Projects & Collaborations

We collaborate with a number of top international universities so contact the ACEPS Director Prof Veli Mitova if you are interested in an African University that has the proven skills to deliver projects on time and to specification. We have experts in these areas of Philosophy: African Philosophy, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science,Philosophy of Medicine, and Philosophy of Language. Most of which are related to Decolonisation of Knowledge broadly construed. We are running collaborative projects on Epistemic Injustice, Experimental Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Medicine funded by grants from Newton British Academy, Templeton Foundation and Welcome Trust.


Future Projects

Religiosity & Reflection Across Cultures
PIs: Stephen Stich (Rutgers), Justin Sytsma (Victoria University of Wellington), and N. Byrd (Stevens Institute of Technology)

Veli Mitova (UJ) is the South African team leader of this Templeton-funded sub-project, part of the bigger Launching Experimental Philosophy of Religion project. The goal of the project is to resolve an ongoing debate about the link between reasoning and religiosity. It includes teams from seven different regions: China, Switzerland, Israel, India, Japan, South Africa, and the USA.


Ongoing Projects

The Geography of Philosophy
PIs: Edouard Machery (Pitt), Stephen Stich (Rutgers), and Clark Barrett (UCLA)

This project is funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Veli Mitova (UJ) is the South African team leader of this Templeton-funded project with Josien Reijer (UJ). The project studies diversity in people’s conceptions of understanding, wisdom, and knowledge around the world, and seeks to promote cross-cultural research in cognitive science. It includes teams in eight different regions: Eastern Europe, Ecuador, India, Japan, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, and South Korea.

Epistemic Injustice, Reasons, and Agency
PIs: Lubomira Radoilska (Kent) and Veli Mitova (UJ)

The project grapples with the underexplored connections between epistemic injustice and other normative concepts such as reasons and agency. It is funded by a British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship.

Epistemology of the 4IR

This project is funded by a UJ University Research Council grant. It is run by Veli Mitova with the assistance of Abe Tobi and Caitlin Rybko.

The epistemology of 4IR is one of the newest and hottest fields of social epistemology worldwide today. It concerns all aspects of knowledge-production in a world permeated with 4IR technologies. These technologies have taken over our epistemic lives. For instance, online spaces have become both empowering through reaching out to previously isolated geographical spaces, and disempowering or even dangerous through phenomena such as epistemic bubbles, fake news and deepfakes. 4IR, in other words, has fundamentally transformed our epistemic lives, a transformation that the epistemologist is best placed to explore, given our expertise on testimony, epistemic exclusions, and so on. This project explores the ways in which 4IR technologies have transformed our epistemic lives and forges new means of capitalising on the potential of 4IR while redressing its more sinister consequences. This is a unique philosophical contribution, in line with UJ’s 4IR mandate. Project runs from Jan-Dec 2022.

Deliverables in 2022

    • An international conference organised at ACEPS
    • A special issue of Applied Epistemology (Oxford University Press) featuring the top talks from the conference
    • Two PhDs completed
    • One visiting researcher delivering workshops and mentoring postgraduates for two weeks – Prof Karen Frost-Arnold (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Philosophy Dictionary for Africa
PIs: Hennie Lötter, Dimpho Maponya, Veli Mitova, Josien Reijer (all UJ)

The project aims at compiling a Dictionary of Philosophy in several African languages, comprising core African and Western philosophical terms. It is funded by a Teaching and Innovation grant from the University of Johannesburg’s University Research Council.

Epistemic Injustice, Decolonisation, and Rationality
PIs: Veli Mitova (UJ)

The project aims at bringing into conversation decolonial theory with two hot topics in analytic epistemology – epistemic injustice and rationality. This is a grant from the University of Johannesburg, which will sponsor four postgraduate students on a research visit to Switzerland. In abeyance due to Covid.


International collaborations

Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science

Rutgers Philosophy

University of Kent Philosophy

University of Nottingham Philosophy


Areas of Research

Medicine and Health in Africa
PIs: Zinhle Mncube, Ben Smart

Gifford (2011:1) describes the philosophy of medicine as a branch of philosophy that “encompasses the topics connected to the philosophy of science that arise in reflection upon medical science and practice.” That is, theorists in the philosophy of medicine are concerned with questions such as, what is health? How should we understand the concept of disease? How should we assess medical evidence? In the Medicine and Health in Africa project, we look at these and other, often overlooked, types of questions in the philosophy of medicine with perspectives, concepts and insights informed by our African context.

Indigenous Knowledge Systems
PIs: Mongane Serote, Chad Harris

This project concerns developing an IKS Portal. To initiate it, Mongane will embark on verifying and validating what they have called the IKS categories. These are: IKs social issues, institutions, technologies, biodiversity and bioprospecting and lastly, the liberation processes. When Mongane was CEO of Freedom Park, he initiated and commissioned the emergence of an IKS Incubation and Innovation Unit concept which he thinks should be further developed. It is Mongane’s intention to also use that as a reference point.

Rationality and Power
PIs: Chad Harris, Veli Mitova

This project focuses on two bundles of normative issues in epistemology – rationality and epistemic power. The rationality strand of the project compares Scientific rationality with Indigneous Knowledge Systems. In particular, it interrogates the notion that there is an inherent tension between traditional and contemporary African knowledge and the scientific worldview. The epistemic injustice strand of the project aims at connecting the dots of central issues in three current debates in epistemology – responsibility, ignorance, and epistemic injustice.