Barry Smith is currently the director of the Institute of Philosophy in the School of Advanced Study of the University of London. His central interests are in language and mind. His particular focus is on knowledge of language and its relation to other aspects of the mind.
He has been developing a position which can do justice to both the interpretationist (Davidsonian) view of the normative nature of belief, desire and meaning and the theoretical (Chomskyan) account of our knowledge of grammar even while it accommodates first-personal knowledge of meaning and mind.
The overall project of uniting first-, third- and sub-personal elements of understanding was explored in ‘Understanding language’; and his own contribution to Knowing Our Own Minds (see below) explains the role that linguistic understanding plays in knowing our own and others’ minds.
He is also interested in epistemic accounts of truth and meaning in the realism/antirealism debate.