Dr Dan O'Brien

Reader in Philosophy

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

Dan O'Brien


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.

Dan is also the leader of a research group on intellectual humility and leads a research cluster on special divine action. He is currently supervising two research students working in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. 

Teaching and supervision


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.



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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

Dan is a member of the:

  • Mind Association
  • Hume Society
  • British Society for the History of Philosophy
  • British Philosophical Association.


  • 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