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I’m Duncan Pritchard, philosopher working on knowledge, scepticism, applied epistemology and author of ‘Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing’. AMA!
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I’m Duncan Pritchard, Chancellor’s Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. I work mainly in epistemology. In my first book, Epistemic Luck, (Oxford UP, 2005), I argued for a distinctive methodology that I call anti-luck epistemology, and along the way offered a modal account of luck. In my second book, The Nature and Value of Knowledge: Three Investigations, (with A. Haddock & A. Millar), (Oxford UP, 2010), I expanded on anti-luck epistemology to offer a new theory of knowledge (anti-luck virtue epistemology), and also explained how knowledge relates to such cognate notions as understanding and cognitive achievement. I also discussed the topic of epistemic value. In my third book, Epistemological Disjunctivism, (Oxford UP, 2012), I defended a radical conception of perceptual knowledge, one that treats such knowledge as paradigmatically supported by reasons that are both rational and reflectively accessible. In my most recent book, Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing, (Princeton UP, 2015), I offer an innovative response to the problem of radical scepticism. This argues that what looks like a single problem is in fact two logically distinct problems in disguise. Accordingly, I argue that we need a ‘biscopic’ resolution to scepticism that is suitably sensitive to each aspect of the sceptical difficulty. To this end I bring together two approaches to radical scepticism that have hitherto been thought to be competing, but which I argue are in fact complementary—viz., epistemological disjunctivism and a Wittgensteinian hinge epistemology. Right now I’m working on a new book on scepticism as part of Oxford UP’s ‘a very short introduction to’ series. I’m also developing my recent work on risk and luck, particularly with regard to epistemic risk, and I’m interested in ‘applied’ topics in epistemology, such as the epistemology of education, the epistemology of law, the epistemology of religious belief, and the epistemological implications of extended cognition. I’m the Editor-in-Chief of the online journal Oxford Bibliographies: Philosophy, and co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal International Journal for the Study of Skepticism. I am also the series editor of two book series, Palgrave Innovations in Philosophy and Brill Studies in Skepticism. I’ve edited a lot of volumes, and also written/edited several textbooks. On the latter front, see especially What is this Thing Called Philosophy?, (Routledge, 2015), Epistemology, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), and What is this Thing Called Knowledge?, (Routledge, 4th ed. 2018). I’ve been involved with numerous MOOCs (= Massive Open Online Courses), including the ‘Introduction to Philosophy’ course which was for one time the world’s most popular MOOC. I’ve also been involved with a successful Philosophy in Prisons programme. I’ve led quite a few large externally funded projects, often of an interdisciplinary nature. Some highlights include a major AHRC-funded project (c. £510K) on Extended Knowledge, and two Templeton-funded projects, Philosophy, Science and Religion Online (c. £1.5M), and Intellectual Humility MOOC (c. £400K). In 2007 I was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize and in 2011 I was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2013 I delivered the annual Soochow Lectures in Philosophy in Taiwan. My Google Scholar Profile is here. If you want to know what will eventually cause my demise, click here. Links of Interest: I was recently interviewed by 3AM: Magazine Another recent interview, this time with the Italian online journal, APhEx (PDF) The Introduction to my latest monograph, Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing (Princeton UP, 2015) “Epistemological Disjunctivism: A First Pass”, the opening chapter to Epistemological Disjunctivism (Oxford UP, 2012) A fairly recent video of a talk I gave at a conference in Bonn that gives an overview of my stance on radical scepticism A fairly recent video of a talk on ‘Faith and Reason’ that I gave to a conference (aimed at a general audience) organized by the Royal Institute of Philosophy A ‘research in a nutshell’ video that I recorded a few years ago A recent blog post on ‘Intellectual Humility and Conviction’, for the Open For Debate Blog A recent blog post on ‘Farewell to Epistemic Angst’, for the Imperfect Cognitions Blog “The Value of Knowledge”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article EDIT: Thanks everyone for your questions! I apologise to all those I didn’t get to, and thanks to everyone for having me.