Public Vices: The Individual and Collective Dimensions of Civic and Epistemic Vices

October 1, 2021 - October 2, 2021
University of Genoa

Aula Magna of the School of Humanities
via balbi 2
Genova
Italy

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Speakers:

University of Connecticut
Université de Genève
VU University Amsterdam
Cardiff University

Organisers:

Università Del Piemonte Orientale
Università degli Studi di Genova
Università degli Studi di Genova
Università degli Studi di Genova
Università degli Studi di Genova
Università degli Studi di Genova

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Details

(see below for schedule)

Background:

The conference aims to bring together political and moral philosophers to discuss key civic and epistemic vices, to assess their corrupting impact on public life, and to devise effective countermeasures. 

Political deliberation is increasingly characterized by epistemic vices, e.g. inaccuracy (Chambers 2020), arrogance (Tanesini 2018), closed-mindedness (Battaly 2020) and epistemic insouciance (Cassam 2018). Consequently, many citizens worry that the public sphere is being polluted by an unprecedented number of misleading claims and inaccurate statements (Matsa and Shearer, 2018; Mitchell et al., 2016, 2019). Furthermore, certain epistemic vices could even compromise the legitimacy of democratic deliberation (Peter 2020). 

On the other side, the conference will focus on civic vices. There has been a growing debate on civic virtues which facilitate public life (Croce & Vaccarezza 2018), e.g. prudence (Ottonelli 2018), effectiveness (Zuolo 2020), resilience (Snow 2018) or civic friendship (Schwarzenbach 1996). Yet, comparably less attention has been paid to civic vices, which are not limited to the negative side of civic virtues, but include new character traits with dangerous impact on democratic well-functioning e.g. hyperbolic partisanship (Muirhead 2010), polarization (Aikin & Talisse 2020), radicalization (Waldner and Lust 2018, 109), or corruption (Ceva & Ferretti 2017, 2021). 

Please write to [email protected] if you are interested in attending, either online or in person.Participation in the online conference is free, participation in person requires a 40 euro conference fee to cover lunch and coffeebreaks. 

Have a look at our Conference website for more details, directions to the venue and travel information.

SCHEDULE (click here for pdf)
O= online
IP= in person

Day 1: Friday October 1st
 
09.00 – 10.00  REGISTRATION
 
10.00 – 11.00
Room 1
DEALING WITH EPISTEMIC VICES
Alice Monypenny (IP) Epistemic Character Damage and Normative Contextualism
Jack Warman (O) Epistemic Vice in Street-level Bureaucracies
Chair: Michele Giavazzi
 
Room 2
DIAGNOSING EPISTEMIC VICES
Gianfranco Pellegrino (O) Denial as a Civic Vice
Dominik Jarczewski (IP) Exempting Oneself from Knowing Better. Epistemic Laziness, Conspiracy Theories and Pseudo-Knowledge.
Chair: Enrico Biale
 
11.00 – 12.00
Room 1
KEYNOTE
Emanuela Ceva (IP) Officeholders’ Interrelated Responsibility for Institutional Corruption
Chair: Valeria Ottonelli
 
12.00 – 12.30  BREAK
 
12.30 – 13.30
Room 1
CIVIC VICES
David Civil(O) Educating against Apathy: Schools of Civic Character, Service Learning and Active Citizenship
Megan Haggard (IP) & Ryan Byerly (O) Expansive Other-Regarding Virtues, Contrary Vices, and their Role in Civic Life
Chair: Alberto Giordano
 
Room 2
VICES: FROM PRIVATE TO PUBLIC
Ilaria Galasso(IP) Private Vices with Public Consequences: Moral Responsibility around Health
Chris Ranalli (IP) Vice Attributions, Extremism, and Ideology
Chair: Federica Liveriero
 
13.30 – 14.30  LUNCH
 
14.30 – 16.00
Room 1
VICIOUS POLITICIANS
Josh Dolin (IP) Buffoonery in the Public Life of the Mind
Adam Gibbons (O) Bullshit in Politics Pays
Clara Whyte (O) How to Deal with Ethical Vices that Open the Way to Dehumanization and New Forms of Totalitarianism
Chair: Michele Giavazzi
 
Room 2
VICES OF THE IMAGINATION
Leigh Duffy (O) Epistemic Vices and Conspiracy Theories The Consequences of Believing that Anything is Possible
Yyjia Song (O) The Vice of Imagination Deficit
Emma Prendergast (O) Is Utopophobia a Civic Vice?
Chair: Carlo Burelli
 
16.00 – 17.00
Room 1
KEYNOTE
Heather Battaly (O) Group Solidarity: Virtue or Vice?
Chair: Maria Silvia Vaccarezza
 
17.00 – 17.30  BREAK
 
17.30 – 18.30
Room 1
POLARIZATION AND PUBLIC SPEECH
Jordan Myers (O) Vicious and Virtuous Selective Scrutiny
Jaclyn Rekic (O) Public Reason, Religious Reasons, and Epistemic Ignorance
Chair: Chiara Destri
 
Room 2
FROM INDIVIDUAL TO COLLECTIVE VICES
Pia Antolic-Piper (O) & Mark Piper (O) Prudent Forbearance in the Public Sphere
Shanna Slank (O) Private Virtues, Public Ills: The Case of Grit Culture
Chair: Federico Zuolo
 

DAY 2: Saturday October 2nd
9.30 – 10.30
Room 1
ONLINE VICES
Daniella Meehan (O) Epistemic Corruption in Online Environments
Paolo Monti (IP) On the Measure of Attention. Epistemic Vices from the Totalitarian Era to the Digital Public Sphere
Chair: Claudia Navarini
 
Room 2
RADICALISM AS CIVIC VIRTUE
Urna Chakrabarty (O) The Limits of Compromise: Questioning the Moral Middle in Political Reasoning
Eric Garcìa (O) The Truth Promoting Function of Cross Generational-Blame: Why Toppling and Defacing Statues of Christopher Columbus and Robert E. Lee is Appropriate
Chair: Corrado Fumagalli
 
10.30 – 11.30
Room 1
VICES OF THE EGO
Alan Wilson (O) Shamelessness as a Civic Vice
Grant Rozenboom (IP) Vanity and Self-Deceptiveness as Interrelated Inegalitarian Vices
Chair: Carline Klijnman
 
Room 2
NEW VIRTUES NEEDED
Nafsika Athanasouli (O) Magnificence: a Virtue for the 21st Century
Francesca Pongiglione (IP) New Media, New Vices, New Needed Virtues
Chair: Angelo Campodonico
 
11.30 – 12.00  BREAK
 
12.00 – 13.00
Room 1
KEYNOTE
Alessandra Tanesini (O) Collective Arrogance
Chair: Michel Croce

This workshop is part of a PRIN research project: Deceit and Self-Deception. How We Should Address Fake News and Other Cognitive Failures of the Democratic Public (www.deceitproject.com) and it is supported by Aretai Center on Virtues (www.aretaicenter.com).

Organizing Committee: Valeria Ottonelli, Angelo Campodonico, Maria Silvia Vaccarezza, Federico Zuolo, Carlo Burelli, Carline Klijnman. 

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September 1, 2021, 9:00am CET

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