Epistemology @ Edinburgh
Epistemology is one of the central areas of philosophy and also one of the most exciting in terms of the contemporary philosophical landscape. The University of Edinburgh has a unique wealth of research talent in this area and as a result epistemology is one of its five research 'clusters' which represent its research strengths. In particular, it has faculty members who are interested in such epistemological issues as scepticism (including its history), epistemic value, contextualism, social epistemology, epistemic responsibility, perceptual knowledge, rationality, the nature of cognitive processes, and virtue epistemology. The epistemology research cluster at Edinburgh regularly hosts research events in this area (including international conferences, workshops, and reading groups) as well as visiting scholars (see below). It is also home to a number of funded research projects, including the large 'Extended Knowledge' project which is hosted by the Eidyn Research Centre, a centre which is specifically devoted to topics in epistemology, philosophy of mind and cognition, and normativity. The epistemology research cluster has close research links with the other four research clusters in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh: ancient philosophy, ethics, mind and cognition and philosophy of science.
Here are some research issues that are of particular interest to those working in epistemology at the University of Edinburgh:
- Why, if at all, are epistemic standings valuable?
- What constitutes a cognitive process?
- How should one best understand, and respond to, the problem of scepticism?
- How should one understand the notion of an epistemic virtue and what role, if any, does it play in a theory of knowledge?
- What, if anything, ought I to believe?
The Epistemology Research Group meets regularly for research presentations on issues in contemporary epistemology, from internal and external speakers.
The epistemology research cluster organises two on-going reading groups in epistemology:
Current funded research projects
- 2nd Extended Knowledge Workshop (18-19 October 2013)
- Greco Workshop (24 June 2013)
- Midsummer Philosophy Workshop (23-25 June 2013)
- The Gettier Problem at 50 (20-21 June 2013)
- 1st Extended Knowledge Workshop (10-11 June 2013)
- The Philosophy of Luck Workshop (19 June 2013)
- Graduate Epistemology Conference (31 May-1 June 2013)
- Xmas Epistemology Fest (14 December 2012)
- Graduate Epistemology Conference (8 - 9 June 2012)
- The Aims of Inquiry and Cognition (25 - 26 May 2012)
- Postgraduate Workshop on Inquiry and Cognition (24 May 2012)
- Epistemic Expressivism Workshop (15 - 16 October 2011)
- Xmas Epistemology-Fest Workshop, (9 December 2011.
The core members of faculty who work in epistemology are:
- Dr Matthew Chrisman joined the department in 2006 after finishing his PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In conjunction with his work in ethics, he is interested in the nature of epistemic normativity and the semantics of knowledge attributions. His publications in epistemology include 'From Epistemic Contextualism to Epistemic Expressivism' (Philosophical Studies, 2007), 'Ought to Believe' (Journal of Philosophy, 2008). 'The Normative Evaluation of Beliefs and the Aspectual Classification of Belief and Knowledge Attributions' (Journal of Philosophy, forthcoming), 'Epistemic Expressivism' (Philosophy Compass, 2012), and 'Is Epistemic Expressivism Incompatible with Inquiry?' (with J. Adam Carter, Philosophical Studies, 2012).
- Dr Mikkel Gerken joined the department in 2013 from the University of Copenhagen. He is particularly interested in topics at the interface of epistemology and philosophy of mind. His publications include 'The Roles of Knowledge Ascriptions in Epistemic Assessment' (European Journal of Philosophy, forthcoming), and 'Conceptual Equivocation and Warrant by Reasoning' (Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2011).
- Dr Jesper Kallestrup joined the department in 2005 and is also an associate fellow of Arche at the university of St. Andrews. In epistemology he has worked extensively on epistemological contextualism, scepticism, and various epistemic paradoxes. His publications in epistemology include 'Knowledge-Wh and the Problem of Convergent Knowledge' (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2009). Dr Kallestrup recently published a monograph entitled Semantic Externalism (Routledge, 2011).
- Dr Allan Hazlett joined the department in 2010, having taught previously at Fordham and Texas Tech Universities. In epistemology he has worked on scepticism, knowledge attributions, disagreement, and epistemic normativity. He has just completed A Luxury of the Understanding: On the Value of True Belief (Oxford University Press, 2013), and he is currently engaged in a 2-year AHRC-funded project on Intellectual Virtue and the Good Life: Ethical and Epistemic Values.
- Dr Aidan McGlynn, who joined the department in 2012 as a Chancellor’s Fellow, specializes in epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. His papers have appeared in Analysis, Noûs, and Philosophical Studies, and he is at work on a book entitled Knowledge First? (Palgrave-Macmillan, forthcoming).
