Workshop "Confabulation and epistemic innocence".

Keynote speakers: Lisa Bortolotti and Sophie Stammers, University of Birmingham (Project PERFECT)

Date: May 28, 2018 

Venue: Milano-Bicocca University, Psychology Department

Milan, Italy

U6 building, Sala lauree, 3rd floor

9 am-18 pm


The call for papers is now closed. 

Check the final Programme here


Funded by: Project Perfect, ERC and Dipartimento di Psicologia Milano-Bicocca

When people are unaware of information that accounts for some phenomenon, this does not necessarily prevent them from offering a sincere, but often inaccurate, explanation. Indeed, whilst confabulation has been shown to occur alongside psychiatric diagnoses featuring serious memory impairments, and in people undergoing symptoms of mental distress, it also occurs regularly in people with no such diagnoses or symptoms. Some cognitions which fail to accurately represent reality may nonetheless have redeeming features that promote good functioning in a variety of domains. Inaccurate cognitions may misrepresent the world, but can also bring psychological and practical benefits. More recently, philosophers have pointed out that epistemically costly cognitions can also sometimes have positive epistemic features. When these epistemic benefits are significant, and could not be attained in other ways, then the cognition can be considered “epistemically innocent”. The notion of epistemic innocence has already been discussed in the case of some inaccurate cognitions, such as delusions, but whether or not confabulation counts as epistemically innocent is a relatively underexplored issue.