Dr Lucy Campbell

Dr Lucy Campbell

My research is primarily in the philosophy – and especially the epistemology - of mind and action. I teach a variety of topics in philosophy in addition to those in which I have research interests, including Early Modern Philosophy, Metaphysics, Wittgenstein, Philosophy of Language, and Early Analytic Philosophy. 

I completed my PhD in Cambridge in 2015. It considered how best to understand a person's knowledge of her own intentional actions - her 'practical knowledge'. I argued for a version of (what I take to be) Anscombe's (1957) idea that practical knowledge is constituted by the agent's intention rather than by her belief. Denying that practical knowledge is belief-involving turns out to explain why it displays unusual features such as first-person authority and evidence-independence. Positively, I gave an account on which executing an intention, acting intentionally and having practical knowledge of what one is doing are three distinct yet conceptually related facets of a single underlying phenomenon. 

After my PhD I spent a year as a TA at the University of Edinburgh, and then held an Analysis Studentship at the University of Oxford. During the Studentship I developed and extend my work on practical knowledge by exploring the idea that psychological self-knowledge – our knowledge of our own mental states – might also involve mental states other than belief. In particular, I am interested in the possibility that a person's knowledge that she is in mental state M relates to her being in M in an analogous way to how ordinary empirical knowledge that P relates to one's belief that P.

My longer-term project develops a view I call Epistemological Pluralism. This is the idea that knowledge comes in various forms, characterised by different collections of common-sense characteristics (such as whether or not they seem to require epistemic grounds; whether or not they are first-person authoritative etc.), and that these differences are underpinned by different kinds of mental state which constitute the knowledge in each case. Most recently I have been developing this idea by reference to John Hyman’s idea that knowledge itself is a kind of rational ability.