New Directions in Social Epistemology

  • Funding body: British Academy
  • Principal Investigator: J. Adam Carter and Christoph Kelp
  • Duration: 1 September 2017 – 1 September 2019
  • Award sum: roughly £10,000

Social epistemology is among the most timely and thriving areas in contemporary epistemology. With an abundance of information just clicks away, it is more important than ever to know whom to trust, and even more fundamentally, to know what kinds of considerations separate good sources of information from bad ones.

While traditional questions in social epistemology have concerned (among otherthings) testimony, disagreement, epistemic norms on assertion, expertise, and trust (among others), new research questions in social epistemology are constantly emerging, while established areas are evolving, to accommodate (i) the increased presence of technology in our belief-forming processes; (ii) the extent to which globalization and the internet have made possible collaborative and collective group cognitive projects that were previously not practically feasible. 

The New Directions in Social Epistemology speaker series will be divided over two academic years: 2017-18 and 2018-19, and will operate in three phases, each corresponding with a particular subtheme in social epistemology, including (i) ‘Foundational Issues in Social Epistemology’; (ii) 'Social Epistemology: Epistemic Norms' (iii) 'Social Epistemology and Groups'. Speakers giving talks in the autumn 2017 term semester include: Peter J. Graham (University of California-Riverside), Mark Alfano (Delft University of Technology), Alessandra Tanesini (Cardiff University), Jack Lyons (University of Arkansas) and Mona Simion (Cardiff University).

In connection with the project, the co-PIs, Carter and Kelp, will be co-editing a volume of papers on Social Epistemology and Epistemic Norms featuring some of the best work from the speaker series, and which will include a state of the art introduction/introductory survey article aimed at mapping the terrain in contemporary social epistemology in a way that reflects traditional issues as well as new trends concerning social-epistemic normativity. 

Talks are generally scheduled on Mondays in the Reid Room. See the Glasgow philosophy calendar for further details; for additional information, feel free to contact the PIs Carter ( and Kelp (