Intellectual pride is a matter of discounting others and seeing them as epistemically less than oneself. By contrast, then, intellectual humility includes the ability and inclination to see others as "just like me". The goal of our jointly taught seminar in Fall 2014 is to understand better the basic science and philosophy of those parts of the mind that enable a person to know other persons in this way.
In recent years, the subject of the knowledge of persons has come to be a focus of a growing literature in psychology and neurobiology, including especially investigation of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and typical childhood development. This scientific work has sparked a corresponding literature in philosophy of mind. In this seminar, we will try to bring these inquiries from divergent fields about the knowledge of person into one conversation. We will read some of the neurobiological and psychological literature on children with ASD and on the social cognition of typically developing children. Then we will consider some recent attempts to bring that literature into the philosophical discussion of human cognitive capacities and the mind-reading and intersubjectivity these capacities enable.
There will also be a reading group matched with the seminar. In the reading group, we will focus on additional work in developmental psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind relevant to the topics of intersubjectivity, mind-reading, and knowledge of persons.
Intellectual Humilty: Perception, Testimony and Knowledge of God/ Spring 2015
The spring seminar will build on investigations from the fall seminar on the topics of mind-reading, intersubjectivity, and our capacities to know other persons as persons. Specifically, we will explore the idea that our knowledge of God is a kind of knowledge of persons, and that the epistemology of religious belief ought to be developed accordingly. One primary source of our knowledge of persons is intersubjective perception (the perception of persons as persons). A second major source is testimony, including what people tell us about themselves (self-disclosing testimony) and what people tell us about other persons. We will investigate the latest developments in the epistemology of intersubjective perception and the epistemology of testimony, and apply these findings to topics in religious epistemology, including knowledge of God, religious experience, religious pluralism, the problem of evil, and divine hiddenness.
A three-day seminar at the Fuller Guest Center (Pasadena, California) for 15 advanced graduate students or junior faculty (no more than 10 years past the PhD). The seminar begins at 4pm, Friday, May 8, and ends at 11:30am, Monday, May 11. Faculty guests include: Joshua Alexander, Jason Baehr, Nathan Ballantyne, Heather Battalay, Jessica Brown, Adam Green, Peter Hill, Thomas Hofweber, Daniel Howard-Snyder, Thomas Kelly, Mark Leary, Sarah McGrath, J.L. Schellenberg, and Dennis Whitcomb. Themes include: nature of IH, empirical study of IH, philosophical intuition, metaphysical and religious modesty, peer disagreement, moral deference, situationism, fallibilism, mind-reading, empathy, and intersubjectivity. $500 honorarium plus all expenses paid. Successful applicants will commit to studying items on the seminar syllabus prior to the seminar, and to attending the Capstone Conference on Catalina Island, May 11-14, immediately following the seminar, all expenses paid. To apply, send these items in one email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading **IH May 2015 Seminar**: (i) a brief cover letter, (ii) a current CV, (iii) one writing sample, and (iv) an explanation of how this seminar will enhance your professional development (not to exceed 500 words). Direct all questions to Dan.Howard-Snyder@wwu.edu. Deadline: December 31, 2014. Winners will be announced January 15, 2015.