Philosophy's annual Chambers Conference is April 13-14, 2018
The Philosophy Department's annual Robert R. Chambers Conference will be held April 13th-April 14th, 2018. The title of the conference is Epistemic Norms and Social Norms. Much of what we know, we learn from others. Furthermore, new information is often obtained by working in groups. To put this idea in philosophical terms, humans are deeply and pervasively “epistemically interdependent.” Because we depend upon each other to learn about the world, we develop norms to help decide when to believe things. Conforming to these norms enables us to coordinate, cooperate, and share information. In this way, we regulate our joint epistemic practice. Epistemologists – philosophers who study knowledge – have traditionally proposed principles for assessing individual claims to knowledge. But perhaps these epistemic principles reflect norms that are, in fact, socially instilled. This year's conference is devoted to exploring the extent to which epistemic norms can be understood as a kind of social norm.