In brief: I'm a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Warwick, a Fellow of the British AcademyLink opens in a new window, and an Honorary Fellow of Keble CollegeLink opens in a new window, Oxford. I was born in MombasaLink opens in a new window, Kenya, and have lived in the UK since I was a teenager. I have published seven books on a range of subjects, including self-knowledge, perception, intellectual vices, extremism, and conspiracy theories. My current research is on liberation epistemology, extremism, the philosophy of terrorism, and the philosophy of general practice. In the 2022/23 academic year I will be teaching a first year module on Knowledge, Ignorance and BullshitLink opens in a new window in term 1 and an honours module on the Philosophy of Terrorism and CounterterrorismLink opens in a new window in term 2. I was a member of the Philosophy Sub-panel for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF2021). You can read more about me and listen to a range of podcasts and interviews on my personal websiteLink opens in a new window.
My books: My latest book is Extremism: A Philosophical AnalysisLink opens in a new window, published in 2021. I published two books in 2019: Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the PoliticalLink opens in a new window (Oxford University Press) and Conspiracy TheoriesLink opens in a new window. (Polity Press). A review of Vices of the Mind in the New StatesmanLink opens in a new window describes it as 'superb' and 'icily furious'. The journal MindLink opens in a new window describes it as 'a landmark in the study of epistemic vices'. An extract from the book is available hereLink opens in a new window. An extract from Conspiracy Theories is available here. My previous books were Self-Knowledge for HumansLink opens in a new window (Oxford 2014), Berkeley's Puzzle: What Does Experience Teach Us?Link opens in a new window (Oxford 2014, written with John Campbell), The Possibility of KnowledgeLink opens in a new window (Oxford 2007), and Self and WorldLink opens in a new window (Oxford 1997). The 20th anniversary of the publication of Self and World was marked by this eventLink opens in a new window at Senate House, London, in 2017. There have also been conferences on my work in Frankfurt, Cologne, Konstanz, Padua, and Amsterdam.
I am represented by the Wylie AgencyLink opens in a new window.
My career: I've been at Warwick since 2009 and was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of Keble College, Oxford, in 2021. I was previously Knightbridge Professor of PhilosophyLink opens in a new window at Cambridge and Professor of Philosophy at UCL. I was a Professorial Fellow of King's College, Cambridge and have also held Visiting Professorships at the University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern University. However, most of my career was spent at Oxford, where I read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) as an undergraduate at Keble College. I had the good fortune to be taught by James GriffinLink opens in a new window (Philosophy), Larry SiedentopLink opens in a new window (Politics), and Paul CollierLink opens in a new window (Economics). I went on to do a B.Phil. and then a D.Phil. on transcendental arguments, supervised for the most part by Sir Peter StrawsonLink opens in a new window and briefly by David WigginsLink opens in a new window. My first job in philosophy was at Oriel College, Oxford, as Fellow and Lecturer. I moved to Wadham CollegeLink opens in a new window, Oxford, in 1986 and spent 18 years there as Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy before moving to UCL in 2005, Cambridge in 2007, and Warwick in 2009.
My grants: I was awarded a Mind Senior Research Fellowship for 2012-3. The resulting book was Self-Knowledge for Humans. In 2016 I was awarded a Leadership Fellowship by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for an 18 month project on intellectual vices ('Vice Epistemology'). The resulting book was Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the Political Link opens in a new window. I discuss some of the book's main ideas in this articleLink opens in a new window for the Philosophers' Magazine, in this podcastLink opens in a new window with Sean Carroll, and also in this conversationLink opens in a new window with Robert Talisse on the New Books Network. An edited volume called Vice EpistemologyLink opens in a new window, co-edited with Heather Battaly (University of Connecticut) and Ian James Kidd (University of Nottingham), was published in 2020. The Vice Epistemology project also gave rise workshops on professional vices and virtues in modern medicine, the epistemology of counterterrorism, and resistance to change. You can hear me discussing resistance to change in this podcastLink opens in a new window. I currently have an AHRC Research Networking grant for a project called 'Rethinking the Philosophy of Terrorism'. My co-investigator is Professor Richard EnglishLink opens in a new window.
Media: I summarized my ideas about conspiracy theories in this articleLink opens in a new window for the New Statesman. I was also interviewedLink opens in a new window about conspiracy theories on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky News, and ABC Radio, Australia. My TEDxLink opens in a new window talk on conspiracy theories, which I gave in 2017, has been viewed over 200,000 times on YouTube. I recently launched a website on Professional Virtues in Modern MedicineLink opens in a new window and I also run a website on self-knowledgeLink opens in a new window. I have written about self-knowledge for the New York Times, about conspiracy theoristsLink opens in a new window for Aeon, about head transplantsLink opens in a new window for CNN, and voluntary euthanasiaLink opens in a new window for The Guardian. I have appeared on Newsnight (BBC2), Sky News, Al Jazeera, The Moral Maze (BBC Radio 4), The World Tonight (BBC Radio 4) and Free Thinking (BBC Radio 3). My work has been cited by The Guardian, The Financial Times, the Irish Times, and The Economist. I am also on Twitter (@QCassamLink opens in a new window).
There is more about my life and career in thisLink opens in a new window episode of Talking to Thinkers with Johnny Lyons, this interview with the Freethink TankLink opens in a new window, and this one with the American Philosophical AssociationLink opens in a new window. My CV and publications, including open access versions of some published papers, are available hereLink opens in a new window.
Professor of Philosophy
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