Eilidh Harrison

Research title: Themes on the Epistemic Role of Emotion

Research Summary

Folk intuition suggests that emotions are in some sense antithetical to successful reasoning; that emotions distort and manipulate our evaluative perception of ourselves and the world around us. Increasingly, however, philosophical trend has been turning in favour of the thesis that emotions are, in fact, a unique source of various epistemic goods, such as knowledge, understanding, and justification. This latter thesis is my central area of interest.

Put specifically, the core question my research aims to address is how emotional experience is capable of providing such a positive epistemic contribution to our body of evaluative knowledge and understanding. Engaging in this project involves not only analysing various models of emotion and epistemological theses, but also involves engaging with a wider philosophical network encompassing topics such as the relationship between emotion and value, the structural and functional analogues between emotional and perceptual experience, and the role emotional experience plays in our conception of moral and intellectual virtue. I believe that philosophical investigation of the epistemic capacity of emotion will, in turn, illuminate both the nature of emotional experience, and the legitimacy of its role in our theoretical and practical reasoning.


International Summer School in Affective Sciences Stipend
Awarded in Aid of Attending the International Summer School
in Affective Sciences (1300CHF) 

College of Arts Postgraduate Scholarship
Full PhD & Maintenance Grant
2017 – 2020 

Arthur Jones PrizeDistinction in Moral Philosophy (£5,071)
2016 – 2017 

Edward Caird Medal
Awarded Annually on Recommendation of the Head of Philosophy
2015 – 2016

Frances Melville Prize
Most Distinguished Candidate in Mental Philosophy (£100)
2015 – 2016 

Lorimer Bursary in Moral Philosophy
2013 – 2014


The Development of Emotion
International Summer School in Affective Sciences (ISSAS)
Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences
July 2018

‘On the Epistemic Role of Emotion in Moral Thought’
Contemporary Issues Across Ethics and Epistemology Graduate Conference
University of Pavia
June 2018

‘Emotion, Epistemic Justification, and the Unreliability Problem’
Postgraduate Seminar
University of Glasgow
March 2018

‘Malice & Melancholy: A Defence of Williams’ Reasons Internalism’
Postgraduate Seminar
University of Glasgow
December 2016


  • SH27: The Emotions (2017)
  • 1A: How Should I Think? (2018)