Tuesday 2 October 2018

PERFECT 2018/2019 (Lisa)

We have got to the last year of project PERFECT. In this brief post I will summarise our latest challenges and achievements, and move on to describe our plans for the year to come which we want to make a year to remember!

Our recent past

Our research has continued to focus on memory and confabulation, according to plan. We have managed to secure publication for several original research articles. I authored papers on confabulation and the optimism bias, and co-authored papers on memory and delusion. Sophie, Michael, and Valeria will report on their own efforts in the next few weeks!

As well as organising and participating in academic conferences and writing articles for specialist journals, we have made a real effort to reach wider audiences. One way in which I have attempted to disseminate our work on cognitions that are imperfect but useful is by writing for Aeon (on dementia and confabulation) and IAI TV (on optimism and the self) and, with Kathy Puddifoot, for the Philosophers Magazine (on memory).

Our hopeful future

There is so much we still want to do and it is not clear that we can do it all in the 12 months we have left, but we will give it a try! We start the academic year with two visitors, Chris Moulin and Krystyna Bielecka, who will certainly help us think outside the box and reflect on interesting issues that are at the core of the project. Chris will be talking to us about deja vu and Krystyna about confabulation.

In October we have planned a little celebration, a book launch, for our forthcoming publication, Delusions in Context, a book for Palgrave Pivot. The electronic version will be open access for you all to enjoy! The contributors Richard Bentall, Rachel Upthegrove, and Phil Corlett are well known to our blog readers and have provided original work on delusions in their chapters, telling us about the importance of thinking about delusion in the context of what we already know about belief. Watch the blog for more information!

In summer 2019 we plan a bigger celebration to coincide with the Arts and Science Festival. We hope to showcase some art that addresses issues central to mental health and our understanding of the world, starting from the beautiful and moving artwork by our ex-team member Magdalena Antrobus, now a successful full-time artist!

In terms of research, I am planning to write about the epistemic responsibility we have when we consume stories that are used as arguments in public debates, with Sophie Stammers and Anneli Jefferson. I am also interested in exploring further the literature on choice blindness with long-term collaborator Ema Sullivan-Bissett, and finally completing work on my Epistemic Innocence monograph. A busy year!

Your contribution

The blog has been and will continue to be a very important part of the project, and a straight-forward way to bring our work at PERFECT out of our offices and seminar rooms and into the world. If you have any feedback or comments on what you have read on the blog, especially about the project but also more widely, please let us know. We would like to know whether the views we argue for ring true to you given your experience or knowledge, and whether you think there are relevant areas of inquiry that we should approach next!

You can leave a comment below or email us.

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