Bad Beliefs: Why they happen to good people

Bad beliefs - beliefs that blatantly conflict with easily available evidence - are common. Large minorities of people hold that vaccines are dangerous or accept bizarre conspiracy theories, for example. The prevalence of bad beliefs may be politically and socially important, for instance blocking effective action on climate change. Explaining why people accept bad beliefs and what can be done to make them more responsive to evidence is therefore an important project.

Join us for an international symposium on Prof Neil Levy's recent work on Bad Beliefs: why they happen to good people. Chaired by Prof Catarina Dutilh Novaes, academics from the universities of Cambridge, Antwerp, Birmingham and Amsterdam will discuss responses to the ideas put forward in Neil's recent book.

Registration is free, and attendance is via Zoom. To register, please visit our BookWhen page.

Please direct any queries to the Festival of Arguments

Bad Beliefs is an Open Access book, you can find out more and download a free copy from this page.



Symposium programme

book cover bad beliefs

13.00-13.10 Précis  (Neil Levy) 
13.10-13.50 Daniel Williams
13.50-14.30 Lisa Bortolotti
14.30-14.50 Break
14.50-15.20 Stephen Gadsby
15.20-16.00 Catarina Dutilh Novaes
16.00-16.30 Response and roundtable (Neil Levy and Chairs Dutilh Novaes and Williams)



Prof Catarina Dutilh Novaes holds the Uversity Research Chair at the  Department of Philosophy of the VU Amsterdam. Her main fields of research are history and philosophy of logic, philosophy of mathematics, and social epistemology. Read more 

Prof Neil Levy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He specializes in empirical approaches to ethics and social issues. Read more

Dr Daniel Williams' research draws on recent advances in the cognitive and social sciences to address questions at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. He is based in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Read more  

Dr Stephen Gadsby is a FWO postdoctoral fellow, based at the Centre for Philosophical Psychology, Antwerp University, researching self-deception from the perspective of both philosophy and behavioural economics. Read more

Prof Lisa Bortolotti  a philosopher of the cognitive sciences, focusing on the philosophy of psychology and psychiatry. She is also interested in issues in biomedical ethics. Read more