Scholars@Hallwalls: James Beebe, “Healthy Skepticism vs. Denialism: How to Tell the Difference”
March 2, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
In “Healthy Skepticism vs. Denialism: How to Tell the Difference,” Philosophy professor James Beebe will draw upon insights from skeptical traditions in both the ancient and the modern worlds in an effort to understand what distinguishes healthy, constructive doubt from crude denialism. He will consider the role that humanistic disciplines can play in helping citizens in a post-truth political climate to recognize and communicate sources of reliable and unreliable testimony, legitimate and illegitimate reasons for doubt, and how to balance often conflicting expert advice.
James Beebe, Professor of Philosophy, is writing a book entitled The Limits of Skepticism that examines the history of skeptical approaches to knowledge and evidence within a variety of philosophical traditions. His research considers which kinds of skeptical challenge should be taken seriously, how far they can be pushed before they collapse, and how illegitimate challenges to our knowledge can be rebutted. He also carries out research in a field known as ‘experimental philosophy,’ where he performs empirical studies of how ordinary people and various kinds of experts think about knowledge and evidence.
Scholars@Hallwalls is a free and open-to-the-public series. Complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres served.