What the pandemic showed us about reason and values

Ulrike Hahn, Stephan Lewandowsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

1 Citation (Scopus)


The pandemic has offered to many the jarring experience that one’s epistemic peers, whom we had previously perceived as very similar, may come to wholly different views about numerous aspects of the pandemic – from its severity to the efficacy of lockdowns or the safety of vaccines. This chapter considers how and why conditions of radical uncertainty, which characterised much of our experience during the pandemic, afford such divergence. It is argued that this is not merely a special case but rather reveals fundamental aspects of human reasoning that are more difficult to detect in familiar contexts but are nevertheless always present. Considering these underlying drivers of reasoning reveals, from a cognitive science perspective, an important way in which thinking cannot be neutral but rather is necessarily embedded in the wider network of beliefs and values we possess as individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy, Expertise, and the Myth of Neutrality
EditorsMirko Farina, Andrea Lavazza
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781040003237
ISBN (Print)9781032449159
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, Mirko Farina and Andrea Lavazza; individual chapters, the contributors.


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