CFP: Knowledge, Truth and the Criminal Trial

Submission deadline: April 16, 2017

Conference date(s):
June 19, 2017 - June 20, 2017

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Conference Venue:

University of Nottingham
Nottingham, United Kingdom


CFP: Knowledge, Truth and the Criminal Trial

University of Nottingham

June 19th-20th 2017

The criminal trial aims to ascertain whether defendants have in fact committed the acts they are alleged to have committed, and if so, whether they did so intentionally, recklessly, or negligently. Criminal trials, in other words, are centrally concerned with determining truth. But are such trials truth-conducive? Assessing the value of trials as truth-seeking endeavours requires that we consider a host of underlying social epistemological questions, including (but not limited to) these: How much credence should jurors give to eyewitness testimony? What role do legal requirements for truthfulness, such as the prohibition against perjury, play with respect to the reliability of such testimony?  How much credence to expert witnesses? Are juries, in which a group of laypeople assembles to deliberate about the facts of a case, effective means of arriving at justified beliefs about a defendant’s guilt or innocence? What degree of certainty should we require to support a verdict of ‘guilty’? These and similar questions raised by criminal trials have received fairly little attention from philosophers. This workshop aims to begin to remedy this neglect. This is a pre-read workshop and all participants will be expected to have read all of the papers (which will be circulated in advance) prior to the start of the workshop.

This workshop is kindly funded by the Society for Applied Philosophy and the Analysis Trust.

Speakers and discussants include:

Christopher Bennett (University of Sheffield)

Antony Duff (University of Stirling)

Elizabeth Fricker (University of Oxford)

Zach Hoskins (University of Nottingham)

Sandra Marshall (University of Stirling)

Federico Picinali (LSE)

Paul Roberts (University of Nottingham)

Martin Smith (University of Edinburgh)

Aness Webster (University of Nottingham)

There is space for a small number of submitted papers during the workshop and we invite those who are interested to submit (suitably anonymised) abstracts of up to 500 words on relevant topics to by April 16th 2017. Funding is available to help defray travel, accommodation and subsistence costs for speakers.

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