Karyn L. Freedman | College of Arts

Karyn L. Freedman

Associate Professor 
Phone number: 
519.824.4120 x.53232
354 MacKinnon


B.A., University of Manitoba
M.A., University of Manitoba
Ph.D., University of Toronto



My main philosophical interests are epistemological. I currently have two research projects on the go. In the first one I am exploring the conditions of justified belief and the nature of epistemic responsibility. Following in the tradition of feminist epistemology, my goal here is to develop a theory of justification that is accountable to our everyday epistemic practices. What I have come up with so far is an interest-relative theory of justification, which is a kind of modified version of evidentialism in which the normative status of a belief is determined by two factors: the evidence in favor of the belief in proportion to the epistemic risk one takes in believing. I have been testing out this theory in a couple of papers on the epistemology of testimony and the epistemology of disagreement.

In the second research project I take up some of the issues that I raise in my forthcoming book, One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery (University of Chicago Press, 2014). In One Hour in Paris I tell the intimate story of my personal experience of rape and recovery, interweaving autobiographical facts with philosophical, neuroscientific, and psychological reflections in order to draw out the book’s central themes of trauma and gender inequality. One of the issues that I discuss in the book is the problem of recalcitrant emotions: fear in the acknowledged absence of danger. I have been exploring the epistemology of recalcitrant emotions in a couple of new papers, drawing out some connections between recalcitrant emotions, epistemic akrasia, and the perceptual theory of emotions.


2016. "Quasi-evidentialism: Interests, Justification and Epistemic Virtue,” forthcoming in Episteme.

2015. "Group Accountability Versus Justified Belief: A Reply to Kukla," Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, Vol. 4, No. 7, 6-12.

2015. "Testimony and Epistemic Risk: The Dependence Account," Social Epistemology, Vol. 29, No. 3, 251-269.

2014. One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery (University of Chicago Press).

2013. "Interests, Disagreement, and Epistemic Risk," Dialogue, Vol. 52, No. 3, 587-604.

2010.The Limits of Internalism: A Case Study,” Dialogue, Vol. 49, No. 1, 73-89.

2009. Diversity and the Fate of Objectivity,” Social Epistemology, Vol. 23, No.1, 45-56.

2007.  Traumatic Blocking and Brandom’s Oversight,” Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, Vol. 14, No.1, 1-13.

2007.  Knowledge Without Citable Reasons,” Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, Vol. 14, No.1, 25-28.

2006. “Normative Naturalism and Epistemic Relativism,” International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 20, No. 3, 309-322.

2006.Disquotationalism, Truth and Justification: The Pragmatist’s Wrong Turn,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 36, No. 3, 371-386.

2006. “The Epistemological Significance of Psychic Trauma,” Hypatia, Vol. 21 No. 2, 104-125

2005. Naturalized epistemology, or what the Strong Programme can’t explain,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Vol. 36, 135-148.

1999.Laudan’s Naturalistic Axiology,” Philosophy of Science, Supplement to Vol. 66, 526-537.


Public Philosophy

December, 2016. "The Implicit Misogyny of Joseph Boyden's Open Letter," Huffington Post.

November, 2016. "Justice for Rape Survivors," This Magazine.

November, 2014. "For Sexual Assault Survivors, Healing Begins with Talking," Toronto Star.