Lecturers & Authors

Henry Jones

Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Glasgow
1852 to 1921

Sir Henry Jones was born 30 November 1852 in Llangernyw in Denbighshire, Wales, the son of Elias Jones and Elizabeth Williams. He left school at the age of twelve to be an apprentice to his father, a shoemaker, but managed to complete his education and became a teacher as well as a Presbyterian minister. With a scholarship in 1875 he enrolled at the University of Glasgow, studying philosophy under former Gifford lecturer Edward Caird, and graduated in 1878.

Anthony J. P. Kenny

Master, Balliol College, Oxford
1931

Sir Anthony Kenny, former Warden of Rhodes House, Oxford, is one of Britain's most distinguished academic figures. He has been Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Master of Balliol College, Oxford, Chairman of the Board of the British Library, and President of the British Academy. He is an acclaimed expert in classical philosophy and has a keen interest in the nature of human action and freewill. He participated in the Glasgow Centenary Gifford Lectures lecturing on ‘The Kingdom of the Mind’.

Thomas Malcolm Knox

Principal of the University of St. Andrews
1900 to 1980

Thomas Malcolm Knox was born on 28 November 1900 in Birkenhead, Cheshire, to Isabella Marshal and John Knox, a congregational minister. He was educated at Bury Grammar School and the Liverpool Institute, and received a scholarship to Pembroke College, Oxford, where he achieved a first in literae humaniores.

Wolfgang Kohler

Research professor Dartmouth College
1887 to 1967

Wolfgang Köhler who would become one of the leaders in the development of Gestalt psychology was born into a German family 21 January 1887 in Reval Estonia. His parents soon moved the family to Germany where his father was a schoolmaster. Köhler studied at the universities of Tübingen and Bonn. At the University of Berlin where he earned his Ph.D. (1909) Köhler studied psychology and physics under Karl Stumpf and Max Planck.

Oskar Kraus

Formerly Professor of Philosophy, University of Prague
1872 to 1942

Oskar Kraus was born in Prague on 24 July 1872. After attending the German State School (Staatsgymnasium) Kraus began studying the philosophy of law at Prague in 1890. His philosophical teachers were Anton Marty and Friedrich Jodl. It was through Marty that Kraus first fell under the significant intellectual influence of Franz Brentano whom he met for the first time in 1893. Graduating from Prague in 1895 Kraus sought a career at the Finanzprokuratur in 1896. In 1902 he earned completed his habilitationsschrift on ‘The Theory of Value: A Benthem Study’.

Richard Kroner

Professor of Philosophy, University of Kiel
1884 to 1974

Richard Kroner was born in 1884. Not much is known about his childhood, and he is most prominently known as German neo-Hegelian Philosopher who authored Von Kant bis Hegel (1921/4), a classic history of German idealism written from then neo-Hegelian point of view. He is also known for his formulation of Hegel as ‘the Protestant Aquinas’.

John Laird

Regius Professor Moral Philosophy, University of Aberdeen
1887 to 1946

The philosopher John Laird was born at Durris Kincardineshire on 17 May 1887. His father Rev. D. M. W. Laird was a third-generation Church of Scotland minister and his mother Margaret Laird (née Steward) was the daughter of the local schoolmaster John Steward. Of their several children John was the eldest.

George Lakoff

Professor University of California at Berkeley
1941

Linguist George Lakoff was born in Bayonne New Jersey on 24 May 1941 to Herman and Ida Lakoff. After earning a Ph.D. in linguistics by Indiana University in 1966 Lakoff taught at Harvard University (1965–1969) and the University of Michigan (1969–1971) and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (1971–1972). Since 1972 he has served as Professor of Linguistics at the University of California Berkeley.

Rodolfo Amedeo Lanciani

Professor of Ancient Topography, University of Rome
1846 to 1929

Many of the early Gifford lecturers had broad interests; Rodolfo Lanciani’s went deep. Rome was his passion and cartographical archaeology his life. Born in Rome sometime from 1845-1847, Lanciani was trained as an engineer in either Rome or Montecello. By the age of twenty, he was already working as an archaeologist.

Andrew Lang

Sometime Fellow of Merton College, Oxford
1844 to 1912

Andrew Lang was an unusual Gifford lecturer. Like other Gifford lecturers, he was scholar, but not of the natural sciences. He was a classicist, compiler of folklore and mythology, anthropologist, and historian. Also, like other early Gifford lecturers, he was interested in the controversial field of “psychical research”.

Christina Jessy Larner

Reader in Psychology, University of Glasgow
1933 to 1983

Christina Jessy Larner, Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, was born on 22 September 1933, in northwest London, eldest of five children born to John and Nella (née Wallace) MacDonald Ross. Her father, a Senior Civil Servant in the Home Office and a Presbyterian Lay Preacher, had read Greats at Oxford. Her mother had read history at London University.

