Press Release: Just over a century ago, many Western intellectuals believed they were on the precipice of completing the scientific picture of the world and banishing ignorance forever. After that, everything went back to normal. Revolutions in physics, psychology, and even mathematics have plucked the foundations from beneath the fabric of scientific certainty and thrown anarchy out of the laboratory into popular culture and political life. In times of epistemological crisis, especially when we look back at the reaction of philosopher John Dewey, just as advances in data science (gene editing, neuroimaging, machine learning) have paradoxically been accompanied by a growing public distrust of science. When we see, we are taught a lesson about our own moments of confusion. And even shared photos of reality itself.
Regina Rini is Chair of the Canadian Research Council for Social Reasoning and Associate Professor of Philosophy at York University in Toronto. Her research focuses on how to navigate changing norms in public life, especially in response to technological disruption. Among other topics, she writes for Social Her media’s impact on democratic politics and the importance of machine learning for moral life. In addition to her academic work, she writes a regular “morality of story” column for The Times Her Literary Supplement. Her latest book is The Ethics of Microaggression, and she is currently writing a book about the political dangers of seeking philosophical certainty.