CFP: Epistemological Issues in Neurodivergence and Atypical Cognition (deadline: Nov. 1, 2019)

In the “Welcome to BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY,” we point out that the appearance of material on the blog may not indicate editorial endorsement from me and Melinda. The CFP that I have copied below holds promise for politically and epistemically radical arguments about neurodiversity, alternatives to the arguments that mainstream philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists have advanced about disabled people. Nevertheless, some of the ideas articulated in the CFP rely upon a deficit conception of neurodivergence. Axel Arturo Barcelό, who posted this CFP in the BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY Facebook group, agrees with me and intends to discuss the matter with his friends (the editors of the prospective issue) in the near future. Perhaps a revised version of the CFP will be circulated in the coming weeks.


Guest editors: Alejandro Vázquez-del-Mercado (UNAM), Claudia Lorena García-Aguilar (IIFs-UNAM).

We invite contributions for the Synthese Topical Collection, Epistemological  Issues in Neurodivergence and Atypical Cognition. In this volume we want to explore how different cases of neurodivergence and/or atypical cognition can help to clarify or to deepen our understanding of traditional epistemological issues whether by broadening some epistemological categories such as norms, agency, epistemic virtue, etc., or by suggesting new ways to theorize about the connections between such categories. By ‘neurodivergent agents’ we mean not only those subjects with epistemic dysfunctions or disabilities, but also those that are extraordinarily cognitively endowed.

The proposed collection will address issues such as:

  • What do studies about neurodivergent subjects can show us about understanding epistemic states and capabilities (including epistemic agency)?
  • Is there a way to account for the normativity of function and warrant in maladaptive mechanisms?
  • Are atypical mental states, such as delusion, rational? Do they have any implications for epistemological issues related to the mind such as transparency and self-knowledge?
  • How are epistemic duties affected by certain mental conditions, such as dementia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.?
  • Are neurodivergent individuals particularly affected by epistemic injustices? If so, in what manners? And are there any ways to palliate or diminish these injustices?
  • Should there be differences in epistemic duties and responsibilities between these disabling heritable cognitive divergences and those divergences that are also heritable yet epistemically valuable?
  • Does acknowledging neurodivergence pose any particular problems to some of the main positions in traditional analytic epistemology (such as reliabilism or evidentialism)?

Contributions should be submitted by November 1, 2019. They must be original works and not be under review elsewhere. Please follow the journal’s guidelines and use the platform for submissions at

Any inquiries concerning this CFP should be sent to:

Alejandro Vázquez-del-Mercado (FFyL – UNAM) or Claudia Lorena García-Aguilar (IIFs-UNAM)

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