Simon Somerville Laurie

Professor of Education, University of Edinburgh
1829 to 1909

Educationist and philosopher Simon Sommerville Laurie was born on 13 November 1829 in Edinburgh. His parents, James Laurie (a chaplain to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary) and Jean Somerville (the daughter of a Presbyterian minister), were not financially well off. Laurie began to tutor younger students early in his life in order to pay for his education at Edinburgh University from 1844 to 1849. He then moved to London and travelled to Ireland, as well as other locations in Europe, where he worked as a tutor.

Hywel David Lewis

Professor of History and Philosophy of Religion, University of London
1910 to 1992

Hywel David Lewis was born in Llandudno, Wales in 1910 and passed away in 1992. His education occurred at the University College of North Wales, where he graduated with a first-class degree in philosophy in 1932 and continued on at Jesus College Oxford to receive a BLitt in 1935. He was professor of philosophy at the University College of North Wales from 1947 to 1955 and thereafter professor of the history and philosophy of religion in the University of London King’s College from 1955 to 1977.

David N. Livingstone

Professor of Geography and Intellectual History at the Queen's University of Belfast

David Livingstone is Professor of Geography and Intellectual History at the Queen's University of Belfast where he works on the history of geographical ideas and the historical geographies of science and religion. He is currently completing an intellectual history of climatic reductionism, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship, under the title "The Empire of Climate". 

Alasdair C. MacIntyre

Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University
1929

Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre was born 12 January 1929 in Glasgow Scotland to John and Emily (Chalmers) MacIntyre. He was educated at the University of London and Oxford University and began his teaching career in Great Britain at Manchester University in 1951. He also taught at Leeds University Essex University and Oxford University. In 1969 he came to the United States and took a position as professor of the history of ideas at Brandeis University. In 1972 he was appointed dean of the College of Liberal Arts and professor of philosophy at Boston University.

Donald MacCrimmon MacKay

Emeritus Professor Dept. of Communication & Neuroscience, Univ. of Keele
1922 to 1987

Donald MacCrimmon MacKay was born in Caithness Scotland in the northern fishing village of Lybster in 1922. He studied physics at St. Andrews University graduating in 1943. Following three years of service with the British Admiralty he pursued postgraduate research into the limitations of high-speed electronic analogue computers receiving a Ph.D. in 1951.

Donald Mackenzie Mackinnon

Norse-Hulse Professor of Divinity, Cambridge
1913 to 1994

Donald MacKinnon was educated at Cargilfield School Edinburgh (1921–26) Winchester College (1926–31) and New College Oxford (1931–35) where he also held a scholarship and graduated in both Greats and Theology. After Edinburgh MacKinnon became a fellow and tutor at Keble College Oxford (1937–47) and held the Wilde lectureship in Natural and Comparative Religion (1945–47). At the age of thirty-four MacKinnon was appointed to the Regis chair of Moral Philosophy in Aberdeen University (1947–60).

Roderick Diarmid Maclennan

Minister, Church of Scotland
1898 to 1977

Roderick Diarmid Maclennan was born on 13 October 1898 at Laggan Inverness-shire to Duncan Macrae Maclennan and Isabella Margaret Macpherson. His early education took place in New Zealand from 1903 to 1912 before he returned to Scotland to study at Kingussie (1914–15), Oban High School (1916–17) and the University of Edinburgh. Maclennan began his MA in philosophy in 1917, but his studies were interrupted by military service in the First World War. He was wounded while serving in France in 1918. He completed his MA with first class honours in 1925.

John Macmurray

Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Edinburgh
1891 to 1976

John Macmurray, moral philosopher, was born in Maxwellton, near Dumfries, on 16 February 1891 to a Scottish Presbyterian family. When John was ten, his family moved to Aberdeen, where he attended Aberdeen Grammar School and Robert Gordon’s College. His strongest childhood influence was the religion he inherited from his parents. Even when he began to distance himself from the Presbyterianism of his upbringing during his first year at the University of Glasgow, having discovered what he believed to be a more biblical vision of God.

John Macquarrie

Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, Oxford
1919 to 2007

John Macquarrie was born in Renfrew Scotland on the 27 June 1919. He was a man who remained closely tied to his Celtic roots and cherished his Scottish ancestry. Between the years of 1934–1936 John attended Paisley Grammar School. After attending this local secondary school he enrolled at the University of Glasgow where he would end up receiving all of his advanced degrees (MA BD PhD DLitt). From 1945–1949 Macquarrie spent time in the Royal Army chaplains department and then proceeded to become a parish minister at St Ninian’s in Brechin.

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