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Enquiry into knowledge and the sources of knowledge is at the heart of the philosophical tradition, and occupies a central place in contemporary research in philosophy. Research in epistemology is a key strength of the Philosophy department, with members of staff working on a range of philosophical topics including perceptual knowledge, testimony, self-knowledge, the analysis of knowledge, the epistemic role of memory, and knowledge of action and agency. A distinctive feature of research in epistemology at Warwick is the close links with issues in the philosophy of mind, specifically with questions concerning perception, self-knowledge and agency.

Questions that guide and inform the work of philosophers at Warwick working in this field are:

  • Should we give up on the traditional project of analyzing knowledge independently of epistemic notions?
  • Can investigation into the nature of perceptual attention help to explain how perception can serve as a source of knowledge?
  • How does episodic memory of past events function as a source of knowledge about the past?
  • Is there a distinctive species of non-observational and immediate knowledge of one’s own actions and, if so, how is it to be understood?
  • What explains our factual and normative disagreements and what are the implications of such disagreements for the rationality of our beliefs?

Current grants:

Previous grants:

  • Causal Understanding: Empirical and Theoretical Foundations for a New Approach (AHRC-funded project from 2004-8)
  • Understanding Counterfactuals / Understanding Causation: 15-16 December 2007, University of Warwick. 
Speakers: Sarah Beck (Psychology, Birmingham); Dorothy Edgington (Philosophy, Oxford); Christopher Hitchcock (Philosophy, Caltech); David Mandel (Psychology, Toronto); Peter Menzies (Philosophy, Macquarie); Josef Perner & Eva Rafetseder (Psychology, Salzburg); Johannes Roessler (Philosophy, Warwick); David Sobel (Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, Brown); James Woodward (Philosophy, Caltech)
  • Understanding Perception and Causation: 12-13 May 2007, University of Warwick. Organised by Hemdat Lerman and Johannes Roessler. Speakers: John Campbell (Philosophy, Berkeley), Bill Child (Philosophy, Oxford), Martin Doherty (Psychology, Stirling), Christoph Hoerl (Philosophy, Warwick), Teresa McCormack (Psychology, Belfast), Mike Martin (Philosophy, UCL) and Liz Robinson (Psychology, Warwick).
  • Understanding Pictures and Perception: Issues in Art History, Psychology, and Philosophy: 19th – 21st March 2007, Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, Venice. Speakers: Paul Smith, Mike Martin, Christopher Peacocke, Norman Freeman, Patrick Maynard, Liz Robinson, Melissa Preissler, Johannes Roessler, Paul Hills, Peter Hall, John Hyman, Richard Shiff