Maximilian de Gaynesford

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Maximilian de Gaynesford
Robert Maximilian de Gaynesford (1968-).jpeg
Born (1968-01-02) 2 January 1968 (age 51)
Era21st-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic philosophy
Main interests
Philosophy of language
Philosophy of mind

Robert Maximilian de Gaynesford (born 2 January 1968) is an English philosopher. He is Professor of Philosophy and Head of Department at the University of Reading and author of The Rift In The Lute (2017).[1]

Education and career[edit]

De Gaynesford was educated at Ampleforth College and Balliol College, Oxford (1986–9; First in Modern History), after which he spent several years studying Theology, before turning to Philosophy in 1993. Shortly before receiving his doctorate, he was elected Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford (1997), he was subsequently Humboldt Research Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin (2003) and a tenured professor at The College of William and Mary in Virginia (2002–2006)[2] before becoming Professor of Philosophy (2008) and Head of Department (2016) at the University of Reading.[3]

He is the author of four books: The Rift in the Lute: Attuning Poetry and Philosophy (Oxford, 2017), I: The Meaning of the First Person Term (Oxford, 2006), Hilary Putnam (Routledge, 2006; the book's aim was "to make Putnam’s contributions to modern philosophy accessible to those without expertise in such matters"[4]), and John McDowell (Polity, 2004).[5] In 2011, he edited a collection of articles on the Philosophy of Action, Agents And Their Actions (Blackwell), which includes recent work by John McDowell and Joseph Raz, he spoke at the Harvard Conference in celebration of Hilary Putnam in 2011. He often gives papers on attuning poetry and philosophy for general audiences; in 2015, for example, he gave a public talk at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford on 'Why Philosophy and Poetry Matter'.[6] In 2017, he took part in a short filmed conversation about Philosophy and Film with Lenny Abrahamson and Francine Stock, their subsequent extended public discussion was recorded as a podcast.[7] He is also interested in moral psychology and the interface with philosophy of law, where he unearths a particular type of defence that he calls 'justifexcuses'.[8]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • The Rift in the Lute: Attuning Poetry and Philosophy[9]
  • I: The Meaning of the First Person Term[10]
  • Hilary Putnam[4]
  • John McDowell[11]

Chapters in books[edit]

  • The Sonnets and Attunement in The Routledge Companion to Shakespeare and Philosophy (Routledge, 2018) eds Craig Bourne and Emily Caddick Bourne.[12]
  • Attuning philosophy and literary criticism: a response to In the Heart of the Country in Beyond the Ancient Quarrel: Literature, Philosophy, and J.M. Coetzee (Oxford, 2017) eds P. Hayes and J. Wilm.[13]
  • Uptake In Action in Interpreting J.L. Austin: Critical Essays (Cambridge, 2017) ed. Savas Tsohatzidis.[14]


  1. ^ "Review by Richard Eldridge British Journal of Aesthetics (Volume 59, Issue 2, April 2019, Pages 236–239)". doi:10.1093/aesthj/ayy013. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Leiter Report".
  3. ^ "Reading Staff Page".
  4. ^ a b Danisch, Robert C. (2007). "Review: Putnam's Place in Philosophy". Metascience. 16: 107–110. doi:10.1007/s11016-006-9066-5.
  5. ^ "PhilPeople".
  6. ^ "Royal Institute of Philosophy".
  7. ^ "Philosophers Magazine".
  8. ^ "University of Leeds Philosophy Seminar".
  9. ^ "PhilPapers".
  10. ^ "PhilPapers".
  11. ^ Bagattini, Alexander; Willaschek, Marcus (2006). "John McDowell by Maximilian de Gaynesford and John McDowell by Tim Thornton". Philosophical Books. 47 (3): 281–84. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0149.2006.00410.x.
  12. ^ "Routledge".
  13. ^ Amazon. ASIN 0198805284.
  14. ^ "Cambridge University Press".

External links[edit]