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CFP: Copenhagen Conference on Epistemic Inclusiveness and Trust

AUGUST 15-17, 2011

It is sometimes maintained that increased inclusiveness on part of epistemic practices generally leads to decreased accuracy of output. This idea, moreover, fuels the intuition that, were it not for important moral and political reservations, the proper approach to all matters epistemic would be that of a minority of entrenched experts. But to what extent is this idea true? Surely, the relation between inclusiveness and accuracy cannot be a strictly inverse one; matters have to be more complicated than that. For example, what is the relation between demographic inclusiveness and informed political decisions? Or between the inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups in the sciences and scientific progress? And what do recent forms of mass collaboration tell us about the conditions under which aggregates of non-experts may outperform any given expert? Moreover, in contexts where there is something to the idea that increased inclusiveness leads to decreased accuracy, how are we to think about the role that trust plays for those excluded from epistemic practices upon which they may, nevertheless, have to depend upon epistemically? For example, what are the epistemic virtues or vices of different patterns of trust and distrust, respectively? What kind of state is trust? Is there a particular kind of epistemic trust, different from other kinds of trust?

The organizers cordially invite you to submit a 500 word abstract dealing with any question that, like those listed above, are relevant to furthering our understanding of the epistemic virtues and vices of inclusiveness and trust. Please prepare your abstract for anonymous review. Abstracts should be submitted (as a plain text, MS Word, or PDF file) to cph.epistemology (at) gmail.com no later than April 1, 2011. Decisions regarding acceptance will be made within two weeks.

Confirmed speakers include Alvin Goldman (Rutgers), Paul Faulkner (Sheffield), Ronald de Sousa (Toronto), Kirk Michaelian (Jean-Nicod), and Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh).

To register, please e-mail Amalie Frese (amalie (at) hum.ku.dk) with your name and affiliation. There will be a registration fee of 200 DKK ($40, or €26) for faculty, and 100 DKK ($20, or €13) for students. There will also be an option to attend the conference dinner at a cost of 400 DKK ($75, or €53) for faculty, and 200 DKK ($40, or €26) for students. Please indicate in your registration if you wish to attend. All fees are due in full on the first day of the conference.

For further inquiries about the conference, please contact Klemens Kappel (kappel (at) hum.ku.dk). The conference is organized by the Social Epistemology Research Group (SERG) [1] 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.

http://epistemology.ku.dk/ [1]