Professor John Dupré
BA, MA, DPhil (Oxon), PhD (Cantab)
Telephone: 01392 725127
Director of Egenis/Professor of Philosophy of Science
I received my Ph.D at Cambridge in 1981 after spending two years studying in the U.S. as a Harkness Fellow. I was then a Junior Research Fellow at St. John’s College, Oxford, for two years before taking up a post in the Department of Philosophy at Stanford University, where I taught until 1996. I then returned to the U.K. to take up posts as Professor of Philosophy in Birkbeck College, University of London, and as a Senior Research Fellow at Exeter.
At Exeter I have headed the reintroduction of philosophy, which has been dormant at Exeter since the department was closed in the mid-eighties. Several undergraduate philosophy degrees were launched in 2000, at which time I resigned my chair in London and was appointed at Exeter as Professor of Philosophy of Science. In 2002 I assumed the full-time directorship of Egenis, the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society.
From May 2013 I will lead a major new project at Egenis, funded by the European Research Council (ERC). “A Process Ontology for Contemporary Biology” aims to rethink central issues in the philosophy of biology by elaborating an ontology for biology that takes full account of the processual nature of living systems. "Coming to terms with new developments in our understanding of biology requires that we take more seriously the ways in which life is dynamic at all levels, and that what we think of as living things - genes, cells, organisms - are more fundamentally processes, maintained in relatively stable conditions by yet further processes. The project will develop this thesis in relation to cutting-edge work in the philosophy of biology, and also in dialogue with emerging biological ideas in related scientific fields.
During the period 1st April to 15th June 2006 I was the Spinoza Visiting Professor at the University of Amsterdam, duties of which included two public lectures as well as leading a series of seminars with staff and graduate students at the University.
In 2010 I was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. I am currently President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science, and a member of the Governing Board of the Philosophy of Science Association.