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Lecture ‘The Ethics and Epistemology of Persuasion’ by Robert McKenna

Datum evenement: 18 January 2024
Locatie: Hybrid: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Zoom


Time: 15.30
Registration: send an e-mail to extremebeliefs.fgw@vu.nl, also in order to receive the zoom link.

“The Ethics and Epistemology of Persuasion”

What is persuasion and how does it differ from coercion, indoctrination, and manipulation? Which persuasive strategies are effective, and which contexts are they effective in? The aim of persuasion is attitude change, but when does a persuasive strategy yield a rational change of attitude? When is it permissible to engage in persuasion? In this paper I address these questions, both in general and with reference to particular examples. The overall aims are (i) to sketch an integrated picture of the psychology, epistemology, and ethics of persuasion and (ii) to argue that there is often a tension between the epistemic aims of persuasion and the ethical constraints on persuasion.