DocWIP 07.06.2023 - “Love-less Lives, Isolated Minds: The Epistemic Fallout of Incels" by Leah Ritterfeld

June 7th

We’re excited to announce the next DocWIP by Leah Ritterfeld titled “Love-less Lives, Isolated Minds: The Epistemic Fallout of Incels”. The talk—likely the last of the semester—will take place on Wednesday, June 7, 16:45 at 3A, NIG.

Abstract: This project aims to explore the phenomenon of incels ('involuntary celibates’) from an epistemological perspective. I will investigate incels as a case example of what it means for the epistemic realm of an individual to be deprived of loving relationships. In my dissertation, I want to investigate the ways in which incels’ love-deprived lives shape their access to reality (their understanding of themselves, others, and the world), potentially uncovering to what extent their skewed worldview can be attributed to the epistemic consequences of their isolation. Not only shall this perspective contribute to a better understanding of incels’ beliefs and experiences, it may also offer novel grounds for normatively critiquing this subculture – allowing us to go further than merely criticizing their misogyny and racism – by pinpointing what they are doing wrong epistemically. For this research, I will explore and apply philosophical theories on the epistemic significance of love and relationships, based, for example, on Iris Murdoch’s concept of love as an epistemic virtue. This inquiry raises broader philosophical questions about the interplay between love and knowledge acquisition.

Please let ( or Flora ( know if you have any questions or if you would like to present for the DocWIP yourself.