University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Social Epistemology Working Group

Sponsored by the Humanities Institute and the Project on Humility and Conviction in Public Life, the SEWing Circle is a working group made up of faculty members, fellows, and graduate students who share work on topics in or related to social epistemology.

The meetings take place on a roughly biweekly basis, and run for an hour and a half. In the past, participants have presented papers on public reason, disagreement, intellectual virtues, intellectual vices, and more. In addition to presentations by group members, invited speakers are scheduled to present talks throughout the year as well.

For more information about the SEWing Circle, or to be added to the mailing list,
please contact Teresa Allen at

Location: Homer Babbidge Library, UCHI Conference Room (4th Floor), unless otherwise noted
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM, unless otherwise noted

Fall 2018

  • 9/20/18: Sandra Sirota - "Human Rights and Humility: The Art of Difficult Conversations"
  • 9/27/18: Paul Boghossian (NYU) - "Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity"
  • 10/18/18: Nate Sheff -"Room for Disagreement: Infallibilism and the Uniqueness Thesis"
  • 10/31/18: Discussion with Kate Manne (Cornell) about her recent book, "Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny"
    NOTE: This meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 10/31, from 10:00 - 11:30 AM in the UCHI Conference Room 
  • 11/15/18: Tracy Llanera - TBA
  • 11/29/18: Charlie Crerar - "A Non-Intellectualist Virtue Epistemology"
  • 12/6/18: Deborah Mower (University of Mississippi) - "Moral Conviction and Civility"

Spring 2018

  • 1/25/18: Ufuk Topkara - "The Truth Lies in Action: From Aristotle to a Social Justice Theory in Islam"
  • 2/1/18: Paul Bloomfield - "Justice as Skill"
  • 3/1/18: Trystan Goetze (Sheffield) - "Moral and Epistemic Responsibility for Conceptual Ignorance"
  • 3/26/18: Sandy Goldberg (Northwestern) - "Your Attention Please!  (The Ethics of Address)"
    NOTE: Sandy's talk is scheduled for Monday, 3/26, from 4:00 - 5:30
  • 4/5/18: Jenny Saul (Sheffield) - "Dogwhistles and Figleaves: Techniques of Racist Linguistic Manipulation"
    NOTE: Jenny's talk is scheduled for 4:00 - 5:30 in the Humanities Institute Conference Room

Fall 2017

  • 8/31/17: Michael P. Lynch - "Epistemic Humility and Public Discourse"
  • 9/14/17:  Charlie Crear (Sheffield) - "Intellectual Snobs"
  • 9/28/17: Heather Battaly - “Close-mindedness and Dogmatism”
  • 10/19/17: Hanna Gunn - "Epistemic Agency & the Positive Obligation for Epistemic Care"
  • 11/9/17: Teresa Allen - "Open-minded Engagement"
  • 11/16/17: José Medina (Northwestern) - "Racist Propaganda and Epistemic Activism"
  • 11/30/17: Paul Silva - (UPenn) "A Bayesian Explanation of the Irrationality of Sexist and
    Racist Beliefs Involving Generic Content"
  • 12/7/17: Tracy Llanera - "Egotism in Public Discourse"

Intellectual Snobs

Charlie CrearCharlie Crear


In this paper I analyse a character that will be familiar to many of us: the intellectual snob. I argue that intellectual snobbery is an intellectual vice, not merely an ethical vice that takes an intellectual object. Specifically, it is a corruption of the capacity to make intellectual evaluations, in which evaluations are made not on the basis of an object's intellectual merits but on an unjustified appeal to its intellectual status. Whilst all intellectual snobs share a disposition to make such evaluations, I claim that there are, in fact, two distinct forms of intellectual snobbery, which share this unifying feature but diverge in their psychological profiles. I end by considering some implications this account has for our study of intellectual vices more generally.