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2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Edinburgh

What is Caesar’s? Adjudicating Faith in Modern Constitutional Democracies to be held on Monday 19 May 2014. [More…]

2014 Gifford Lecture Series: University of Glasgow

Givenness and Revelation begins Tuesday 20 May 2014. [More…]

YouTube Channel

Gifford Lectures now has a YouTube Channel! [More…]


A new Gifford Lectures page for St. Andrews. [More…]

Eight Books Based on Gifford Lectures

Eight books derived from the Gifford lectures are available. [More…]


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John Randolph Lucas

1929 -

Fellow, Merton College, Oxford



John Randolph Lucas was born 18 June 1929 to Rev. E. de G. Lucas, sometime archdeacon of Durham, and Joan Mary Lucas. He was married in 1961 to Morar Portal, and they have four children, Edward, Richard, Helen and Deborah.
From 1942 to 1947, he attended Winchester College. Attending Balliol College of Oxford he first studied math and then Greats, receiving his BA with first class honours in 1951. He received his MA degree from Oxford in 1954.
He was junior research fellow at Merton College, Oxford, from 1953–1956, and fellow and assistant tutor, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. During 1957–1958, he was Jane Eliza Procter Visiting Fellow at Princeton University. He was Leverhulm Research Fellow at Leeds University, 1959–1960. For thirty-six years, from 1960 until his retirement in 1996, he was a fellow and tutor of Merton College, Oxford. John R Lucas was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1988. From 1990 until 1996, he was a reader in philosophy at Oxford. He served as president of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science from 1991–1993.
J. R. Lucas is perhaps best known for his paper ‘Minds, Machines and Godel’. In this paper he argues that an automaton cannot represent a human mathematician. The paper generated vigorous debate in the academic literature.
Lucas, in addition to his philosophical career, took an interest in business ethics. Given this concern, he helped found the Oxford Consumer’s Group and served as its chairman from 1961–1963 and again in 1965.
His lectureships have included the Gifford Lectures (jointly) at the University of Edinburgh (1971–1973), the Margaret Harris lecture at the University of Dundee (1981) and the Harry Jelema lecture at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1987).
He has authored, co-authored, or edited seventeen books: Principles of Politics, editor, (1966); The Concept of Probability (1970); The Freedom of the Will (1970); The Nature of Mind, with A. J. P Kenny, H. C. Longuet-Higgins and C. H. Waddington (1972); The Development of Mind, with A. J. P. Kenny, H. C. Longuet-Higgins and C. H. Waddington (1973); A Treatise on Time and Space (1973); Essays on Freedom and Grace (1976); Democracy and Participation (1976); Butler’s Philosophy of Religion Vindicated (1978); On Justice (1980); Space Time and Causality, with P. E. Hodgson (1985); The Future (1989); Spacetime and Electromagnetism, with P. E. Hodgson (1990); Responsibility (1993); Ethical Economics, with M. R. Griffiths (1997); Conceptual Roots of Mathematics (1999); and An Engagement with Plato’s Republic, with B. G. Mitchell (2003).
Larry Pullen
Templeton Press