Galen Strawson


Biography of Galen Strawson

Galen John Strawson (born 1952) is a British philosopher and literary critic who works primarily on philosophy of mind, metaphysics (including free will, panpsychism, the mind-body problem, and the self), John Locke, David Hume and Kant. He was educated at the Dragon School, Oxford (1959–65), from where he won a scholarship to Winchester College (1965-8). He left school at sixteen, after completing his A-levels and winning a place at the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, he read Islamic Studies (1969–71), Social and Political Science (1971–72), and Moral Sciences (1972–73), before moving to the University of Oxford, where he received his BPhil in philosophy in 1977 and his DPhil in philosophy in 1983. He also spent a year as an auditeur libre at the École normale supérieure in Paris and at the Université de Paris (1) as a French Government Scholar (1977–78).

Strawson taught at the University of Oxford from 1979 to 2000, first as a Stipendiary Lecturer at several different colleges, and then, from 1987 on, as Fellow and Tutor of Jesus College, Oxford. In 1993, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences, Canberra. He has also taught as a Visiting Professor at NYU (1997), Rutgers University (2000), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2010) and the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris (2012). In 2011 he was an Old Dominion Fellow, Council of the Humanities, Princeton University (2011). In 2000, he moved to the University of Reading as professor of philosophy, and was also Distinguished Professor of Philosophy from 2004 to 2007 at the City University of New York Graduate Center. In 2012, he joined the faculty at the University of Texas, Austin as holder of a new Chair in Philosophy.

He has been a consultant editor at The Times Literary Supplement for many years, and a regular book reviewer for The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Independent, the Financial Times and The Guardian.

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