Theory of knowledge, scepticism, and epistemic values

Epistemology is one of the central areas of philosophy, and one of the most exciting in the contemporary philosophical landscape. We work on epistemological issues such as scepticism (including its history), epistemic value, contextualism, social epistemology, epistemic responsibility, perceptual knowledge, rationality, the nature of cognitive processes, and virtue epistemology.

Research questions

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?


Core philosophy faculty working in epistemology at Edinburgh include:

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Research interests
Professor Matthew Chrisman Metaethics, philosophy of language, epistemology, political philosophy.
Dr Aidan McGlynn Epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, feminism.
Dr Beri Marušić Epistemology of Belief, philosophy of mind, ethics, existentialism and the history of late modern philosophy
Dr Jennifer Smalligan Marušić History of Modern Philosophy, history and philosophy of science, especially the nature of causation and scientific explanation.
Dr Wolfgang Schwartz Formal epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, logic.

Professor Martin Smith

Epistemology, logic, philosophy of law.
Dr Nick Treanor Metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind.

Other faculty and post-docs with interests in Epistemology include:

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Research interests
Dr Alasdair Richmond Early modern epistemology, metaphysics (especially time and space), philosophy of science, British empiricists, Hume.
Professor Mike Ridge Epistemic values, moral and political philosophy, action theory, philosophy of mind.

Postgraduate study