Professor and Chair
Ph.D., North Carolina
Research areas: Epistemology, Value Theory
personal web page
My main research field is epistemology, with a sideline in Philosophy of Science, especially theories of scientific explanation. I am currently working on several problems in the theory of knowledge. I am interested in determining the role and importance of our notions of "accident" and "luck" in an adequate analysis of knowledge. Though it is widely agreed that knowledge cannot arise by accident, a careful analysis of what this means and what explains this constraint on knowledge has not been forthcoming.
I am also working on some of the value theoretic aspects of epistemology. Why, and on the basis of what, do we value having knowledge? It is generally assumed that we do, but given contemporary accounts of knowledge (especially Reliabilism), it is not entirely clear why. And what are the fundamental values that are reflected in our practices of epistemic evaluation?
I believe that epistemology should be construed quite broadly, far beyond the typical narrow focus on theories of knowledge and epistemic justification. Though these concepts are central to epistemology, they do not by themselves exhaust its subject matter. Therefore, I am very interested in investigating other notions of central epistemic importance that have been neglected for a long time, at least until recently. These include the notions of "understanding," "epistemic or intellectual virtue," and "wisdom."
Watch my lecture "Open-mindedness, Understanding and Emotion" here.
Spring 2008: 4893, Philosophy Capstone
Fall 2008: 4133, Symbolic Logic I
Spring 2009: 4523/5523, Epistemology
For an extensive list with linked manuscripts, visit my personal page.
Click here for full CV (.pdf)
Posted on Wed, September 3, 2014
by Joseph McKinney