Associate Professor Charles R Pigden MA(Camb) PhD(La Trobe)
Current Term – 2019-2022
Elected by the Academic Staff
Originally British, Charles Pigden is a graduate of King’s College Cambridge (1979) and did his doctorate (as a Commonwealth Scholar) at la Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He arrived at Otago as a post-doctoral fellow in 1986, and after a brief stint teaching at Massey, returned to Otago and a permanent post in 1988. He has taught Philosophy at Otago ever since and is now a New Zealand citizen. He was a co-founder of the highly successful Philosophy, Politics and Economics programme at Otago, serving as the Coordinator/ Director for sixteen years, and continues both to serve on the board and to teach into the ‘keystone’ course PHPE 201. For fourteen years (1989-2003) he devoted a great deal of his time and energy to activism as a member of the Alliance, endeavouring to resist and reverse the neo-liberal revolution in New Zealand. He has published on many topics from the Philosophy of Mathematics to the novels of Jane Austen, but is principally known for his work on Hume and the logic of the Is/Ought Question, on the ethics of Bertrand Russell, and on the Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories. He has swum the length of the Harbour to raise money for Amnesty International and is the only philosopher of his acquaintance to have published a philosophical dialogue in blank verse (‘Complots of Mischief’).