Humility and Fidelity - Alex Sandgren (Umeå)

Speaker: Alex Sandgren

Abstract: Following some of David Lewis' later work, I develop and defend a kind of `Ramseyan Humility' thesis according to which the content and truth conditions of representations (beliefs, sentences, models, etc.) are tied to whether roles are occupied rather than to the occupier or occupiers of those roles. I motivate humility by tying it to what I call `fidelity' which is a measure of how closely an interpretation matches the psychological, interpersonal, behavioural, and rational roles of representations. When philosophers resist humility they often thereby compromise fidelity. We should uphold humility as a means of upholding fidelity. I also discuss of humility's implications, and respond to some philosophical challenges proponents of nearby views have faced, and argue that the common idea that humility is primarily an epistemic or sceptical position is misguided. Treating humility as a kind of skepticism involves a confusion between semantics and intentionality on the one hand, and epistemology on the other. Humility is better understood as a view on the contents of representations with only indirect implications for epistemology and scepticism.

Please note that these seminars are open to the public and in person only.

Date & time

Thu 15 Sep 2022, 2:00pm to 3:30pm


Lectorial 1, Level 1, RSSS building, 146 Ellery Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601


Alex Sandgren (Umeå)


Sarita Rosenstock


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