Department of Philosophy

The Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


I have a PhD in Theoretical Philosophy, an MSc in Applied Computer Science and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. I became a Docent in Uppsala 2001. Between 1997-2003 I was a research fellow at the University of Constance, Germany, where I became a docent (Privatdozent) in 2003 after having presented a second dissertation (Habilitationsschrift). Since 2007, I am full professor and Chair in Theoretical Philosophy. I am leading the research group LUIQ (Lund University Information Quality Research Group) and, with Olof Sundin, the research project Knowledge in a Digital World. In 2012, Magnus Zetterholm and I founded Academic Rights Watch, which monitors academic freedom in Sweden.


About the research

My main areas of research are epistemology, philosophy of science and philosopical logic. My most cited research concerns the concept of coherence in epistemology, where coherence is understood as the property a system of beliefs exhibits if its elements mutually support each other. Can we from the fact that a system is coherent conclude that the beliefs it contains are probably true? In 2005, I published a book with Oxford Universit Press on this called Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification, in which I argued for a negative answer.
My current research concerns mostly:
(1)how knowledge arises and is spread in social networks, and
(2) the value of knowledge.
As for (1), I am currently studying the flow of beliefs in social networks by means of computer simulation. The software that has been developed by theoretical philosophy in Lund for that purpose is called Laputa. Our approach can be applied in the evaluation of social arrangments with regard to how well they promote the disemination of true beliefs. Concerning (2) I have, partly in collaboration with Alvin I. Goldman (Rutgers University), suggested that knowledge is repeatable and stable. I am also inquiring into how knowledge producing processes are categorized (the generality problem), which I have connected to the so-called basic level theory of cognitive psychology.


Books (6)
Editorships (9)
Articles (113)
Book chapters (37)
Encyclopaedia entries (3)
Conference contributions (2)
Working papers (1)
Reviews (13)
Newspaper articles (16)
Miscellaneous (1)
Supervision at Lund University (3)

Research portal (Lund University)


Other tasks and qualifications

Erik J Olsson

Theoretical Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

Contact information

E-mail erik_j.olssonfil.luse

Phone +46 46 222 09 25

Room LUX:B530

Visiting address Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address Box 192, 221 00, Lund

Internal post code 30