Philosophy and Religious Studies

Molly O'Rourke-Friel
Molly O’Rourke-Friel

Molly O’Rourke-Friel

Molly’s interest focuses on our beliefs: what we believe, why we believe, whether we are justified in believing, etc. Her research explores the extent to which we live lives of social epistemic dependence. Considering the powerful influence of our epistemic communities, what norms govern our beliefs? How do we build healthy epistemic communities? Current projects investigate group deliberation, echo chambers, epistemic blame, and epistemic autonomy.

Molly believes that we all do philosophy – it is not an activity restricted to college and university classrooms. This commitment has given rise to an interest in public philosophy, specifically philosophy for kids. She has facilitated programs for young thinkers, mostly 7 and 8-year-olds, and plans to start similar programming at Ursinus College.




  • B.A., McGill University
  • M.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst


  • Echo Chambers, Experts, and Disagreement
  • CIE 1

Research Interests

Epistemology, in particular social epistemology

Philosophy of Mind

Philosophy for Children

Recent Work

In progress: “Human Knowledge: All Natural, Organic”


In progress: “Epistemology’s Blame Game”