2010 Episteme Conference 2nd-4th June
The Role of the Concept of Knowledge in our Social Cognitive Ecology
The overarching purpose of the 2010 Episteme conference is to explore how our epistemic concepts—and the concept of knowledge in particular—figure in our cognitive ecology in general and in our social cognitive ecology in particular. For the purpose of the conference, the phrase ‘social cognitive ecology’ is to be understood broadly as encompassing individual and intersubjective thought as well as ordinary conversation and public discourse.
We think and talk about a wide variety of epistemic, doxastic and factual affairs by way of various epistemic concepts. This is especially so when it comes to the concept of knowledge and its linguistic counterpart ‘knowledge’. For example, we often criticize each others’ actions and assertions in terms of knowledge. Furthermore, we think of knowledge as something distinctively valuable to achieve and disseminate. Indeed, we often seek to organize society in a manner that promotes the achievement and transfer of knowledge.
In sum, our epistemic concepts—and especially the concept of knowledge—play a number of very important roles in our social cognitive ecology. And yet the roles that these concepts play in our thought and talk about epistemic, doxastic and factual matters is inadequately understood. The aim of the 2010 Episteme conference is to rectify this inadequacy.
The 2010 Episteme conference will be hosted by the Epistemology and Mind & Cognition research groups in the Department of Philosophy in collaboration with faculty from the SERG Research Group at the University of Copenhagen and the editor-in-chief of Episteme, Professor Alvin Goldman. The topic of the conference is 'Cognitive Ecology: The Role of the Concept of Knowledge in our Social Cognitive Ecology'.
A selection of the conference papers, including, potentially, papers from the open sessions, will be published in a special issue of the journal Episteme. For details about previous Episteme conferences, click here.
- Lorraine Code (York)
- Sandy Goldberg (Northwestern)
- Peter Graham (UC, Riverside)
- David Henderson (Nebraska-Lincoln)
- Hilary Kornblith (UMass)
- Alan Millar (Stirling)
- Ram Neta (UNC, Chapel Hill)
- Finn Spicer (Bristol)
- Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh)
- Andy Clark (Edinburgh)
- Mikkel Gerken (Copenhagen)
- Alvin Goldman (Rutgers)
- Jesper Kallestrup (Edinburgh)
- Klemens Kappel (Copenhagen)
- Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh)
There will be a number of open sessions as part of this conference, and the organizers would like to invite submission. Papers dealing with any aspect of the conference theme, broadly conceived, are welcomed. Submissions from graduate students are also welcomed.
Length and format. Submissions should take the form of a detailed abstract of 500-1000 words. All submissions must be submitted electronically in a Word (doc) format. The papers should be suitable for a presentation of around 30 minutes with a 15 minute question-and-answer session.
Submission procedure. All submissions should be sent directly to Dr. Mikkel Gerken (email@example.com). The deadline for submissions is January 1st 2010 with authors notified of the results of this process by February 1st 2010. All inquiries about the call for papers should be addressed to Dr. Mikkel Gerken (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Journal special issue. Please note that there will be a special issue of the journal Episteme arising out of this conference, and this issue may include some of the papers from the open sessions. It is thus important that the papers for the open session are not already published, or due to be published.
Possible topics. The following is a non-exhaustive list of possible questions that open session papers might address. Note that given the focus of the conference topic in this list we concentrate on the relevance of these issues to knowledge specifically, but these questions should also be read as applying, where applicable and mutatis mutandis, to other epistemic concepts.
- What social functions are associated with our epistemic concepts and the concept of knowledge in particular?
- How do the roles of the concept of knowledge in our cognitive ecology bear on knowledge ascriptions in natural language?
- What is the impact of the roles of the concept of knowledge in our cognitive social ecology on discourse in contexts of epistemic disagreement and diversity?
- How do investigations of the roles of the concept of knowledge in our cognitive social ecology relate to more traditional conceptual analyses of the concept of knowledge?
- Are there differences between the intuitive and reflective roles of the concept of knowledge in our social cognitive ecology? If so, what are they and what is their epistemological significance?
- How do the roles of the concept of knowledge in our social cognitive ecology affect our intuitive epistemic judgments?
- Do social contexts influence the roles of the concept of knowledge in the cognitive ecology of individual thinkers?
- Do the roles of the concept of knowledge in our cognitive ecology influence social decision procedures, evaluations and attempts to organize society?
- Can the value of knowledge be explained, in whole or in part, by the roles of the concept of knowledge in our cognitive ecology?
- Do the roles of the concept of knowledge in our social cognitive ecology shed light on “knowledge norms” of action, assertion and belief?
- Is the concept of knowledge somehow essential to or indispensible in our social cognitive ecology?
- We appear to ascribe knowledge to social groups and institutions as well as to the GPS in the car and the door at the supermarket. Do such ascriptions mark special kinds of knowledge, extensions of the ordinary concept of knowledge or are they merely metaphorical?
The conference will be taking place in the award-winning Informatics Forum. Registration for this event is now CLOSED. Any questions about registration should be directed to Dr. Jesper Kallestrup (email@example.com).
A provisional programme is now available here (revised 25th May 2010).
- Travelling to Edinburgh
- University of Edinburgh Campus Maps
- Pocket Map of Edinburgh
- Experience Edinburgh Webpage
- Inspiring Capital Webpage
- Accommodation in Edinburgh (Tourist Board)
- Accommodation in Edinburgh (Casamundo)
- Accommodation in Edinburgh (Rooms in Edinburgh)
More links will be posted soon.
This conference is funded by The Leverhulme Trust and is hosted by the Epistemology research group at the University of Edinburgh. The organisors of the conference are grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for their financial support, and also for the support of Episteme and The University of Edinburgh.
Last updated: May 25th 2010 by Duncan Pritchard.
School of Philosophy,
Psychology and Language Sciences,
Dugald Stewart Building,
3 Charles Street,
Edinburgh EH8 9AD