PHIL Seminar: “Corporate Ignorance”, Anne Schwenkenbecher, 3:30PM April 14 (EN)

Title: Corporate Ignorance

By Anne Schwenkenbecher (Murdoch, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday April 14, 2022
Time: 15.30-17.00 (GMT+3)

This is an online event. All are welcome.
Zoom: go to

Abstract: The greater an organisation’s (or corporate agent’s) complexity, the greater is the potential for internal doxastic inconsistency. And there is a special corporate type of doxastic inconsistency that can only occur in complex structures: where one part of the organisation does not ‘know’ what the other part ‘knows’ – in other words, where knowledge (here understood as true belief) is not distributed in the right way and hence beliefs are not held by the corporate agents in the right way to ensure it is acting on its relevant beliefs. It is this particular type of corporate doxastic inconsistency that appears to have occurred within mining corporation Rio Tinto when it took the (in many ways) disastrous decision to destroy two ancient rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara in Western Australia in May 2020. A parliamentary inquiry identified severe shortcomings in the mining corporation’s communications structure as responsible for the destruction of the site, which experts considered of the ‘highest archeological significance’ in Australia. Using this example, I will explore the epistemic foundations of corporate or group agency.

About the speaker: go to