I am a Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, and an Associate Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI). Before this, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp. I completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2018 under the supervision of Richard Holton and Huw Price.
Between 2021-2022, I am on the Expert Panel for the International Science Council’s “Public Value of Science” programme.
I work mostly in the philosophy of mind and psychology.
My primary research interest at the moment is on how various forms of irrationality and bias are socially adaptive, enabling individuals to achieve social goals that are in conflict with epistemic goals. I wrote up a brief and accessible overview of this idea here. I’m interviewed about some of this research here.
My secondary research interest involves using recent advances in neuroscience and machine learning to address foundational philosophical questions about the mind. For example, my PhD thesis drew on work in neuroscience that depicts the brain as a probabilistic prediction machine to develop a framework for understanding how mental representation emerges in the natural world. You can find the thesis here and find accessible overviews of each chapter here.
I also have many other research interests, including:
- the philosophy of psychiatry, especially questions surrounding psychosis and addiction;
- the philosophy of economics and social science, especially concerning attempts to illuminate social phenomena by appeal to the concept of signalling;
- the risks and opportunities associated with developments in artificial intelligence;
- the relationship between empiricism, pragmatism, and naturalism—specifically, in outlining a philosophical framework that incorporates what is important in each of these traditions whilst discarding what isn’t. That’s what my MPhil thesis was on, for example.
Find me on academia here: https://cambridge.academia.edu/DanielWilliams
On researchgate here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Daniel_Williams53
On Google Scholar here: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=JETVbM0AAAAJ&hl=en
On the HearThisIdea podcast: https://hearthisidea.com/episodes/dan
On the Unlocking Science (Episode 2, “How do we talk about science and identity?”) podcast: https://council.science/podcast/unlocking-science/