My Ph.D. focused on problems in traditional analytic epistemology, where I wrote on agency and the first-person perspective in the knowledge internalism/externalism debate and on Ernest Sosa’s virtue epistemology. Since completing my dissertation and starting a TT position at the University of Central Arkansas, my interests have broadened. I am still interested in perspective, but my recent work includes examining the use of perspective metaphors in theories of the first person perspective, as well as the notion of perspective in feminist epistemology, especially standpoint theory. Lately, I have been working on the relation between standpoint theory and epistemic injustice, and I have also written on active ignorance, climate science denial, and science education.
My teaching has also inspired several research projects related to the scholarship of teaching and learning, including work on how to teach about race in modern philosophy and on teaching philosophy in the way of life approach.
Mason, S. “Agent-Awareness in Reflective Knowledge”. Erkenntnis, Vol 84: 239-255 (2019). DOI:
Mason, S. “Climate Science Denial as Willful Hermeneutical Ignorance”. Social Epistemology, Vol 34:5, 469-477, DOI: 10.1080/02691728.2020.1739167
Mason, S. “Closing the Hermeneutical Gap in STEM Education: A Reply to Lawrence Torcello.” The Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective. Published online November 23, 2020.
Mason, S. and Rider, B. “Philosophy for Living: Two Models of a PWOL Approach.” American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy, vol. 6 (forthcoming).
Selected Conference Papers
“How to Teach about Race in Modern Philosophy.” American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meeting; Chicago, IL: February 2022
“Structural Epistemic Injustice: Resisting Oppression through Revised Epistemologies” Global Structural Injustice and Minority Rights Conference, Northeastern University; Boston, MA: March 13-15, 2020 (Conference canceled due to COVID-19)
“Getting Some Perspective on the First Person Perspective” American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meeting; Chicago, IL: February 26-29, 2020
Abstract of conference version:
Perspectives talk is ubiquitous in philosophy. The notion of a perspective is employed in discussions of phenomena as varied as self-consciousness, higher-order knowledge, agency, practical rationality, and epistemic rationality. Usages such as the “first person perspective,” “the perspective of the agent,” and “an epistemic perspective” are familiar enough that it is easy to forget that these locutions employ the concept of perspective as a metaphor. In this paper, I argue that the use of the perspective metaphor has non-trivial implications for how the phenomena theorized about is conceptualized. I begin with a brief discussion of what metaphors are and how they work, focusing on ontological metaphors. I then argue that there are two distinct concepts of a perspective that serve as distinct source domains for perspective metaphors: an indexical objective (IO) perspective, and an holistic interpretative (HI) perspective. These two source domains form the basis for quite different ways of conceptualizing phenomena in the target domain. In the final section, I apply this analysis to a particular context where perspective metaphors are frequently employed: that of the first person perspective. Each of these source domains suggests different problems and possibilities in thinking about the first person perspective.
“Survivor Standpoints: Evaluating Standpoint Theory through Research on Modern Slavery” Society for Philosophy in the Contemporary World Annual Conference; Conway, AR: July 2019