CFS Lecture by Deborah Tollefsen: "Collective Epistemology"

Deborah Tollefsen

Deborah Tollefsen is Professor of Philosophy & Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Memphis, USA.

Professor Tollefsen (PhD, Ohio State University) joined the department in 2002. Prior to her PhD, she received a BA in philosophy from St. Anselm College and an MA in philosophy from the University of South Carolina. Her research and teaching interests include philosophy of mind, social epistemology, and social ontology. Her work has appeared in such journals as Episteme, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Philosophical Explorations, and Philosophy of the Social Sciences.

Recent Publication

Tollefsen, D. 2015. Groups as Agents, Polity Press.


Collective Epistemology
Collective epistemology is a, recently developed, subfield of social epistemology that focuses on issues such as group belief, group testimony, group knowledge, group rationality, and objectivity within groups.  My aim in this talk is modest.  I intend to survey the various issues and arguments within this growing field of research in an attempt to introduce some helpful distinctions, identify argumentative strategies, clarify competing theories, and organize the conceptual terrain.  In the process I will be highlighting some methodological issues that need our attention if the field is to develop any further.