Journal of Applied Philosophy

Cover image for Vol. 31 Issue 1

Edited By: Christopher Bennett

Online ISSN: 1468-5930

Call for Papers - Applied Epistemology

Call for Papers - Applied Epistemology

Call for papers for a proposed special issue of the Journal of Applied Philosophy on Applied Epistemology, guest edited by David Coady (Tasmania) and Miranda Fricker (Sheffield)

For many people, including many professional philosophers, “applied philosophy” is virtually synonymous with “applied ethics”. But this conception of the scope of applied philosophy is surely too narrow. In particular, there seems to be room for an “applied turn” in epistemology, analogous to the one that has taken place in ethics.

This special issue on applied epistemology is open to two kinds of articles: first, articles on specific topics in applied epistemology (broadly construed); second, articles about applied epistemology (e.g., its significance and scope). Papers might use traditional epistemological debates to cast light on applied problems; or again they might explore new epistemological issues that come to light as a result of attending to real epistemic practices in applied contexts.

The sorts of issues and questions that papers might explore include:

1) How can laypeople evaluate the testimony of putative experts, for example in relation to climate change, or medical treatments?
2) How far are donors to charity able to make reliable judgements about the likely effects of their contributions?
3) What role is there for heuristics in our everyday epistemic judgements? And what does the use of heuristics mean for epistemic responsibility?
4) How do new media (e.g. Wikipedia) compare with traditional media as sources of knowledge and justified belief?
5) Can rumours be a reliable source of knowledge or justified belief?
6) Can democracy be justified in epistemic terms? To what extent, and in what ways, are citizen’s obliged to be well informed about politics?
7) How, in practice, are we to deal with real disagreements between peers? Are there philosophically interesting differences between how epistemic subjects should handle disagreement in empirical matters and in moral matters?
8) What are the politics of epistemic trust? How are relations of epistemic and/or ethical trust affected in ‘non-ideal’ applied contexts?
9) What intellectual virtues, and/or what epistemic goods, are relevant to the good performance of different social roles such as that of politician, doctor, teacher, carer, or journalist…?
10) How might we mitigate the effects of prejudice or implicit bias in our judgements of others’ epistemic status?
11) What are the proper standards for evaluating competing knowledge claims in rape trials?
12) What does epistemic responsibility require in different practical contexts? Does it vary? What sorts of justified trade-offs might there be between epistemic values and ethical or other practical values in relation to different social contexts?

This list is suggestive. We welcome papers on any area of applied epistemology, whether from a political, ethical, legal, or other relevant perspective. We are especially open to papers that move the discussion of applied epistemology in new directions.

The Journal now invites submissions of papers for this special issue. Submissions should be sent as an email attachment to in a form suitable for blind review. The maximum length of submissions to the Journal is 8000 words. Please mark the email subject heading: ‘For Applied Epistemology Special Issue’.

The deadline for submissions for this special issue is 30 June 2014. Enquiries, please contact: Dr David Coady