Institut Jean Nicod

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La naturalisation des normes épistémiques

Naturalizing Epistemic Norms


Salle de Séminaire du Pavillon Jardin- Institut Jean-Nicod,
ENS, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris.

Responsables : Joëlle Proust et Paul Egré


Epistemic norms (from now on: "ENs") refer to the dimensions on which mental contents can be evaluated with respect to their contribution to knowledge. Any learner needs to predict how exhaustively or accurately she can learn some material,  assess whether she understands what she reads, and  determine whether she should accept a proposition given a context of epistemic or instrumental deliberation. Little is known, however, about how ordinary people actually recognize ENs and use them in their epistemic decisions. There is no agreement as yet about whether all humans are sensitive to the same ENs, nor, even, about what they are. Epistemologists have mainly focused on truth, coherence, evidentiality and rationality, while anthropologists and psychologists have emphasized the import of additional norms such as relevance, consensuality and fluency. The seminar will be open to philosophers interested in addressing these questions, on the basis of all the methods available, among which formal and non formal epistemology, semantics, decision theory, and experimental psychology.



Mecredi 22 juin de 14h30 à 16h30 - Salle de Séminaire du Pavillon Jardin- Institut Jean-Nicod, ENS, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris.
Pierre Déléage (LAS, EHESS)
"Traditional Epistemologies in Oral Traditions".

I will argue that the transmission of institutionalised knowledge in oral traditions (stabilised discourse memorised by heart) always goes along with the transmission of a set of explicit metarepresentations I coined "traditional epistemologies". A specific epistemology thus corresponds to each genre of traditional knowledge in a given society (e.g. "myth", "shamanistic tales", "curing songs", etc.) These traditional epistemologies state the ultimate source of knowledge, the relation between this source and the actual speaker, and the truth value ascribed to the uttered discourse. I will also show how an identical narrative content, when transposed from one genre of knowledge to another, shifts form on traditional epistemology to another.


Past Sessions

Mercredi 14 octobre de 14h à 16h - Exceptionnellement en Salle Langevin, ENS, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005
Nicholas Shea (King's College London)
"Metacognition of Concepts and its Role in Cognitive Control"

Concepts are the constituents of thought and underpin much personal level reasoning. They also allow us to ‘project’ properties we have learnt about one object to new objects. For example, I might interact with something I have classified under my CAT concept and learn that it purrs when stroked. When subsequently encountering another object that is classified under CAT I can form the expectation that it will purr if stroked. Reasoning and ‘projection’ are two core uses of concepts.

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