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Quassim Cassam

In brief: I'm a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Warwick and the author of six books on a range of subjects, including self-knowledge, perception, intellectual vices and conspiracy theories. My current research is on intellectual vices, post-truth, extremism, the philosophy of terrorism, and the philosophy of general practice. I am writing a book called Extremism: A Philosophical Analysis. In the 2020/21 academic year I will be teaching an honours module on the Philosophy of Terrorism and Counterterrorism and a first year module on Knowledge, Ignorance and Bullshit. I am the Director of Research for the Department of Philosophy and a member of the Philosophy Sub-panel for the assessment phase of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF2021).

My books: I published two books in 2019: Vices of the Mind: From the Intellectual to the Political (Oxford University Press) and Conspiracy Theories. (Polity Press). A review of Vices of the Mind in the New Statesman describes it as 'superb' and 'icily furious'. The journal Mind describes it as 'a landmark in the study of epistemic vices'. An extract from the book is available here. An extract from Conspiracy Theories is available here. My previous books were Self-Knowledge for Humans (Oxford 2014), Berkeley's Puzzle: What Does Experience Teach Us? (Oxford 2014, written with John Campbell), The Possibility of Knowledge (Oxford 2007), and Self and World (Oxford 1997). The 20th anniversary of the publication of my first book was marked by this event at Senate House, London, in 2017. There have also been conferences on my work in Frankfurt, Cologne, Konstanz and Padua.

I am represented by the Wylie Agency.

My career: I've been at Warwick since 2009. I was previously Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy 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 went on to do a B.Phil. and then a D.Phil., supervised for the most part by Sir Peter Strawson. My first job in philosophy was at Oriel College, Oxford, as Fellow and Lecturer. I moved to Wadham College, Oxford, in 1986 and spent 18 years there as Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy before my move to UCL.

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 . I discuss some of the book's main ideas in this article for the Philosophers' Magazine, in this podcast with Sean Carroll, and also in this conversation with Robert Talisse on the New Books Network. An edited volume called Vice Epistemology, co-edited with Heather Battaly (University of Connecticut) and Ian James Kidd (University of Nottingham) has been commissioned by Routledge and is in preparation. 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 podcast.

Media: I summarized my ideas about conspiracy theories in this article for the New Statesman. I was also interviewed about conspiracy theories on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky News, and ABC Radio, Australia. My TEDx talk on conspiracy theories, which I gave in 2017, has been viewed over 150,000 times on YouTube. I recently launched a website on Professional Virtues in Modern Medicine and I also run a website on self-knowledge. I have written about self-knowledge for the New York Times, about conspiracy theorists for Aeon, about head transplants for CNN, and voluntary euthanasia for The Guardian. I have appeared on Newsnight (BBC2), The World Tonight (BBC Radio 4) and Free Thinking (BBC Radio 3). I am also on Twitter (@QCassam).

There is more information about my career and interests in this interview with the Freethink Tank and this one with the American Philosophical Association. My CV and publications, including open access versions of some published papers, are available here.


Quassim Cassam

Professor of Philosophy

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