SAP sponsored event: Ignorance and Irrationality in Politics
University of Nottingham
June 10, 2019 9:00 am — June 11, 2019 5:00 pm
Contact Michael Hannon for more information.
A Workshop at the University of Nottingham
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.
9:45am: Arrival and coffee
10am - 11:30am
FEELING DISCOMFORT: ACTIVE IGNORANCE AND ANGER
Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cardiff
11:45am - 1:15pm
EVIDENTIALISM AND POLITICAL POLARIZATION
Emily Colleen McWilliams
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Duke Kunshan
2:30pm - 4pm
EMPATHETIC UNDERSTANDING AND DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Nottingham
4:15pm - 5:45pm
THE PERILS OF PERCEPTION: SYSTEMIC DRIVERS OF MISPERCEPTIONS
Director of the Policy Institute, King’s College London
12:45pm: Arrival and coffee
1:00pm - 2:30pm
EPISTEMIC ASYMMETRIES IN POLITICAL COGNITION
Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool
2:45pm - 4:15pm
DEMOCRACY AND POLITICAL IGNORANCE
Professor of Law at George Mason University
4:30pm - 6:00pm
SCIENCE FUNDING AND THE MAKING OF IGNORANCE
Supernumerary Fellow in Politics at St. John’s, Oxford
7pm Dinner (off site)