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Ethics and Belief - Ethical Believing and the Epistemology of Ethics
11. Juni 2019
Neuer Senatssaal

In our contemporary context, agents have morally problematic beliefs. They fail to credit reliable testifiers in some situations, and over-credit others. They generalize on salient but irrelevant features (such as race, sex, sexual orientation) and reach morally problematic conclusions. These beliefs wrong others. Recent work contends that (i) sometimes beliefs that harm may be epistemically well supported, (ii) because the beliefs cause harm, we ought not believe them, and – most controversially – (iii) we ought to rethink our notion of epistemic justification to reflect that moral concerns affect whether a belief is epistemically justified.


This conference will bring together leading voices within the debate on moral encroachment to discuss the ways in which moral requirements apply to belief, and whether these requirements conflict with epistemic requirements.


Questions to be addressed include:

  • Can moral demands on belief influence the epistemic status of the belief? 
  • How does moral evaluation of the belief affect the epistemic evaluation?
  • How should we conduct ourselves as epistemic agents?
  • Given that a society is structured by racist/sexist institutions, how does this impact what we should believe?
  • Are epistemic requirements also instances of moral requirements (as examples of testimonial injustice suggest)?
  •  Do we have greater responsibilities to believe socially disadvantaged individuals? 

Registration via s.schmidt@uni-koeln.de