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Department Colloquium: Anna Edmonds - Virtual

Epistemic Quarantine: When true beliefs make you less accurate
Friday, October 23, 2020
3:00-5:00 PM
Off Campus Location
A passcode is required to attend this virtual event. Contact to request the passcode.


Most people think that stereotype reasoning is usually bad. We think that it involves generalizations that range from sloppy to false, in addition to being harmful and morally problematic. But there are some kinds of stereotype-adjacent claims that seem to be true. About those claims there’s a common divide: left-leaning camps tend to respond by giving moral reasons to resist accepting or deploying them. Right-leaning camps maintain that it’s very important to be able to know and to be willing to say the facts. And there are some facts, the right claims, that the left is simply unwilling to admit.

That we tend to respond to cases of “true stereotypes” with moral criticism is often inadvisable from a practical perspective. But, I’ll argue, it’s to be predicted by a history of inordinate focus on single-proposition epistemic evaluation. I’m going to talk about the numerous ways in which true stereotype-adjacent claims contribute negatively to our overall accuracy, both constitutively and causally. In the process, we’ll see that a belief’s being true often means very little, epistemically-speaking. There are kinds of truths that would be better quarantined: overridden or sequestered from interaction in our reasoning. Considering these cases of epistemically virtuous belief quarantine not only gives us an accuracy-oriented response to accusations of PC unwillingness to face the truth, but also guides us towards a more holistic picture of epistemic evaluation.
Building: Off Campus Location
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Free, Philosophy
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Philosophy