Simon Blackburn was born near Bristol in July 1944. He was educated at Clifton College (1957–1962) and Trinity College Cambridge (moral sciences 1962–1965). He was a junior research fellow at Churchill College Cambridge (1967–1969) and subsequently a fellow and tutor in philosophy at Pembroke College Oxford (1969–1990). From 1990 to 2001 he was the Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Since 2001 he has been professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge.
Blackburn has held several visiting appointments including the University of Melbourne University of British Columbia Oberlin College Princeton University Ohio State University and Universidad Autonomia da Mexico. For ten years he was adjunct professor at the Research School of Social Sciences Australian National University Canberra. Blackburn is known for his many appearances in the British media such as BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze and his many publications which span popular and academic moral philosophy.
Blackburn has been married to Angela Bowles since 1968. The couple have two children: Gwendolen, born in 1973, and James, born in 1975.
His principal works are Reason and Prediction (1973); Spreading the Word: Groundings in the Philosophy of Language (1984); Essays in Quasi-Realism (1993); The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (1996); Ruling Passions: A Theory of Practical Reasoning (1998); Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (2001); Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics (2002); Lust: The Seven Deadly Sins (2003); Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed (2005); Plato's Republic: A Biography (2006); How to Read Hume (2008); Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (2001); Mirror, Mirror: The Uses and Abuses of Self-Love (2014); and On Truth (2018).