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Indiana University Bloomington
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Adam Leite

Associate Professor Philosophy
Office: Sycamore Hall 107
Phone: (812) 856-4148


  • University of California, Berkeley, B. A. 1992
  • Harvard University, Ph.D. 2000

Research Interests

I began my research career as an epistemologist focused on issues relating to empirical justification and our knowledge of the world. In this part of my work I have focused mainly on philosophical arguments for external world skepticism and their relation to our actual epistemic practices. Over time I became increasingly interested in self-knowledge, and this led to an interest in clinical psychoanalysis, which now has a central place in my research and teaching interests. (Thanks to a Mellon New Directions Fellowship, I spent 2011-12 studying clinical psychoanalysis at the University College London Psychoanalysis Unit in the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology.) I find clinical practice to be a rich source of data for understanding central features of self-conscious thought (among other things), and this is a primary focus of my current writing. To be clear, my interest in psychoanalysis is not the sort that is sometimes found, say, in literature departments, insofar as I look primarily to the best current clinical research and practice (e.g., the work of Peter Fonagy and his colleagues at UCL); my interests abut on issues that would quite naturally be addressed in the philosophy of cognitive science and psychology, though I tend to focus more on the clinical and phenomenological side. I also have significant interest in the emotions, particularly in interpersonal contexts, and am engaged in an ongoing project concerning love. I would be very interested in exploring possibilities for collaboration with psychologists, cognitive scientists, and others. Gary Ebbs (Professor) I am interested in the sort of naturalism that results from accepting the scientific orientation in philosophy that logical empiricists such was Carnap urged, but giving up the logical empiricist's analytic-synthetic distinction, following W. V. Quine and Hilary Putnam. I am sympathetic with scientific/philosophical projects that aim to replace traditional concepts of mind and cognition with naturalistically respectable, explanatory clarifications of them. I am therefore interested in seeing how much of the work of explanation in cognitive science can be done without any thickly "normative" notions of representation. Among other things I have written extensively about how to reconcile naturalistic accounts of mental content with the idea that we ordinarily know the contents of our utterances without any special empirical investigation.