. There is a lot of evidence suggesting that the mafia boss is dead, but the expert is not sure. He says, ‘The mafia boss might be dead.’ As it happens, though, the mafia boss is not dead at all. In fact, he is watching TV right then, listening to the expert speak. In a case like this, what should the mafia boss say about the expert’s claim? Should he say ‘What the expert said is true,’ or should he say ‘What the expert said is false’?
This is a paradigm example of the sort of case — a so-called ‘eavesdropper case’ — that has led to a revolution in recent theories about epistemic modals. It is widely thought that the intuitive response in this case would be to say that the mafia boss should say that what the expert said was false, but traditional theories of epistemic modals seems to predict that the mafia boss should say that what the expert said was true. This thought is one of the main sources of motivation behind the idea that we might need to turn to a radically different form of semantic theory involving what has come to be called ‘relativism.’
In this brief manuscript, we provide new evidence that calls into question the need for a theory of this type. Specifically, we ran five experiments exploring people’s intuitions about precisely the kinds of cases that were supposed to motivate the theory, but when people received these cases, they simply did not have the intuitions that had been adduced in support of relativist theories. For example, in the case described above, when participants were asked how they would react if the mafia boss said that what the expert said was false, the overall tendency was for people to strongly disagree.
We would love to hear any thoughts you all might have about these experiments or about the larger philosophical and semantic issues. (Feel free to write in with comments even if you haven’t read the actual paper.)
Joshua Knobe and Seth Yalcin