Biography

Formerly publishing as Catherine Osborne, from 1979 to 2011.

At Cambridge  I took both parts of the Classics Tripos, specialising in Ancient Philosophy in Part II. I also took an option paper from the Theology Tripos, in Early Christian Life and Thought (for which I was supervised by Rowan Williams, then a tutor at Westcott House). My first philosophy teachers were (Sir) Geoffrey Lloyd, G.E.L. Owen, and Myles Burnyeat.

My PhD, in the Classics Faculty in Cambridge, was interdisciplinary between Classics and Theology. My supervisor was Christopher Stead, then Ely Professor of Divinity. I attended the ancient philosophy seminars of G.E.L. Owen (until his death) and of Myles Burnyeat, and Patristic seminars in the Theology Faculty with Henry Chadwick, Rowan Williams and Christopher Stead. The PhD thesis, on Hippolytus of Rome and the Presocratics, formed the basis of my first book (Rethinking Early Greek Philosophy).

In 1984 I was appointed to a Junior Research Fellowship at New Hall in Cambridge, and in 1987 I moved to Oxford to a Senior Research Fellowship at St Anne's College which I held during my tenure of a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (under the Oxford Sub-faculty of Philosophy). During these years I developed my interest in Platonic Love and the idea of the love of God in Patristic Thought, leading to my second book (Eros Unveiled).

In 1990 I was appointed to a lectureship in the Philosophy Department at Swansea. It was there that I became a philosopher and not just a classicist and patrologist. My role had been formerly held by Rush Rhees, and included 60 lectures on the Presocratics, compulsory for second years. The Swansea Department was large. It had grown as a result of the closure of two other Welsh departments, and besides DZ Phillips there were several other Wittgensteinian philosophers, such as H.O. Mounce, Ilham Dilman, and R.W. Beardsmore. It was probably the strongest Wittgensteinian department in the UK, and was to expand further over the next few years, recruiting a number of young lecturers from the same tradition. Unfortunately, not all the Wittgensteinians in Swansea agreed on philosophical or academic values, and the department was racked by bitter and often tragic internal strife throughout the nineties. It was eventually destroyed by its own forces of self-destruction. Nevertheless, in its heyday it was an inspirational School, and changed my life and my philosophical outlook for good.

During my time in Swansea I was commuting weekly from Oxford, where I was fortunate to be able to take some part in the philosophical scene. In particular I was a member from its earliest days of the legendary Friday morning De anima seminar run by David Charles and attended by Michael Frede.

In 2000 I left Swansea, along with some other members of that department. For three years (2000 to 2003) I was Reader in Greek Culture at the University of Liverpool in the Classics Department (part of the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology), where I taught Intermediate Greek, Tragedy, Women, and Myth to students taking degrees in Classical Studies and Ancient History. The fruits of my years in Swansea and in Liverpool emerged in my 2007 book Dumb Beasts and Dead Philosophers.

In 2003 I moved to UEA as a Lecturer in Philosophy, promoted to Reader in 2006 and to Professor in 2008. I held an AHRC Fellowship for the Autumn semester 2004, and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship from 2007-9. I was Head of School from 2005 to 2008, during which I oversaw the growth of the School from 5 to 11 research-active staff, the development of a lively Wittgensteinian research group, the introduction of two new Masters programmes, and an expansion of the undergraduate and graduate provision in ancient philosophy. I currently serve as Course Director for undergraduate and Masters programmes in Philosophy.

I served on the REF panel for REF 2014, and currently serve on the Leverhulme Advisory Panel. I have also served as a Member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and as a Strategic Peer Reviewer for the AHRC.

Website: http://eastanglia.academia.edu/CatherineOsborne

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