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Barnaby Walker

I completed my PhD in Philosophy at Warwick in early 2016, and was supervised by Professor Matthew Soteriou. My research interests lie in epistemology and philosophy of mind.

Teaching

I am teaching on the modules Philosophy of Religion, History of Modern Philosophy, Central Themes in Philosophy, and Introduction to Philosophy.

If you are a student taking one of these modules, please feel free to get in touch by email.

Research

In discussing the value of knowledge, philosophers normally do not distinguish questions about the comparative value of states - e.g. "Why is knowledge more valuable than true belief?" - from questions about the aims of enquirers - e.g. "Why do enquirers seek knowledge, and not just true beliefs?". The assumption is that the latter kind of question is to be answered by way of answering the former kind of question - i.e. that enquirers seek knowledge and not just true beliefs because knowledge is more valuable than true belief. I argue that we should be sceptical of this assumption, because it generates apparently intractable philosophical problems about the value of knowledge. The correct response to the question of why enquirers seek knowledge and not just (e.g.) true beliefs is not to invoke considerations about the special value of the state of knowing. Instead, we should invoke the idea that an enquirer who believes that P takes herself to know that P. Since this response conceives of believing in terms of knowing, it isn't available to traditional epistemologists who attempt to analyse knowledge as a conjunction of belief and truth with further factors. The deeper moral of the story, then, is that seemingly intractable philosophical problems about the value of knowledge are really an artefact of traditional epistemology's failure to take knowledge first.

Barnaby 3

Barnaby Walker

B dot Walker dot 3 at warwick dot ac dot uk