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CFP: European Review of Philosophy

European Review of Philosophy 8 (2008)
C. Heintz, N. Pouscoulous & D. Taraborelli (eds.)

Submission deadline: 1 Jan 2008

The ability to assess the truth of an utterance, the validity of an inference or the reliability of a mental representation - including those inferred from observable behaviour - is a fundamental aspect of human cognition. "A is justified in thinking that p", "B is trustworthy when she says that q", "C is deceiving", are examples of evaluative representations typically involved in knowledge acquisition.

Epistemology has traditionally focused on the normative conditions under which knowledge is acquired, thus producing a corpus of norms on the justification of knowledge claims. From a different perspective, we might ask whether a psychological explanation can be provided to account for epistemic evaluation abilities. How can empirical investigations elucidate the nature, development and cognitive function of evaluative representations? Are there domain-specific, cross-cultural capacities underpinning the evaluation of truth and reliability of mental representations? Eventually, what are the relations between the norms described by epistemology and the actual psychological processes underpinning evaluation of truth and epistemic reliability?

The study of mental processes underlying epistemological skills may support the hypothesis of a dedicated "folk epistemology" system. Over the last decades many cases of domain-specific cognitive systems with dedicated inferential resources have been identified in infants and higher primates. These include folk physics, folk biology, folk arithmetics, folk psychology, among others. Can the ability to judge truth and epistemic reliability be accounted for interms of a folk epistemology system? The goal of the present volume is to bring together contributions on this topic from different areas of investigation such as: philosophy, developmental psychology, cognitive ethology, social cognition, pragmatics, sociology of knowledge, cultural anthropology.

Relevant questions include the following:

- What is the proper domain of a folk epistemology system?
- Do epistemic evaluations involve conscious thinking?
- To what extent does language enhance epistemic evaluations?
- Are there selective impairments of folk epistemology capacities?
- Are epistemic evaluations human-specific?
- How does folk epistemology contribute to rational thinking?
- Are meta-representations required for epistemic evaluation?
- What are the relations (if any) between normative epistemology, commonsense epistemology and folk epistemology? How does folk epistemology relate to our naive understanding of truth?
- Which aspects of culture could be explained on the basis of a folk epistemology?
- Do deferential practices rely on the existence of a folk epistemology?
- Do subjects share the same epistemological intuitions across cultures? Or do epistemologies vary across cultures?
- Are there foreseeable evolutionary grounds for the selection of folk epistemology capacities?
- The aim of the present project is to synthesise and evaluate the progress made in the research fields concerned, and to promote an interdisciplinary discussion on the natural bases of epistemic evaluation capacities.

Maurice BLOCH, London School of Economics
Fabrice CLEMENT, University of Geneva
Steven STICH, Rutgers University

Submissions should be addressed electronically to: folk.epistemology@erp-review.org.

Papers should describe original and previously unpublished work. Submitted papers must be in English and should not exceed 8000 words, with an abstract of up to 200 words. The following formats are accepted for submission: RTF, PDF, DOC, LATEX. Authors are invited to follow the stylistic guidelines, templates and detailed instructions available here.

Submitted papers will be reviewed by the Editors and blind-reviewed by two anonymous referees. For the purpose of blind refereeing, authors are requested not to include their name and affiliation in their manuscript, but in a separate file. Each submission should consist of two distinct files:

- A frontpage containing the title of the paper, the name and affiliation of the author(s), as well as any acknowledgment.
- The manuscript of the paper (containing only the title, the abstract and the body of the article).

More information for prospective authors are available on this page: http://www.erp-review.org/guidelines.php

1 Jan 2008: submission deadline
1 Dec 2008: date of publication

Established in Geneva in 1994, the European Review of Philosophy is a peer-reviewed journal edited yearly at the Jean Nicod Institute, Paris. It publishes thematic volumes on philosophical and foundational issues in cognitive science.

Intending authors should make direct contact with the guest editors of the relevant issue by writing to: folk.epistemology@erp-review.org