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An Epistemological Account of Indoctrination

Raimondi, Elena Silvia Ludovic; (2021) An Epistemological Account of Indoctrination. Masters thesis (M.Phil.Stud), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

What is indoctrination? This work aims to persuade the reader that a promising approach to answering this question is conducting—in Haslanger’s (2000) terminology—a descriptive analysis of indoctrination from an epistemological viewpoint. To do so, I argue that the epistemological viewpoint is a privileged one because it encompasses all instances of indoctrination, and that a descriptive kind of analysis is the most appropriate to improve our understanding of an often mischaracterised phenomenon. Further, to show that the suggested approach is fruitful, I develop an account of indoctrination along these lines. I develop my account in dialogue with the literature on indoctrination in Analytic Philosophy, where indoctrination is generally understood as a degenerate form of proper education, and where efforts are mostly devoted to explicating why indoctrination deviates from proper education. Against this tradition, and borrowing from the literature on manipulation instead, I argue that indoctrination is rather the exploitation of an epistemic-cum-cognitive vulnerability. It consists not in inculcating beliefs, but in instilling a defective pattern of response to reasons, which leads the subject of indoctrination to systematically choose to do the manipulator's bidding. The challenge then is not distinguishing indoctrination from proper education, but from other defective forms of reasoning.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil.Stud
Title: An Epistemological Account of Indoctrination
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124702
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