Genealogies and Belief

Recent epistemology has seen an upsurge of interest in the historical profile of our beliefs and judgments (doxastic attitudes more generally).  This is reflected in contemporary philosophical debates over the epistemic significance of etiological or genealogical challenges, debunking arguments, and irrelevant influences on beliefs.  This workshop aims to provide a forum for graduate students to present their research and engage with novel work relating to this emerging area in contemporary philosophy. As such, each speaker will be paired with a graduate student commentator to provide feedback on their work. The workshop will welcome graduate student presentations on the following (non-exhaustive) list of questions:

  • What is the normative significance of etiological or genealogical critiques of beliefs and judgments?

  • Do facts about the historical profile of our beliefs and judgments make something salient about their epistemic status?

  • Should we ever give up our (philosophical, moral, aesthetic, religious, political) beliefs in response to etiological challenges?

  • Can the historical profile of our doxastic attitudes ever vindicate them or strengthen their epistemic standing?

  • What set of facts or data should an etiological explanation of doxastic attitudes appeal to?

  • What methodological assumptions underlie the etiological explanations of our doxastic attitudes? 


Annalisa Coliva (University of California, Irvine)
Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson (Syracuse University)
Aaron James (University of California, Irvine)
Christophe Litwin (University of California, Irvine)
Tyrus Miller (University of California, Irvine)
Kevin Olson (University of California, Irvine)
Anna Pederneschi (University of California, Irvine)
James Porter (UC Berkeley)
Tanuj Raut (University of California, Irvine)
Amia Srinivasan (All Souls College, University of Oxford; prospective visiting scholar at UCI)



Each presentation will last 30 minutes. This will be followed by comments for 15-20 minutes, and a 20-minute Q&A. The workshop will end with a talk by the keynote speaker (TBA).

The graduate workshop will be held on Sept. 19th, 2024. Katia Vavova (Mount Holyoke College) will be the keynote speaker. The workshop is supported by the Center for Knowledge, Technology & Society at UC Irvine.

The workshop will be held a day before the Critical Genealogies conference at UC Irvine from September 20th-21st, 2024.


If you have questions, email Tanuj Raut (at

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