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  • Academic staff

  • Dr Dan O'Brien

    Reader in Philosophy

    School of History, Philosophy and Culture

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


    Phone number: +44 (0)1865 488490

    Email: dobrien@brookes.ac.uk


    Dan has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Birmingham and has previously taught at Birmingham, Keele and Warwick Universities.  His current research interests include David Hume, the epistemology of testimony and trust, and conceptions of the divine mind. He is the founder and organizer of the Oxford Hume Forum and the annual Brookes International Hume Workshop. This year he is also the leader of a research group on intellectual humility and in 2016 he will lead a research cluster on special divine action. He is currently supervising two research students working in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. 

    Modules taught


    • Theory of Knowledge
    • Philosophy of Mind
    • Philosophy of Religion
    • Philosophy of Science
    • Early Modern Philosophy


    Dan would be interested in supervising MA and PhD projects on David Hume, epistemology (particularly the epistemology of testimony), the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of mind.
    Dan is currently working on a second edition of his textbook, An Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge (Polity; forthcoming 2015), an edited volume of Hume’s writings on religion (Broadview), and on a series of papers: ‘More Testimony and Lies’, a sequel to his 2007 Philosophical Quarterly paper (‘Testimony and Lies’); ‘Divine Empathy’; ‘Hume on Education’; and ‘Hume, Sympathy and Testimony’. Dan referees for The Philosophical Quarterly PhilosophicaSophiaCriticaErkenntnis, Religious Studies, Ashgate, Polity, Routledge and OUP. He is a member of the Mind Association, the Hume Society, the British Society for the History of Philosophy and the British Philosophical Association.


    Journal articles

    • O'Brien D, 'Hume on Education'
      Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (2017)
      ISSN: 0279-0750 eISSN: 0279-0750
      Abstract Website
    • O'Brien DJ, 'Hume and the intellectual virtues'
      Discipline Filosofiche 22 (2) (2012) pp.153-172
      ISSN: 1591-9625 eISSN: 1591-9625
      Abstract Website
    • O'Brien DJ, 'God's knowledge of other minds'
      European Journal of the Philosophy of Religion 5 (1) (2012) pp.17-
      ISSN: 1689-8311 eISSN: 1689-8311
      Abstract Website
    • O'Brien D J, 'A feminist interpretation of Hume on testimony'
      Hypatia 25 (3) (2010) pp.632-652
      ISSN: 0887-5367 eISSN: 0887-5367
      Abstract Website
    • , 'Testimony and Lies'
      Philosophical Quarterly (2007)
      ISSN: 0031-8094 eISSN: 0031-8094
    • O'Brien D, 'Testimony, engineered knowledge and internalism'
      Philosophica 78 (2) (2006) pp.53-68
      ISSN: 0379-8402 eISSN: 0379-8402

    Book chapters



    • Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and MIND association, Open Sessions, Warwick, July 2015: ‘Knowledge, Lies and Virtue’
    • Open University Thinking in the Open, London, May 2015: ‘Divine Empathy and Art’ 
    • Tampere Philosophy Research seminar, Tampere University, Finland, March 2015: ‘Hume on Education’ 
    • Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy II, Radboum University, Nijmegen, February 2015: ‘Hume on Education’
    • Being Human Festival, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, November 2014: ‘Divine Empathy’
    • 'The Divine Mind, Angelology and the Incarnation', Divine Action in the World conference, Innsbruck University, August 6, 2014.
    • 'More Testimony and Lies', European Epistemology Network Meeting, UAM Madrid, August 1, 2014
    • 'Hume, Testimony and Education', Porto University, Portugal, May 13, 2014
    • 'Hume on Education', Oxford Hume Forum, April 30, 2014
    • 'Hume on Education', Dutch Research School of Philosophy, Rotterdam, November 15, 2013
    • 'Gardening and Virtue', Therapeutic Horticulture: Philosophy, Theory and Practice conference, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, July 10, 2013
    • 'God's Knowledge of Other Minds', Minds: Human and Divine conferencve, Hochschule fur Philosophie, munich, August 7, 2012
    • 'Hume, Sympathy and the Virtues', European Epistemology Network Meeting, Bologna, June, 2012