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Dr John Shand

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr John Shand is an Honorary Associate in Philosophy at the Open University. He studied philosophy at the University of Manchester and King’s College, University of Cambridge. He has taught at Cambridge, Manchester and the Open University. The author of numerous articles, reviews, and edited books, his books include, Arguing Well (London: Routledge, 2000) and Philosophy and Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy, 2nd edition (London: Routledge, 2014). He has been an editor of several book series.

Research interests

My research interests are broad, and include, in no particular order, rationality, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, value, theoretical ethics, applied ethics, philosophy of art, political and economic philosophy, history of philosophy.



  • Philosophy and Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy (UCL Press 1993 & Penguin, 1994 first edition; Acumen Publishing 2002 second edition).
  • Arguing Well (Routledge, 2000).
  • Fundamentals of Philosophy (ed.) (Routledge, 2003).
  • Central Works of Philosophy 5 Volumes (ed.). Volume 1: Ancient and Medieval; Volume 2: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries; Volume 3: The Nineteenth Century; Volume 4: The Twentieth Century: Moore to Popper; Volume 5: The Twentieth Century: Quine and After (Acumen, 2005-6).
  • Central Issues of Philosophy (ed) (Blackwell, 2009)
  • A Companion to Nineteenth-Century Philosophy (ed) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019)


  • ‘Grayling, Feyerabend and the constancy of sense’, Analysis, Vol.46, No.4 (October 1986) pp.211-212.
  • ‘Fallibilism and Realism’, Explorations in Knowledge, Vol.VI, No.2. (1989) pp.22-36.
  • ‘Colin Wilson as Philosopher’, Colin Wilson Studies, no.8, Paupers' Press, January 1996.
  • ‘J-P Sartre’ and ‘Existentialism’ in A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory (Blackwell, 1996), Michael Payne (ed.).
  • ‘Ockham’ in A Companion to the Philosophers (Blackwell, 1999) Robert Arrington (ed.).
  • ‘A Reply to Some Standard Objections to Euthanasia’, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol.14, No.1, 1997.
  • ‘A Dialogue Concerning the Philosophy of Health Care’ in Health Care Analysis No 603, 1998. A debate conducted with Professor David Seedhouse of the University of Auckland, now of Middlesex University.
  • ‘Induction: The Problem Solved’, Philosophy Now Issue 34, December 2001/January 2002.
  • ‘Colin Wilson: Thought Against Defeat’, The Philosophers’ Magazine, Issue 25 Winter 2003 and Abraxas and Proquest database.
  • ‘Innate Ideas and Immortality in Descartes and Locke’, Locke Studies. No.4, Winter 2004.
  • ‘Fear of the Future’, Think 15, 2007.
  • ‘The Bits In Between’ Philosophy Now, Spring 2007.
  • ‘How to live’ Philosophy 82 2007, pp. 343-344.
  • ‘Sandis on defence of four Socratic doctrines’, in Think, 18, 2008.
  • ‘Futile Definitions’, Think 18, 2008.
  • ‘Limits, Perspectives, and Thought’, Philosophy, July 2009, Vol. 84, Issue 3.
  • ‘A Refutation of the Existence of God’, Think, Number 26, Volume 9, Autumn 2010.
  • ‘Taking Offence’, Analysis, Volume 70, No.4 (October 2010).
  • ‘Abhorrence and Justification’ in Ethical Perspectives, Vol.17, Issue 4 December, 2010.
  • ‘Love As If’, Essays in Philosophy, Love and Reasons, Volume 12, Issue 1 (January 2011).
  • ‘How believing in an afterlife can ruin your life’ in Philosophy Now May/June, 2011.
  • ‘A Valuable and Meaningful Individual Life’, in Journal of Philosophy of Life. Vol.1, No.2 (July 2011).
  • ‘Varieties of Good’, in the Journal of Leeds Philosophical Society. 2 (1) 2012.
  • ‘The Degradation of Human Relations through Instant and Ever-present Communication, and the New Etiquette it Requires’ Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.2, No.1, (2012)
  • ‘Predictive Mind, Cognition, and Chess’, in Analysis April 2014, 74.2.
  •  ‘Kant, Respect, and Hypothetical Acts’, in Philosophy Volume 90, Issue 03, July 2015, pp 505 - 518.
  • ‘Why there is Something rather than Nothing’, in Think, 43, Vol 15. (Summer 2016).
  • ‘Free Will and Subject’, in Polish Journal of Philosophy, Volume 9. No.1 (Spring 2015), 51-70.
  • ‘Introduction’ to Colin Wilson Collected Essays on Philosophers (Cambridge Scholars, 2015).
  • ‘Sartre, Nausea: the only philosophical novel’, in Philosophers’ Magazine, October, 2016.
  • ‘Philosophy makes no progress, so what is the point of it?’, in Metaphilosophy, Vol. 48, No. 3, April 2017. ISSN: 00261068
  • 'No such thing as the good-life: A critique and plea for ignorance, in Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.8, No.2 (July 2018): 48-64.
  • ‘Putting Animals and Humans to Sleep’, in Philosophy Now, November, 2018, Issue 129.
  • ‘Readiness for Death: Sybil Speaks’, in Think, 18(51) 2019.
  • ‘Ideas in Music’, in Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia, Vol.74. No.4, January 2019.
  • ‘A Meaningful Life’, in Human Affairs, Volume 29, Issue 4, 2019.
  • 'Beware the new technocrats', IEA (Institute of Economic Affairs), Blog, 3 September 2020

Teaching interests

My teaching interests reflect my research interests and vice versa.

External collaborations

Book Series Editing

  • Fundamentals of Philosophy (Acumen/Routledge, 1998-2006)
  • Philosophy Now (Acumen/Routledge 2001-2008)
  • Central Problems of Philosophy (Acumen/Routledge 1997-2008)
  • Continental European Philosophy (Acumen/Routledge 1997-2008)


A Meaningful life (2019-10-25)
Shand, John
Human Affairs, 29(4) (pp. 434-444)

Readiness for Death: Sybil Speaks (2019)
Shand, John
Think, 18(51) (pp. 123-136)