Staff Profile:Professor John Preston

Professor John Preston
Job Title:

Departmental Director of Teaching & Learning

Part Two Teaching:
Lecturer on the Theory of Knowledge module
Convenor of the Philosophy of Science module.

Part Three Teaching:
Convenor of the History of Political Philosophy module.

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, and associated late nineteenth and early-to-mid-twentieth-century philosophers), philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and in epistemology.

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 and Views into the Chinese Room.

Ongoing research:

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: and Facebook page 'Wittgenstein Day-by-Day').

PhD supervision:

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

Undergraduate Teaching:

In my Theory of Knowledge module, I discuss theories of knowledge and justification. This will cover the nature of knowledge and knowledge-claims, different views about knowledge (knowledge as justified true belief, causal theories, reliabilist theories, contextualism, etc.), and the two main accounts of justification, foundationalism and coherentism.

In my Philosophy of Science module, we look at great debates in the philosophy of science, many of them deriving from the opposition between 'realist' and 'anti-realist' interpretations of scientific theory.

Research groups / Centres:
  • University of Reading's Centre for Cognition Research.
  • Health Humanities Research Grouping.

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 have been a member of the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy since September 2009. 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.

Jump to: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004 | 2003
Number of items: 28.



  • 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
  • Preston, J. (2015) Wittgenstein, Hertz and Boltzmann. In: Glock, H.-J. and Hyman, J. (eds.) A companion to Wittgenstein. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9781118641163 (In Press)










This list was generated on Thu Mar 22 00:09:34 2018 UTC.


See Dr John Preston's personal page

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 7327

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