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Epistemic Breakthroughs Conference

June 24, 2022 - June 25, 2022

Epistemic Breakthroughs: A workshop

University of St Andrews

Join us for a philosophical workshop on the topic of “epistemic breakthroughs,” held at the University of St Andrews, in partnership with the JN Wright Trust, The Mind Association, and the Scots Philosophical Association.


  • Friday, June 24th
  • Saturday, June 25th


Lecture Room 2, at St Mary’s College (See picture below for entry point – room is on 1st floor, first door on the left) University of St Andrews

What’s it about?

Our epistemic lives are marked by discoveries, changes of mind, epiphanies (if we are lucky), and ‘turning points’ – some of them potentially radical in nature. We may call these events epistemic breakthroughs. This philosophical workshop invites participants to think about the nature, varieties, and causation of such breakthroughs, as well as about their role in politics, society, and personal life.

How do I attend online?

For those who would like to attend online, we will be live-streaming the event. To attend the live-stream, you must register (Please note that, while we may take questions from the online audience, priority will be given to in person discussion).

24th June

  • 9:00 – 9:30: Arrival and coffee
  • 9:30 – 11:00
    • Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern) “What do Speakers Deserve? The Ethics and Epistemology of #BelieveWomen”
      Commentator: Susanne Burri (Universität Konstanz)
  • 11:15 – 12:45
    • Fabienne Peter (Warwick) “On Trusting Your Own Political Judgment”
      Commentator: Robert Talisse (Vanderbilt)
  • 12:45 – 1:45: Lunch
  • 2:00 – 3:30
    • Catarina Dutilh Novaes (VU Amsterdam) “Can Arguments Change Minds?”
      Commentator: Jim Weatherall
  • 3:45 – 5:15
    • Rachel Fraser (Oxford) “Understanding is Seeing”
      Commentator: Justin Snedegar (St Andrews)

25th June

  • 9:00 – 9:30: Arrival and coffee
  • 9:30 – 11:00
    • Sophie-Grace Chappell (Open University) “Epiphanies”
      Commentator: Julia Driver (Texas at Austin)
  • 11:15 – 12:45
    • Adam Etinson (St Andrews) “Inducing Wonder”
      Commentator: Louise Hanson (Oxford)
  • 12:45 – 1:45: Lunch
  • 2:00 – 3:30
    • C. Thi Nguyen (Utah) “Trust as an Unquestioning Attitude”
      Commentator: Natalie Ashton (Stirling)
  • 3:45 – 5:15
    • Cailin O’Connor (UC Irvine) “Interdisciplinarity Can Aid the Spread of Better Methods Between Scientific Communities”
      Commentator: Katharina Bernhard (St Andrews)


June 24, 2022
June 25, 2022