‘How is it possible to know of one’s own psychological states for the most part effortlessly and authoritatively?’ ‘How is it possible to know substantive facts of logic and mathematics, applicable to the natural world, just by thinking?’ These basic questions concern kinds of knowledge, self-knowledge and knowledge a priori, which on the one hand resist assimilation to naturalistic accounts of scientific knowledge, but which on the other seem to have an indispensable role in rational enquiry, in deliberation, and in action.
Knowledge Beyond Natural Science, a collaborative research project based in Philosophy at the University of Stirling and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, will conduct sustained, coordinated, parallel investigations into the nature and role of self-knowledge and the a priori, evaluating the challenge they pose to naturalistic models of ourselves and our cognitive lives. The project is led by Crispin Wright, and involves a core team of eight senior researchers together with two postdoctoral fellows and four PhD students, supported by an international network of interested scholars including both philosophers and scientists.
The project addresses foundational questions, of fundamental human concern, about how we should think of our knowledge and ourselves, questions which we believe ought to be both accessible to and intriguing for any educated and enquiring person. The project accordingly includes an extensive programme of Outreach initiatives designed to support the engagement of a wider public with the path taken by our research.