Event details

Date: May 30th – 31st 2018
Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

We are delighted to announce that The Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Humanities will host The Fourth Annual East-West Philosophy Forum on May 30th–31st 2018 at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The theme of the Forum is The Epistemic Responsibilities of the Humanities.


Pressure on universities to deliver socially and technically useful knowledge has brought the humanities in dire straits. Since the kinds of learning that the humanities produce is less tangible and less directly and visibly relevant to topical social and technological concerns, they have been put in the dock and are sometimes actively marginalized. We can think of this as a lopsided focus on a narrow set of epistemic values and responsibilities—to wit, those having to do with practical knowledge or ‘techne’—at the cost of other, broader epistemic values—such as understanding, wisdom, and intellectual character. The main question that his conference will address is, therefore: How should we think of the epistemic values of the humanities and of the responsibilities the humanities have to gain those values and transmit them to others?

Keynote Speaker

Professor Jason Baehr


Leo K. C. Cheung
Michael Chienkuo Mi
Christina Chuang
Ian Kidd
Yong Huang
Rie Iizuka
Karyn Lai
Masaharu Mizumoto
Nikolaj Pedersen
Rik Peels
John Preston
Shane Ryan
Winnie Sung
Kai-Yee Wong


Day 1 – May 30 2018 | Room HG-15A37
09.00 09.15 registration / coffee Chair:
09.15 09.30 opening By prof.dr. Lourens de Vries
09.30 10.15 Leo K.C. Cheung Epistemic Risk and Safety Rik Peels
10.15 11.00 Christina Chuang Egoism and the Desire to be Liked Leo K.C. Cheung
11.00 11.15 break
11.15 12.00 Shane Ryan Fake News, Epistemic Environmentalism, and State Intervention Jeroen de Ridder
12.00 12.45 Yong Huang Responsibility to Know the Other: Epistemic and Moral René van Woudenberg
12.45 13.45 lunch break
13.45 15.00 Jason Baehr Democracy, Information Technology, and Intellectual Character Education Rik Peels
15.00 15.45 Nikolaj Pedersen Data analysis and social media Leo K.C. Cheung
15.45 16:00 break
16:00 16.45 René van Woudenberg How the Humanities Differ from the Sciences Jeroen de Ridder


Day 2 – May 31 2018 | Room HG-15A37
09.00 09.30 coffee
09.30 10.15 Kai-Yee Wong Epistemic conditions of rational persuasion
10.15 11.00 Rik Peels The Epistemic Value of Literature and Literary Studies. Illustrated by Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Edith Wharton’s Summer
11.00 11.15 break
11.15 12.00 Michael Chienkuo Mi Learning to Be a Person: The Epistemological Way of “Great Learning”
12.00 12.45 Karyn Lai In praise of uncertainty: the critical role of the humanities
12.45 13.45 lunch break
13.45 14.30 Winnie Sung Accepting Testimony and Higher-order Belief
14.30 15.15 Rie Iizuka Autonomy in virtue epistemology, and philosophy of education
15.15 15.30 break
15.30 16.15 Masaharu Mizumoto Knowing based on the testimony of passer-by or AI: A Cross-Cultural Study of AI-based Knowledge and Epistemic Responsibility
16.15 17.00 John Preston Is Philosophy’s responsibility epistemic?

East-West Philosophy Forum

The East-West Philosophy Forum is an annual conference which brings together philosophers at philosophy institutions from East to West—starting in Japan, passing through South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kazakhstan, and ending in Edinburgh. The workshop is also East-West because the philosophical dialogue will include Eastern and Western philosophy, as well as philosophy in general.


Please send an email to Elisa Matse (abrahamkuypercenter@vu.nl) to register for the Philosophy Forum.

Fee per day:
Forum: €20,00
Forum incl. dinner: €55,00

Organizing committee

Dr. Rik Peels
Elisa Matse MA
Prof. Leo Cheung
Prof. Chienkuo Mi

This event is made possible through the support of Templeton World Charity Foundation and CLUE+.