J.D. Trout

  • John and Mae Calamos Endowed Chair in Philosophy

J. D. Trout joined Lewis College of Science and Letters as the John and Mae Calamos Endowed Chair in Philosophy in January 2018. Before that, Trout was a professor of philosophy and psychology at Loyola University Chicago. His research interests include the philosophy of science, epistemology, and cognitive science. Most of Trout’s work explores the foundations and practical consequences of the unique intellectual significance of science. Trout’s most recent book, All Talked Out, was based on a series of lectures he delivered under the Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship in Philosophy. Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science, uses evidence from psychology and the history of science to make new arguments about scientific realism. Trout has held visiting positions at a variety of institutions including the University of Chicago, the University of Helsinki, the University of Pittsburgh, Australian National University, and the University of Innsbruck. He received a Ph.D. in philosophy and cognitive science from Cornell University, and also has a research background in spoken language perception and production.



Ph.D., Cornell University, Philosophy (and Cognitive Science), 1988
Master’s, Cornell University, Philosophy (and Cognitive Science), 1986
Bachelor’s, Bucknell University, Philosophy and History, 1982

Research Interests

Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of Mind/Cognitive Science

Judgment and Decision-Making

Speech Perception

Science Policy and Values

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Philosophy of Science Association

American Philosophical Association


Phi Beta Kappa Romannel Award

National Science Foundation Scholar’s Grant


2021. The Epistemic Virtues of a Closed Mind: Effective Science Reporting in the Golden Age of the Con (with Mike Bishop). Frontiers in Communication: Science and Environmental Communication.

2019. Luck in Science. In Ian Church and Robert Hartman (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Theories of Luck (Chapter 34, pp.391-400), New York: Routledge.

2018. Understanding and Psychological Fluency. In Stephen Grimm (Ed.) Making Sense of the World: New Essays on the Philosophy of Understanding (Chapter 12, pp.232-249), Oxford University Press.

2016. Epistemology for (Real) People (with Mike Bishop). Chapter 8 in Blackwell Companion to Applied Philosophy. (Eds.) David Coady, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen and Kimberley Brownlee. Blackwell, pp.103-119.

2012. The Language of Consent in Police Encounters. In Lawrence Solan and Peter Tiersma (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Language and Law. New York: Oxford University Press (with Janice Nadler as first author); discussed in Slate

2010. Philosophical Messages in the Medium of Spoken Language. In Matthew Nudds and Casey O’Callaghan (Eds.), Sounds and Perception: New Philosophical Essays. New York: Oxford University Press (with Robert Remez), pp.234-263.

2005. The Pathologies of Standard Analytic Epistemology. Noûs 39 (4), 696-714 (with Michael Bishop).

2001. The Biological Basis of Speech: What to Infer from Talking to the Animals. Psychological Review, 108, (3), 523-549.

Authored Books

All Talked Out: Naturalism and the Future of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science. New York:Oxford University Press, 2016.

The Empathy Gap: Building Bridges to the Good Life and the Good Society. New York: Viking/Penguin, February 2009.

Measuring the Intentional World: Realism, Naturalism, and Quantitative Methods in the Behavioral Sciences. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgment (with Michael Bishop). New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction (with Paul Moser and Dwayne Mulder). New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Editorial Boards

American Philosophical Quarterly, 2007–2012

Brain and Mind, 2000-2003

Professional Activities

Program Committee Member, 2016 Meeting for Central APA

Psychology Today Online blogger, “The Greater Good”, October 2008–present

Program Committee Member, Philosophy of Science Association Meeting 2010, Montreal, Canada

Evaluator, Philosophical Gourmet Report, 2002-2004, 2004-2006, 2006-2008

Additional Info


National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, Cornell University

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Bryn Mawr College