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Epistemologies of Ignorance

Workshop: Ethics and Epistemology of Ignorance, 26-27th April, 2022

PERITIA / CEPL Event, University College Dublin
Organizers: Melanie Altanian, Maria Baghramian

The recent social and applied turn in epistemology has led to the insight that epistemology should not only concern itself with the study of knowledge, but also the study of ignorance in its own right. At the same time, some of the most pressing contemporary social and political concerns – such as the climate crisis – are characterized by such high complexity that knowledge often seems unattainable, prompting the question of how we should deal with such uncertainty, or how we can and should be called to act despite ignorance. Further, we see a revival of humility as both moral and intellectual virtue that reminds us of the normative ambiguity of ignorance: the humility that lies in acknowledging our epistemic limitedness, our own ignorance. Humility is also suggested within the Anthropocene discourse, as a counter pole to the perpetuation of domination (over nature) through technocratic geo-engineering. This workshop brings together different perspectives on the ethical and epistemological dimensions and implications of ignorance. What normative conceptions of ignorance are being employed in the philosophical literature? What does it mean to understand ignorance as a substantive epistemic practice? Is ignorance always constituted by an intellectual vice or can there be virtuous ignorance? What is the relationship between ignorance and epistemic injustice? Can there be a right to ignorance? These are just some of the questions we seek to explore.

This will be a Hybrid Event (in-person and on Zoom).

For further information regarding attendance, contact Fiona Lavin @ Fiona.lavin@ucd.ie

Contact the Centre for Ethics in Public Life (CEPL)

CEPL, School of Philosophy, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: cepl@ucd.ie