XIII Inter-University Workshop on Mind, Art, and Morality
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), April 15-17th, 2020


Invited Speaker: Quassim Cassam (Warwick University)


The last few decades of philosophical research have seen a growing interest in virtue theories in ethics and epistemology.  The systematic study of ethical and intellectual vices has not received the same attention. Vice epistemology is the study of the nature, identity and epistemological significance of intellectual vices. A long list of intellectual vices has been identified and examined: close-mindedness, arrogance, wishful thinking, stupidity, impatience, gullibility, dogmatism, insouciance, malevolence, snobbery, etc. Intellectual ethics is concerned with the cultivation of virtues and the avoidance of intellectual vices that get in the way of knowledge, responsible belief formation or inquiry. The workshop will focus on the following questions, among others:

What is the nature of intellectual vices?
How do they affect our epistemic behavior?
Are they character traits?
Are there other attitudes and ways of thinking that constitute vices of the mind?
Do they necessarily involve a motivational component?
Are there epistemically bad motivations?
Are we responsible of our intellectual vices?
Which kind of criticism do we deserve as intellectually vicious?
Do vices harm us as knowers? And other epistemic agents? Which sort of harm do they cause?
How do we identify and get to know our intellectual vices?
Are we self-ignorant of our vices? How can we improve our epistemic life if not aware of bad epistemic habits?

The workshop will be devoted to these and other topics discussed in the recent work by Quassim Cassam in  his book Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the Political. We invite papers on vice epistemology as well as other topics addressed in the wide philosophical work of Quassim Cassam.  These topics include the self and self-knowledge, perception, neo-Kantian epistemology, conspiracy theories and the philosophy of terrorism.

The conference is part of a long series of workshops that under the title of Interuniversity Workshop on Mind, Art, and Morality promote the relation between different areas in philosophy. More specifically, it aims at exploring issues lying at the intersection of ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of mind, and in this case epistemology. In former editions, the workshop has been devoted either to the work of specific philosophers, such as Richard Wollheim, Jonathan Dancy, Christine Korsgaard, Shaun Nichols, David Finkelstein, Gregory Currie, and Dan Zahavi among others; or to broad subjects, such as the Philosophy of Music (with Peter Kivy, Noël Carroll or Derek Matravers), Negative Emotions (Susan Feagin, Eileen John) and Language and Power (Mathew Chrisman, Deborah Muehlebach, David Plunkett, Jennifer Saul). On this occasion, the workshop will focus both on a topic, Vice Epistemology, and the philosophical work of Quasim Cassam

Quassim Cassam is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick. He was previously Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge, and has also taught at Oxford and University College London. He is the author of Self and World (1997), The Possibility of Knowledge (2007), Berkeley’s Puzzle. What Does Experiences Teach Us? (with John Campbsell, 2014), Self-knowledge for Humans (2014). Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the Political (2019) and Conspiracy Theories (2019). His most recent work has been devoted to self-knowledge, vice epistemology, conspiracy theories, epistemology of ignorance, philosophy of terrorism, counter-terrorism and extremism, and topics in philosophy of medicine

We invite philosophers interested in Cassam’s work to submit their proposals for evaluation. Papers should be about 15 pages long (about 5000 words). They will be presented in 40 minutes maximum during the conference with 30 minutes for Q&A. Extended abstracts, of about 2000 words, will also be accepted for review.

Correspondence and submissions:   Jesús Vega-Encabo, Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, jesus.vega@uam.es

Deadline: January 23th, 2020
Notification: February, 28th, 2020

Sponsored by the SEFA (Spanish Society for Analytic Philosophy) and funded by the Spanish Research Agency through the research grants: Intellectual autonomy in environments of epistemic dependence (FFI2017-87395-P) and Self-Knowledge, Moral Responsibility and Authenticity (FFI2016-75323-P).