January 14, 2010
By S. Matthew Liao
Conference Announcement and Call for Papers:
2ND COPENHAGEN CONFERENCE IN EPISTEMOLOGY:
THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY
THE UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN
AUGUST 19-20, 2010
We tend to think of liberal democracy as providing the most ethically defensible way to set up a modern society. A separate yet highly relevant issue is whether liberal democracies also are preferable from an epistemological perspective, i.e., from the point of view of promoting true over false belief, knowledge over ignorance, and so on.
The purpose of this conference, and of the research project that it is part of, is to investigate the norms, practices, and institutions that determine how belief and knowledge is acquired and transmitted in liberal democracies. Questions to be addressed include but are not limited to the following:
– Under what conditions is free speech a truth-conducive social arrangement?
– When can we trust each others’ testimony?
– What is the proper response to disagreement, including disagreements among experts?
– What is the proper role of scientific expertise in democratic decision making?
– How is the need for expertise to be balanced against the desire for
– What are the epistemological properties of social deliberation?
Speakers include David Christensen (Brown), Jerry Gaus (Arizona),
Stephan Hartmann (Tilburg), Rainer Hegselmann (Bayreuth), Vincent
Hendricks (Copenhagen), Michael Lynch (UConn), Erik J. Olsson (Lund), and Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh).
CALL FOR PAPERS
You are cordially invited to submit a 500 word abstract on any topic relevant to the conference theme. Please prepare your abstract for anonymous review. Abstracts should be submitted (as a plain text, MS Word, or PDF file) to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 1, 2010. Decisions regarding acceptance will be made within two weeks.
To register, please e-mail email@example.com with your name and affiliation. There will be a registration fee of 200 DKK ($40, or €25) for faculty, and 100 DKK ($20, or €12) for students. There will also be an option to attend the conference dinner on the evening of August 19 at a cost of 400 DKK ($80, or €50). Please indicate in your registration if you wish to attend. All fees are due in full on the first day of the conference.
The conference is organized by the Social Epistemology Research Group (SERG) at the University of Copenhagen as part of the research project, the Epistemology of Liberal Democracy: Truth, Free Speech and Disagreement, conducted with generous support from the Velux Foundation.