April 7-8 (Friday & Saturday, 8.45am-5.45pm), 2017
SFU Harbour Centre
What is the intellect? Although significant attention has been paid to the cognitive bases of much of our rational belief and knowledge – including perception, memory, imagination, metacognition, self-knowledge, knowledge of other minds, communication, and inference – the intellect has been mainly overlooked.
As a starting point, we can think of the intellect as the cognitive faculty that manages thinkers’ deepest rational engagements with themselves and others. These deepest rational engagements evaluate the conceptually and methodologically basic resources used by thinkers in the formation of belief. These rational engagements are deepest because they concern not only what should be believed but also how, conceptually and methodologically, the subject matter should be thought about in belief. Trouble looms when it is recognized that such evaluation itself will require the use of concepts and methods, and in particular, given their basic nature, will require the use of the very concepts and methods under evaluation. The intellect thus engages in a kind of inalienable evaluation, bringing the intellect to the limits of intelligibility, intersubjective understanding, and objectivity, on the other sides of which lie nonsense, intersubjective incomprehension, and relativism.
This workshop brings together researchers working on different aspects of these issues with the aim of shedding light on what the intellect is, what if any are its principled limits, and what the sources of those limits are.