Social & Political Sciences

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Professor John Cottingham

Visiting Professor of Philosophy
Kings College London
United Kingdom


John Cottingham has held philosophy positions at The University of Washington, Seattle, and at Exeter College, Oxford. He was Head of Department and then Director of Research and Graduate Studies at the Philosophy Department at Reading University, where he is now Professor Emeritus of Philosophy. He is currently Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, London. He is an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. He has published thirty books – thirteen as sole author, a further nine editions and translations, plus (either as single or join editor) eight edited collections – together with over 115 articles or chapters in journals or books. His books include Descartes (Blackwell), The Rationalists (OUP), Philosophy and the Good Life (CUP), On the Meaning of Life (Routledge), The Spiritual Dimension (Cambridge, 2005), Cartesian Reflections (Oxford, 2008), Why Believe? (Continuum 2009), Philosophy of Religion: Towards a More Humane Approach (Cambridge, 2014), and How to Believe (Bloomsbury, 2015). He is co-editor and translator of the three-volume Cambridge edition of The Philosophical Writings of Descartes. From 1993-2012 he was editor of Ratio, the international journal of analytic philosophy. The Moral Life, a Festschrift honouring his work on moral psychology, ethics and religion, appeared in 2008.

Research Interest

Seventeenth-century philosophy, esp. Descartes, and the Rationalists; Philosophy of Religion; Moral Philosophy.

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