Gabriel Segal

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Professor Gabriel Segal

Professor Gabriel Segal is an academic philosopher, cognitive scientist and an author.

Background and education[edit]

Gabriel Mark Aurel Segal was born in the UK in 1959, and is the son of psychoanalyst Hanna Segal[1] and brother of mathematician Dan Segal.[1]

Segal was educated at University College London, where he received a BA in Philosophy with First Class Honours in 1981.[2] Later he studied for his B. Phil. at the University of Oxford, under the supervision of Peter Strawson, graduating in 1983 with an overall distinction,[3] and winning the John Locke Prize in Mental Philosophy.[4]

Finally, Segal received his PhD in Philosophy from MIT in 1987, supervised by Ned Block and Noam Chomsky.[5]

Academic career[edit]

Segal's first teaching appointment was at the University of Madison, Wisconsin,[2] after which he accepted a lectureship at King's in 1989.

Segal taught at King's College London for several years, before being awarded a Professorship, aged 41.[3] He served as Head of Department for four years and was named Professor Emeritus at King's Department of Philosophy in 2014. [3]

In the past, Segal has been a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University,[6] and worked part-time as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading between September 2012 and December 2013.[7]


Professor Segal has published extensively on cognitive science, philosophy of mind and psychology, and philosophy of language and linguistics. His work has appeared in academic journals, reviews, books and as individual papers.[2]

He co-authored Knowledge of Meaning: An Introduction to Semantic Theory with Richard Larson in 1995 (ISBN 978-0262621007). Segal also authored A Slim Book about Narrow Content, which was published in 2000 (ISBN 978-0262692304) and Twelve Steps To Psychological Good Health and Serenity - A Guide, published in 2013 (ISBN 978-1781488461).

In September 2016, Segal co-edited Addiction and Choice: Rethinking the Relationship (ISBN 978-0198727224) with Nick Heather. The book was Highly Commended in the category of Public Health at the BMA Book Awards 2017.[8]

Published by Oxford University Press, the 25-chapter book provides a multidisciplinary perspective on the relationship between addiction and choice from various fields, including philosophy, neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology and the law, demonstrating how diverse positions from varying academic and scientific disciplines can cohere to form a radically new perspective on addiction.[9] Segal's chapters' include '20: How an Addict's Power of Choice is Lost and can be Regained' and '24: Ambiguous terms and false dichotomies.'

Projects and Ideas[edit]

Much of Professor Segal's recent published work focuses on addiction, alcoholism and recovery.[2] He defends the disease model of addiction and is a proponent of Twelve-step programs.

Segal appears as a regular panellist on the internet outreach project, a question and answer website intended to spread the knowledge of the world's philosophers.

In one instance, a reader posed the question to the project: "Are there arguments against gay marriage that are not religious, bigoted or both?" Segal replied: "There are no good arguments meeting that description."[10]


External links[edit]

Gabriel Segal official site