Research Interests

My current research lies at the intersection of inquiry on epistemology and the social world. I’m particularly interested in bias as a useful heuristic for navigating complex environments. One central thread in my research is to show how, on a Quinian-Wittgensteinian epistemic framework, beliefs are interconnected insofar as one must have full appreciation of the system of beliefs to confirm or disconfirm any one proposition. To confirm or disconfirm a biased belief, then, requires appreciating the whole system in which it is part. This gives some room for understanding bias within the system of beliefs as a proper part of a subject reasoning capacity.

The frameworks I’ve developed lay the groundwork for empirical research on implicit bias, the social reproduction of prejudice, and interventions meant to curb prejudice against minoritized groups. Concepts developed in my dissertation are being employed in a study funded by the Mellon Foundation, which investigates how bias affects undergraduate and graduate student experience in the School of Physical Sciences at UCI.  The forthcoming report will explain how the school is supporting or failing underrepresented students and faculty, including suggestions for effective ways to improve the current climate in STEM at UCI.

I’m on the executive committee of the North American Association for Philosophy and Education. We host an annual conference. If you’re working on questions related to philosophy and education, I encourage you to submit.

Interested in my current work?

Contact Me

Philosophy Department
85 Humanities Instructional Building
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-4555

Rena [dot] B [dot] Goldstein [at] uci [dot] edu