Under Construction! Please note that the official Cluster website is currently in development. In the meantime, a description of the project and its activities can be found below.
Knowledge in Crisis
Duration: 1. October 2023 – 30. September 2028
Funding: FWF Cluster of Excellence
Consortium: CEU (Lead), University of Graz, University of Salzburg, University of Vienna
—Our next public event Why Do We Disagree About Politics is on 21 February! More details & registration here.
—Read about our kickoff event here!
21 February, Vienna – Panel Discussion & Reception: Why Do We Disagree About Politics? (Public)
26 February, Online – Board Meeting (Closed)
11 March, Graz – Research Group Meeting: Language (Closed)
18 March, Graz – Research Group Meeting: Mind (Closed)
3–4 June, Vienna – All Cluster Meeting (Closed)
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Knowledge is the ultimate human resource: without knowledge we cannot effectively manage the environment, our cities, healthcare, governments, education systems, science, culture and everything else. Knowledge is what makes our societies flourish and grow.
But today we face a crisis of knowledge. Our claims to knowledge are being threatened by rapid and spectacular developments in technology, as well as by attacks on the very ideas of knowledge and truth themselves.
Photo by Kajetal Sumila (Unsplash)
The flood of information on the internet challenges our ability to tell truth from falsehood. Artificial Intelligence produces apparently plausible texts which have little connection to reality. Across many areas of inquiry, there is a widespread rejection of standards of evidence and expertise. Misinformation is spread as if it were information (for example, about democratic elections). There are conspiracy theories about the authority of science: for example, about climate change and vaccines. What explains this crisis, how should we understand it, and how should we deal with it?
At the heart of the crisis of knowledge are philosophical problems about the relationship between knowledge, truth, science, ethics and politics; and ultimately our relationship to reality itself. Some of these questions are among the perennial questions of philosophy. For example: What is truth? What is knowledge? Who or what is a knower? Does science have any special authority in telling us what to believe? But some questions arise especially for us today. For example: how can we tell whether information on the internet is fake? Are there alternative facts? How can we allow a plurality of views and tolerate disagreement? How should scientific knowledge function in our democratic societies? What is democracy and how can it be defended?
We need a new approach that brings thinkers from many areas of philosophy together – not just in the small part of philosophy that deals with questions about knowledge, but also in the fields of ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophies of science, mind, language and reality. These areas normally pursue their questions independently; Knowledge in Crisis will probe the deep connections between them, enabling a completely new understanding of today’s crises of knowledge.
Knowledge in Crisis brings together 33 philosophers to investigate questions within 6 key areas:
- Knowledge The Reach of Human Knowledge
- Mind Knowledge Production in the Human Mind
- Science Science and its Discontents
- Ethics Knowledge of Ethics and the Ethics of Knowledge
- Society Shared Humanity and Social Differences
- Language Language, Truth and Knowledge
Central European University:
University of Graz:
University of Salzburg:
University of Vienna:
Julian Reiss, Johannes Kepler University Linz
Key International Collaborators
Quassim Cassam, University of Warwick
Georgi Gardiner, University of Tennessee
Jessie Munton, University of Cambridge
Jason Stanley, Yale University