Biography

I am an associate professor of philosophy at UEA. Before coming to Norwich, I studied philosophy, politics and economics at Balliol College, Oxford. There I was introduced to Wittgenstein by my teachers Tony Kenny, Peter Hacker, Gordon Baker and Stephen Mulhall. Afterwards, I studied for several years at Rutgers University (NJ, USA), where lecturers such as Jerry Fodor and Colin McGinn taught me ‘mainstream’ philosophy of language and mind. This experience solidified my conviction that Wittgenstein had revolutionised philosophy, and had in effect pre-emptively dissolved ‘analytical’ philosophy. I pursued and broadened my interest in Wittgenstein by working with James Guetti, Louis Sass, Saul Kripke, Alexander Nehamas, Cora Diamond and others at Rutgers and Princeton, and took my Ph.D in a Wittgensteinian exploration of the relationship between Kripke’s ‘quus’ problem and Nelson Goodman’s ‘grue’ problem.

Upon returning to the UK, I lectured for two years at Manchester University, encountering properly for the first time the impressive Wittgenstein-affiliated ethno-methodological critique of sociology. I landed a permanent job at UEA in 1997, where I have stayed for the last two and a half decades, working to grow the philosophy postgraduate community, the Department as a whole, and the Wittgensteinian side of the Department in particular. I have published a substantial number of books and papers while at UEA, notably the collection, ‘The New Wittgenstein’. I have also developed the emergent field of ‘film as philosophy’.

In recent years I have become increasingly involved in politics, having sat as a Green Party councillor in Norwich from 2004-2011, and having stood for both national parliamentary and European elections. As such, much of my recent work has taken a distinctly ecological turn. I have written for the Guardian, the Independent, the New Statesman, Resurgence / The Ecologist, and I appear semi regularly on Radio 3, Radio 4 and the World Service, on programmes such as ‘Free Thinking’ discussing philosophy.

I am open to supervising PhD students with interests in Wittgenstein, film and philosophy, ecological philosophy and related areas.

You can find out more about me and my work at my website: www.rupertread.net

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