Daniel Brunson

Morgan State University, Baltimore
Biography and/or project

My research began with the ‘ethical turn’ of contemporary epistemology, such as incorporation of metaethical concerns into questions of epistemological practices and the renewed criticism of individualistic approaches to ratifying inquiry through an interrogation of modern philosophy and science. I use the work of the classical American pragmatists, especially Charles Sanders Peirce, for their intrinsic interest and their investment in precisely these intersections – philosophy and science, phenomenology and psychology, modernity and our developing present. While I find much truth in Peirce’s thought, I am more deeply indebted to his philosophical approach, which requires a balance between deep attention to the history of inquiry and the latest empirical research. Accordingly, my engagement with contemporary research is accomplished in large part through an analysis of parallels with earlier movements, such as Hume’s claim to place moral philosophy on a scientific (Newtonian) basis, or Dilthey’s contention that Geistewissenschaften require a different methodological basis than the natural sciences.

I am developing contributions to social epistemology through a pragmatist virtue theory that reconciles reliabilist and responsibilist approaches through attention to the ubiquity of habits and the dialogic nature of the agency, including cognitive agency, in a manner that also re- situates epistemological issues more fully within virtue ethics. A major component of this research involves a reevaluation of the epistemic role of emotions and sentiments in cognition, both historically through moral sense theories and also through contemporary moral psychology and cognitive neuroscience.