Alan Thomas ‘Epistemic Justice, Steadiness of Mind and Self-Deception’, Oxford April 2nd 2014 11:55 – 12:45

‘Epistemic Justice, Steadiness of Mind and Self-Deception’

Ethics of Cognition Project

Workshop: the Ethics of Self-Deception

Ryle Room, Faculty of Philosophy, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter


This paper develops a general characterisation of epistemic wrongs as forms of derogation before characterising specifically epistemic injustices as putative disqualifications of an interlocutor from the status of knower. The account is related to Williams’s discussion of the generic epistemic virtues of Sincerity, Accuracy and the role of the third person in “steadying the mind”. There is a constitutive connection between sociality and the individual epistemic vice of self-deception.  The connection between this account and Williams’s liberal political psychology is, in turn, explained via the republican ideal of freedom as non-domination.

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