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Epistemology


PIs: Annalisa Coliva, Giorgio Volpe
AIs: Walter Cavini, Wolfgang Huemer, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Eva Picardi, Carla Bagnoli
PhD and Master students: Delia Belleri, Alessia Marabini, Eugenio Orlandelli, Michele Palmira, Alessia Pasquali, Iryna Sivertsava, Federica Berdini, Lorenzo Medici, Luca Zanetti.
External researchers: Tito Magri.
 
Visiting Fellows:

  • Sept 2011- Dec 2011 Fernando Broncano-Berrocal (Logos)
  • Sept 2012- June 2013 Gregory Bochner (Bruxelles)

 
Title of the project: Is there immediate justification?
 
Scientific aim of the project
The project in Epistemology focuses on the notion of immediate justification. It deals with

  1.  the nature of immediate justifications, and
  2. their bearing on different areas of epistemology, such as,
  • the justification of our specific beliefs about physical objects in our surroundings;
  • the justification of our belief in the existence of an external world and the problem of external world skepticism;
  • the justification of our beliefs based on testimony;
  • the justification of our beliefs about our own mental states.
  • the epistemic status of arguments such as Moore's proof and the related problems of Closure, Transmission failure, Easy Knowledge and Bootstrapping.

The project lies at the intersection between philosophy of mind and epistemology and explores the relevance of the notion of immediate justification for both these domains.
 
Methodology
In the first year, we have worked on the very notion of immediate justification and its bearing on the issue of the justification of empirical beliefs based on perception and testimony. We have had a regular reading group and have hosted research papers by both members of the group and invited speakers. One of our events, detailed below, was partly concerned with the project.

In the second year we have focused on the bearing of these issues on skepticism about the external world, the validity of Closure and the notion of transmission failure. We have had a regular reading group, group members' and visitors' presentations, and two important events detailed below.

This year the group is working on the special issue of Synthese which has stemmed from the conference held at the end of 2010 and is hosting a Visiting Fellow - Fernando Broncano Berrocal (Logos), who will give presentations about his work. We will have also some sessions on Richard Moran's account of self-knowledge.

A pilot subproject will concern the topic of experimental philosophy and another one the nature of peer disagreement.
Group members' and visitors' presentations will be hosted as usual as well as two important events listed below.

Events concerned with the project:
- SIFA graduate conference in the Fall 2009.
- "Skepticism and Justification" conference, December 2010
- Series of Seminars with Ernest Sosa, December 2010
- Series of Seminars with Richard Moran, Spring term 2012.
- Epistemology in Europe Network Meeting, June 2012.

Expected results
Research: the project has already led to individual and joint publications also in international peer-reviewed journals and some more are expected in the near future.
Educational:

  • the project gives Master and PhD students a chance to study some of the main themes in current epistemology and to familiarise themselves with discussion in this area of philosophy;
  • it is leading towards PhD theses for those students primarily enrolled within this project.

 
Internationalization
We aim to create collaborations with similarly oriented research groups mostly based in Europe.

Events

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