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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Attitudes and Agency: Epistemology Event

14 May 2016
University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Conor McHugh at .

Event details

This workshop will concern the nature of doxastic agency and its role in epistemology, as well as the relationship between propositional knowledge and practical abilities (e.g., the ability to act for the reason that p).

The event will serve the dual function of kicking off (i) an annual series of epistemology workshops that will be organized in collaboration with KU Leuven, which will alternate between Southampton and Leuven, and (ii) a series of conferences on attitudes and agency more broadly. Some questions to be addressed at the event include:

  • To what extent can we exercise control over our beliefs and other doxastic attitudes? What are the similarities and differences between doxastic control and the kind of control that we exercise over our actions?
  • Might believing literally be a kind of acting, or knowing be a literal exercise of an agential competence? Alternatively, might knowledge that p be understood as a practical ability—say, the ability to act for the reason that p?
  • What bearing do questions about the nature of doxastic control have on the status of virtue epistemology? Does the success of virtue epistemology depend on viewing believing as being literally a kind of acting?


John Hyman (Oxford)

Mona Simionescu (KU Leuven)

Ernest Sosa (Rutgers)

Kurt Sylvan (Southampton)

Organisers: Conor McHugh and Kurt Sylvan (Southampton)

Attendance is free and open to all, but numbers are limited and registration is required. Please email Conor McHugh ( to register. If you would like information about childcare options or accessibility, please indicate this in your email.

This workshop is generously supported by the Mind Association and the University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities.



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