- Prof Duncan Pritchard joined the department in 2007. He has worked extensively in epistemology, covering all the main topics in this area, including: the problem of scepticism, the epistemic externalism/internalism distinction; the rationality of religious belief; testimony; the relationship between epistemic and content externalism; virtue epistemology; epistemic value; modal epistemology; the history of scepticism; and epistemological contextualism. His publications include Epistemic Luck (Oxford UP, 2005), What Is This Thing Called Knowledge? (Routledge, 2006). The Nature and Value of Knowledge: Three Investigations (with A. Haddock & A. Millar, Oxford UP, 2010), and Epistemological Disjunctivism (Oxford UP, 2012). He is the editor-in-chief of Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy and (with Diego Machuca) International Journal for the Study of Skepticism, and he is the series editor (with V. F. Hendricks) of the New Waves in Philosophy book series.
- Dr Nick Treanor, joined the department in 2012 as a Chancellor's Fellow, specializes in epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. His research centres on the nature of belief, on the nature of the propositional space that is the object of thought, and on the question of what it is to have greater cognitive contact with reality. His papers include "The Measure of Knowledge" (Noûs, forthcoming) and "Trivial Truths and the Aim of Inquiry" (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, forthcoming).
Other members of faculty interested in epistemology include: Dr Alasdair Richmond (early modern epistemology), Prof Mike Ridge (epistemic value), Prof Dory Scaltsas (ancient epistemology), and Dr Anders Schoubye (formal epistemology).
Professor Pritchard was one of the project leaders (with Crispin Wright) of the AHRC Basic Knowledge Project, which was previously based at the Arché research centre and the Northern Institute of Philosophy. He is an Associate Fellow of Arché, the Northern Institute of Philosophy and the University of Copenhagen's Social Epistemology Research Group. He is one of the leaders (with Rene van Woudenberg and Igor Douven) of the Knowledge, Belief and Normativity Project, he is on the steering committee (with Pascal Engel, Igor Douven, Rene van Woudenberg, Klemens Kappell and Erik Olsson) of the new European Epistemology Network. He was previously one of the project leaders of the Knowledge, Mind and Value Project.
Dr Kallestrup is an Associate Fellow of Arché, the Northern Institute of Philosophy and the University of Copenhagen's Social Epistemology Research Group. He was previously a fellow on the NAMICONA Project.
Current PhD students
|There are a number of PhD students working on epistemology-related topics at Edinburgh, including:|
Visiting research students
At any one time, there are also several visiting postgraduate researchers working on epistemology-related topics (the current list of visiting postgraduate students who meet this description can be found above). If you are interested in doing research in epistemology at the University of Edinburgh then contact Duncan Pritchard who will be pleased to help.
Recently completed PhD students and graduate placement
PhD students from this research cluster who have completed their degrees, and their academic positions:
- Robin McKenna, completed 2013, examined by Prof Mark Richard (Harvard), currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Geneva.
- Eric Kerr, completed 2013, examined by Prof Axel Gelfert (Singapore), currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Singapore.
- Orestis Palermos, completed 2012, examined by Dr Richard Menary (Macquarie University), currently a postdoctoral fellow on the Extended Knowledge Project at the University of Edinburgh.
- Jamie Collin, completed 2012, examined by Dr Mary Leng (York), currently a postdoctoral fellow on the Kant and the Laws of Nature project at the University of Edinburgh.
- Emma Gordon, completed 2012, examined by Prof Stephen Grimm (Fordham University), currently on the academic job market.
- Manuel Bermudez, completed 2011, examined by Dr Neil Gascoigne (University of London), currently Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cordoba, Spain.
- Evan Butts, completed 2011, examined by Prof Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern), currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Geneva.
- Joseph Kuntz, completed 2011, examined by Prof Markus Lammarenta (Helsinki), currently a researcher at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch.
- Adam Carter, completed 2009, examined by Prof Ernest Sosa (Rutgers), currently a postdoctoral fellow on the Extended Knowledge Project at the University of Edinburgh.
- Conor McHugh, completed 2008, examined by Prof Quassim Cassam (Warwick), currently a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Southampton.
We are committed to graduate placement in this area, as part of our general placement strategy for postgraduates in philosophy.
20 – 21 Jun 2013
Thursday, 20 June
- 09:00 - Christian Piller (University of York):
24 Jun 2013 16:00 – 19:00
There will be a talk given by John Greco as well as two presentatons examining aspects of his...