Magazine
Latest Issue

Finding philosophy

What made me a philosopher? Two great teachers, the promise of escape and a neat pencil case

By Colin McGinn   November 2003

I have been an academic philosopher for the past 30 years. I came from an academically disinclined background in the northeast of England, my relatives being mainly coalminers and other manual workers. I was the first in my family to attend university, and indeed had no thought of it until age 17, when a teacher mentioned it at school. My father had become a successful builder, so we were not materially deprived, and it was expected that I would become some sort of technical worker, possibly a quantity surveyor. The idea that I might one day become a professional philosopher…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect