Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Nottingham

Workshop

Ignorance and Irrationality in Politics

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A Workshop at the University of Nottingham
June 10-11

A common belief is that democracies require informed voters if they are to function well. But when the price to be adequately informed is too high, it makes sense for voters to guide their beliefs by their desire for comfort, affiliation, and belonging. Does this conflict with the epistemic demands of democracy? If it is true, as some political scientist and psychologists allege, that political belief-formation is primarily driven by social identities and ‘tribal’ allegiances, does this make us irrational? What is required for epistemically responsible belief formation in the domain of politics?

The workshop will explore two issues: the extent and causes of citizen ignorance, and whether (and in what ways) belief formation in politics is epistemically irrational, even if it may reflect instrumental rationality on the part of citizens.

Location: Arts Centre Lecture Theatre, adjacent to the Department of Music.

 


SCHEDULE

June 11

9:45am: Arrival and coffee

10am - 11:30am
FEELING DISCOMFORT: ACTIVE IGNORANCE AND ANGER
Alessandra Tanesini

Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cardiff

Break

11:45am - 1:15pm
EVIDENTIALISM AND POLITICAL POLARIZATION
Emily Colleen McWilliams

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Duke Kunshan

Lunch 

2:30pm - 4pm
EMPATHETIC UNDERSTANDING AND DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY
Michael Hannon

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Nottingham

Break

4:15pm - 5:45pm
THE PERILS OF PERCEPTION: SYSTEMIC DRIVERS OF MISPERCEPTIONS
Bobby Duffy

Director of the Policy Institute, King’s College London

June 10

12:45pm:  Arrival and coffee

1:00pm - 2:30pm
EPISTEMIC ASYMMETRIES IN POLITICAL COGNITION
Robin McKenna

Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool

Break

2:45pm - 4:15pm 
DEMOCRACY AND POLITICAL IGNORANCE
Ilya Somin

Professor of Law at George Mason University

Break 

4:30pm - 6:00pm
SCIENCE FUNDING AND THE MAKING OF IGNORANCE
Zeynep Pamuk

Supernumerary Fellow in Politics at St. John’s, Oxford

7pm Dinner (off site) 



 
 
Conference venue, near Department of Music in the Arts Centre Lecture Theatre.

Conference venue, near Department of Music in the Arts Centre Lecture Theatre.

 
 

This workshop is generously sponsored by

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