Political Epistemology Seminar (Inaugural Session)

Political Epistemology Seminar (Inaugural Session)
24 September 2018, 5.00pm - 6.30pm
Montague Room, G26, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU

Arrogance, Truth and Public Discourse

Michael P Lynch (University of Connecticut)


Democracies, Dewey and others have argued, are ideally spaces of reasons—they allow for an exchange of reasons both practical and epistemic by those willing to engage in that discourse. That requires that citizens have convictions they believe in, but it also requires that they be willing to listen to each other. This paper examines how a particular psychological attitude, “epistemic arrogance”, can undermine the achievement of these goals. The paper presents an analysis of this attitude and then examines four arguments for how its adoption—especially by the powerful—undermines the ideal of democracy as a space of reasons.

Speaker Bio

Michael Patrick Lynch is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut. His books include The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data, Truth as One and Many and the New York Times Sunday Book Review Editor’s pick, True to Life. His work has been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and many other publications.  

The Political Epistemology Seminar was created in 2018 by Michael Hannon. It is part of the Political Epistemology Network  (https://www.politicalepistemologynetwork.com/) and is funded by the Institute of Philosophy as well as a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award. Speakers from all over the world are invited to present cutting-edge research at the intersection of epistemology and political philosophy. The seminar meets on alternate Mondays from 5pm to 6:30pm. 


Institute of Philsophy
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