Residential Fellowship

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The Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame, with generous support from The John Templeton Foundation, Notre Dame Research, and the College of Arts and Letters, is offering up to 5 Residential Fellowships (up to $75,000 each) during the 2023 – 2024 academic year for projects that investigate the nature and value of intellectual humility in contexts of oppression.

We call for proposals closely connected to one or more of the following research questions:

1. Is Intellectual Humility an inclusive virtue – i.e., an important virtue for all people?

Scholars working on IH have tended to pass over this question, seeming to assume that IH is an inclusive virtue (or, at least very broadly an important virtue). This Project will spark the articulation and defense of distinct, explicit positions on this oft-neglected question. 

2. If IH is an inclusive virtue, what does it look like in contexts of oppression, and what value does it have for people in those contexts? Or, if IH is not an inclusive virtue, in whom is it a virtue and why?

Similar to question 1, question 2 is sometimes passed over by scholars working on IH. This despite the fact that the question has received some attention – at times indirectly – from philosophers thinking about epistemic injustice or feminist philosophers, for example. This Project, by bringing together such scholars with those already theorizing about IH directly, will encourage (i) more scholars to attempt to address these issues, including within the mainstream ethical and epistemological conversation about IH, and also motivate (ii) scholars whose work currently relates only indirectly to this question to address it more explicitly. 

3. How does study of the lives of victims of marginalization and oppression inform our theoretical understanding of the nature and value of intellectual humility, and how might this in turn affect attempts to cultivate intellectual humility broadly in society?

Question 3 builds on questions 1 and 2, querying the ‘upshot’ of reflection on the experiences of victims of oppression, for theorizing about IH and for efforts to cultivate IH broadly. This Project will not only result in the articulation of various defenses of the (non)inclusivity of IH or its value for different groups, but also is intended to progress broader understanding of what this means for appropriate societal attitudes toward IH. (For example, should we champion IH ‘across the board’ as it were? Should we attempt to teach or encourage IH differently in different groups?)

Proposals that directly relate to these questions will be prioritized. Proposals that relate indirectly will also be considered. Adjacent research questions may explore, for example:

  • IH, though not primarily through the lens of contexts of oppression
  • other socially important intellectual virtues such as honesty, trust, or charitableness as they relate to oppression
  • other virtues that may seem detrimental in contexts of oppression, such as forgiveness or meekness
  • gaslighting or epistemic injustice. 

This fellowship program is open to recent Ph.D.’s and more established scholars working in philosophy, theology, or psychology. It aims to build and advance a community of scholars working on these questions in order to bridge intra-disciplinary divides (for example, feminist philosophers vs. virtue epistemologists) as well as disciplinary ones (philosophy vs. psychology).

Fellowships begin August 2023 and conclude May 2024.

Application deadline: February 15, 2023

Application instructions: please click Apply button to access.

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