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Maeve Macpherson

Research interests

Epistemology, Formal Epistemology, Philosophy of Language.


A new theoretical diagnosis of closure-based scepticism and Contextualist account of justification. 


Current research

My research focuses on arguments for external world scepticism which are based on the epistemic closure principle. I have developed a new way of responding to sceptical arguments which utilizes a recent distinction made between epistemic closure and transmission of warrant across inferential links. In a nutshell, I use this distinction to argue that closure-based sceptical arguments, though logically valid, fail to transmit warrant from their premises to their conclusions.

This forms a substantial part of a broader analysis and response to scepticism. Overall, I aim to show that scepticism relies on a certain contentious theory of justification which is incompatible with the correct theory of justification, a context-sensitive one. My work is thus inspired by, and engages with, Michael Williams' theoretical diagnosis of scepticism and his resultant Epistemic Contextualism. 

Other information

I graduated with a first-class BA in Philosophy from The University of Manchester in 2012 and did my MRes in Philosophy (Distinction) also here at The University of Manchester (2013). My PhD is funded through the President’s Doctoral Scholarship, which I was awarded from The University of Manchester in 2013. I am a MAP [Minorities and Philosophy] UK mentor, and I run an undergraduate group called 'PhilChat' which aims to introduce our undergraduate students to interesting and socially relevant debates within philosophy.


Values We Live By (Semester 1); Discovering Reality (Semester 2)

Contact details



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