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Professor John Preston – University of Reading

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Professor John Preston

Name:
Professor John Preston
Job Title:
Professor
j-preston

Contact

Responsibilities

Departmental Study Abroad Coordinator.

Part Two Teaching:
Convenor of the Ignorance, Doubt & Relativism modules.

Part Three Teaching:
Convenor of the Chinese Philosophy module, and the module Is Philosophy Nonsense?

Areas of Interest

Professor Preston is qualified in artificial intelligence, as well as philosophy, and his main research interests are in the history of philosophy (especially Ludwig Wittgenstein, Ernst Mach, and associated late nineteenth and early-to-mid-twentieth-century philosophers and philosopher-scientists, such as Ludwig Boltzmann and Heinrich Hertz), Michael Polanyi, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, philosophy of science, epistemology, and classical Chinese philosophy.

He is the author of Feyerabend: Philosophy, Science and Society, Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: A Reader's Guide, and editor of Thought and Language, Views into the Chinese Room, Wittgenstein and Reason, as well as the third volume of Paul Feyerabend’s Philosophical Papers.

Ongoing research:

Interpreting Ernst Mach: Critical Essays (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press during 2020).

Wittgenstein, Natural Science, and the Great Philosopher-Physicists (ongoing book project).

Ludwig Wittgenstein - A Chronology of his Life and Work (ongoing book project associated with my website: www.wittgensteinchronology.com and Facebook page 'Wittgenstein Day-by-Day').

I am engaged in a collaborative and inter-disciplinary project, under construction, on the notion of nonsense and associated ideas (such as absurdity, incongruity, and gross falsehood) in philosophy.

PhD supervision:

I am happy to supervise doctoral research projects in the following areas: Wittgenstein, Ernst Mach, late nineteenth and early-to-mid-twentieth-century philosophy and the philosophy of science (natural, social and cognitive).

Undergraduate Teaching:

In my Chinese Philosophy module, we look at the ‘classical’ Chinese philosophers (Confucius, Mencius, Mozi, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, Han Feizi, etc.) and themes from their works, including human nature, the proper organisation of society, moral education, rituals, music, and the nature of heaven.

In my module Is Philosophy Nonsense? we look at the history of accusations that philosophy, or some special part of philosophy such as metaphysics, is literally nonsensical. The explosion in such diagnoses in the early 20th century, under Russell and Wittgenstein, is our primary focus. We investigate recent and powerful objections to the very idea of such accusations, and what it would take for such an accusation to be sustained.

Research groups / Centres

Academic Work outside Reading University:

I was the first ever Secretary of the British Wittgenstein Society, from October 2007 until November 2010, at which point I accepted membership of their Honorary Committee. I was a member of the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy from 2009 until 2017. I have served as external examiner for cohorts of undergraduate students at the University of Oxford and the University of Exeter, for MA cohorts at Oxford Brookes University, and for PhD or MLitt students at the Universities of Oxford, Manchester, Sheffield, Durham, Bristol, Düsseldorf, and King's College, London.

Publications

Y
Jump to: 2019 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004 | 2003
Number of items: 29.

2019

2016

2015

  • Preston, J. (2015) Logical space and phase-space. In: Mind, language and action: proceedings of the 36th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Publications of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein society – New Series (N.S.) (22). De Gruyter, pp. 35-44. ISBN 9783110378795

2014

2012

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2004

2003

This list was generated on Mon Apr 22 08:25:52 2019 UTC.

 

See Dr John Preston's personal page

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