Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Contemporary philosophical perspectives: epistemology, ethics and political theory

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.10.00  Humanities  Philosophy   

Code Science Field
6.03  Humanities  Philosophy, Ethics and Religion 
Philosophy, epistemology, applied epistemology, social epistemology, virtue epistemology, epistemic vices, epistemic injustice, conspiracy theories, ignorance, experts, political theory, populism, critical thinking, fallacies, cognitive science, applied ethics, social ontology.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on February 21, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  89  186  165  1.85 
Scopus  78  145  126  1.62 
Researchers (10)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  04095  PhD Bojan Borstner  Philosophy  Researcher  2022 - 2024  373 
2.  19077  PhD Janez Bregant  Philosophy  Researcher  2022 - 2024  140 
3.  24775  PhD Smiljana Gartner  Philosophy  Researcher  2022 - 2024  137 
4.  29045  PhD Tomaž Grušovnik  Philosophy  Researcher  2022 - 2024  374 
5.  13466  PhD Friderik Klampfer  Philosophy  Researcher  2022 - 2024  279 
6.  06070  PhD Nenad Miščević  Philosophy  Head  2022 - 2024  390 
7.  54836  Niko Šetar  Philosophy  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  16 
8.  11554  PhD Danilo Šuster  Philosophy  Researcher  2022 - 2024  262 
9.  51805  PhD Borut Trpin  Philosophy  Researcher  2022 - 2024  45 
10.  15124  PhD Boris Vezjak  Philosophy  Researcher  2022 - 2024  740 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  2565  University of Maribor Faculty of Arts  Maribor  5089638050  33,156 
Good epistemic qualities, or virtues, on individual level and in more recent times on social level are a flourishing field of research in contemporary epistemology. In the last decade a shift to negative qualities, epistemic vices, started to happen. We plan to investigate epistemic vices within the framework of contemporary (virtue, social, applied) epistemology, but also include critical thinking, ethics, political theory and social philosophy. Theoretical and conceptual in its fundamental nature our research respects the goal of promoting philosophical study and research that has a direct bearing on areas of practical concern. Epistemic vices are systematically harmful ways of thinking, attitudes, or character traits that get in the way of knowledge (Cassam 2019). Epistemic corruption occurs when the character or ethos of an agent or institution is damaged by conditions, events, or processes that tend to facilitate the development and exercise of epistemic vices (Kidd 2021). Virtues as well as vices can be individual or social. We propose to connect these topics with some important issues in social epistemology - epistemic injustice, ignorance, epistemic trust, testimony, peer disagreement, distrust in science and epistemic authorities in general, conspiracy theories, post-truth. The research includes the investigation of the problematic influence of internet and social media on public sphere, making it less hospitable to all kinds of epistemic authorities. Contemporary epistemology offers a rich apparatus for screening this environment for epistemically significant, both truth-tracking and truth-concealing features. Also relevant are approaches of cognitive science (psychological research into human belief-formation and decision-making), political theory (cognitive dimension of deviations), formal epistemology, critical thinking and the analyses of logical and argumentative flaws. We plan to develop a general theory of epistemic vices with some novelties for virtue epistemology in general. A general theory of vices should distinguish mere weaknesses and deficits from active vices that stand behind stereotyping, biases, conspiracy theories and similar phenomena. Can we, for instance, conceptualize (logical) fallacies as vices of argumentation? Epistemic vices get in the way of knowledge. A proposed theory should also encompass possible remedies and develop critical thinking tools for the amelioration of these negative epistemic effects.
Significance for science
The focus of the program are epistemic vices and epistemic corruption in the most general framework of contemporary epistemology, virtue epistemology but also social and applied epistemology. The program combines and applies in an innovative way the results of various philosophical disciplines: epistemology - virtues and vices; social epistemology - epistemic injustice, trust, testimony; applied epistemology - conspiracy theories; ignorance studies; social ontology; political theory - populism and its communicative dimension; critical thinking and informal logic; applied ethics. It brings together a purely theoretical, predominantly epistemological interest and socially and politically important issues, from very general to specific ones. Epistemic vices and virtues are a hot topic in contemporary philosophy and the program should contribute to understanding the issues, and present suggestions to solve some burning problems in various areas of research. Virtue epistemology in general offers a new grounding for norms of cognition, including scientific cognition. Philosophically it brings together two major traditions, first, the epistemological tradition focused upon epistemic virtues and vices, knowledge and justification, critical thinking in general and second, tradition of study and criticism of ideology (and power relations). It thus gives a new face to the traditional epistemological efforts and makes epistemology directly relevant to present-day political and social context. On the other hand, it offers a wider philosophical ground for study and criticism of ideology and power relations. Our analysis will be useful for political theory and indirectly also for education and social sciences in general. A general theory of epistemic virtues and vices also develops important practical tools. It suggests novel approaches and tools for critical thinking in general. The program, although predominantly philosophical (conceptual investigations) in its nature, presents a platform for interdisciplinary cooperation (humanities, philosophy, cognitive science, political theory, social science).
Significance for the country
An important aspect of virtue epistemology is its educational value, its social dimension and the way it can contribute to the structuring of knowledge-based society. Epistemic virtues are badly needed in our time of enormous pressure of information and pseudo-information that swamp the media, in particular the electronic ones. Epistemic (cognitive) virtues are our shield against prejudice, but also against the political aggression of e-media. They might protect us and our institutions from wrongly trusting tribalists, nationalists, populists, hate speakers and the like, and thus help us to fulfil our citizen role in liberal-deliberative democracy. Issues of misinformation and miscommunication are nowadays more pressing than ever. The awareness of epistemic-political vices can help in remedying them. The research program will address the important political virtues like toleration and promote the values of critical thinking, argumentative dialogue and knowledge-based politics and society in general. The attention to factual information entails interest in more concrete political theory and social phenomena. To take an example, what legal and institutional remedies may, alongside pursuit of more truth-conducive habits of information-gathering and belief-formation on individual level, help improve the quality of our social-political judgment and, consequently, restore a more civilized, informed and productive public debate on most pressing and divisive social and political issues? An important issue, connected with political philosophy, is also polarization and radicalization and epistemic vices that go with it. Acquaintance with the latest developments within the field of analytic philosophy (influential in EU) and contemporary philosophy in general is important for the cultural development of Slovenia and its place in the intellectual "geography" of 21st century. International cooperation is an important aspect part of our research group. The program will disseminate and promote original results with conferences (international philosophical conferences in Bled, organized since 1993) and publications (journal Acta Analytica, scientific monographs in Slovene and English).
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