Steven Sloman, 4:00pm Tuesday April 10th


Steven Sloman

Brown University

    Tuesday, April 10th
    Swift 107
    4:00pm (Reception to follow)

Ignorance and the Community of Knowledge

Asking people to explain how something works reveals an illusion of explanatory depth: Typically, people know less about how things work than they think they do. We overestimate our knowledge of common objects. We similarly overestimate our understanding of political policies. How well do you really understand the consequences of the Affordable Care Act?

I will argue that the reason we live in this illusion of understanding is that we live in a community of knowledge, guided by shared intentionality. Our communities understand how things work and we fail to distinguish what we know from the knowledge that resides in other people's heads.