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

Spring 2019

  • 1/24/19: Drew Johnson - "On the Epistemic Significance of Deep Disagreement: Conciliatory Views, Hinge Epistemology, and Humility"
  • 2/7/19: Maxime Lepoutre - "Can 'More Speech' Counter Ignorant Speech? Tackling the Stickiness of Verbal Ignorance"
  • 2/14/19: Nathan Ballantyne (Fordham University) - "Fatal Flaws"
  • 2/28/19: Lani Watson - "What are Epistemic Rights and When are They Violated?"
  • 3/7/19: Jason Stanley (Yale) - "Presupposing Practices"
  • 3/14/19: Karen Frost-Arnold (Hobart & William Smith Colleges) - "Epistemic Justice and the Challenges of Online Moderation"
  • 4/11/19: Allan Hazlett (Washington University in St. Louis) - "The Epistemological Apology for White Supremacism"
  • 4/25/19: Louise Richardson-Self (University of Tasmania) - "Imagining the World Otherwise: On Feminist Accounts of Social Imaginaries and their Role in Shaping Knowledge"


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 10:30 - 12:00 PM in the UCHI Conference Room 
  • 11/15/18: Tracy Llanera - " '...The Law of the Land has God's Anointing' --  Rorty on Religion, Language, and Politics"
  • 11/29/18: Charlie Crerar - "Vices of Judgment"
  • 12/6/18: Deborah Mower (University of Mississippi) - "Moral Conviction and Civility"


 2017- 2018 SEWing Circle Events 

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"