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Cologne Summer School in Philosophy
with Thomas Grundmann

The 15th Cologne Summer School in Philosophy (CSSiP) on

Experts, Authority, and the Limits of Epistemic Autonomy

takes place fully digitally from August 2 to August 6, 2021. Our special guest is Thomas Grundmann (University of Cologne). In several recent papers, Grundmann provides a novel defense of the thought-provoking Preemption View of epistemic authority according to which laypeople must strictly defer to the expert without making any use of their domain-specific reasons. During the summer school, Grundmann will introduce the core ideas and the epistemic mechanism behind the Preemption View; and he will engage with the most substantial challenges: What happens to critical thinking, epistemic autonomy, and common sense? What should laypeople do when they are exposed to expert disagreement? How does the Preemption View fit with individual learning, gaining understanding, and living in a democratic society? The summer school offers new insights and stimulating discussions of a view that is as timely as it is contested.
The summer school will focus on the following themes:

  • experts, expert identification, and science
  • the epistemic authority of experts over laypeople
  • the Preemption View of authority
  • conflicting expert opinions, outrageous expert beliefs, and critical thinking
  • epistemic authority and epistemic autonomy
  • the role of authority within democracies

Speakers: Elke Brendel (Bonn), Sven Bernecker (Cologne), Albert Casullo (Lincoln, Nebraska), Michel Croce (Dublin), Anna-Maria A. Eder (Cologne), Manfred Frank (Tübingen), Sanford Goldberg (Evanston), Frank Hofmann (Luxembourg), Joachim Horvath (Bochum), Christoph Jäger (Innsbruck), Jens Kipper (Rochester), Jennifer Lackey (Evanston), Mona Simion (Glasgow), Karsten Stüber (Worcester, Massachusetts)

The summer school mainly aims at professional philosophers and graduate students, but anyone is welcome to apply.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s summer school will be fully digital. To enable participants from different time zones to attend we scheduled the program in the afternoon/evening CET+1. Attendance is free but limited. The participants will be selected based on motivation and qualification. Online application is possible through May 15. Please submit a short letter that sketches your academic background and main motivation for participating in the summer school. We will inform you about the result of your application soon after the deadline. In contrast to previous years, this year commentaries to Grundmann’s work are all invited. 

Apply via email to:

Jakob Lohmar & Jasper Lohmar
Philosophisches Seminar 
University of Cologne