Julian Baggini

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Julian Baggini
Baggini in 2014
Born1968 (age 55–56)
Folkestone, Kent, England
Alma materUniversity of Reading (BA)
University College London (PhD)
Occupation(s)Philosopher, writer

Julian Baggini (/bəˈni/;[1] born 1968) is a philosopher, journalist and the author of over 20 books about philosophy written for a general audience. He is co-founder of The Philosophers' Magazine[2] and has written for numerous international newspapers and magazines. In addition to writing on the subject of philosophy he has also written books on atheism, secularism and the nature of national identity. He is a patron of Humanists UK.


Baggini was born in 1968 in Folkestone, the child of an Italian immigrant father and English mother.[3] He grew up in Kent and was educated at the Harvey Grammar School, Folkestone, from 1980 until 1987.[4] He later attended Reading University and gained a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1990.[5]

In 1996 he was awarded a PhD from University College London for a thesis on the philosophy of personal identity.[6][7]

Baggini is an honorary graduate and honorary research fellow of the University of Kent's department of philosophy.[8]


In 1997 Baggini co-founded The Philosophers' Magazine with Jeremy Stangroom. In 1999 he was a founder of the Humanist Philosophers' Group, then part of the British Humanists Association. He is also a patron of Humanists UK.[9]

In 2009 Baggini was philosopher-in-residence at Wellington College, a public school in Berkshire.[10] In 2012 he was also commissioned by the National Trust to be the philosopher-in-residence for the White Cliffs of Dover where he was required to reflect on the chalk cliffs and their significance to the national identity.[3]

Baggini is a regular columnist for The Guardian newspaper,[11] Prospect magazine,[12] Financial Times and a columnist and book reviewer for The Wall Street Journal.[13] He has also written for New Humanist magazine, The Week, New Statesman, New York Times and Literary Review.[13]

In addition to writing many books about the history and common themes of philosophy, he has also written more generally about the philosophy of food[4] and the nature of 'Englishness'.[14] He speaks regularly at conferences and schools and has frequently spoken out about living without religion, against the teaching in schools of creationism, a loss of reason, which[clarification needed] he asserts is "an enemy of mystery and ambiguity,"[15] [verification needed] and the benefits of secular education.[9]

His 2018 book, How The World Thinks: A Global History Of Philosophy received a warm critical reception, with The Scotsman describing it as "ingenious and open-hearted"[16] and the Financial Times a "bold, fascinating book".[17]

In 2019 Baggini was named academic director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.[8]

He is a member of the British trade union the Society of Authors and also appears in two novels by Alexander McCall Smith in The Sunday Philosophy Club Series.[4]


  • How The World Thinks: A Global History Of Philosophy - Granta, 2018 ISBN 978-1783782284
  • A Short History of Truth - Quercus, 2017 ISBN 978-1-78648-888-6
  • The Edge of Reason: A Rational Skeptic in an Irrational World - Yale University Press, 2016 ISBN 978-0-30020-823-8
  • Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free Will - Granta Books, 2015
  • Without God, is Everything Permitted? The 20 Big Questions in Ethics - Quercus,2014
  • The Ego Trick: What Does It Mean To Be You? - Granta Books, 2011
  • Really Really Big Questions about Faith - Kingfisher (children's book), 2011 ISBN 9780753431511
  • Should You Judge This Book by Its Cover? - Granta, 2009
  • The Duck That Won the Lottery: And 99 Other Bad Arguments (published in paperback in UK as Do They Think You're Stupid?) - Granta, 2008 ISBN 978-1-84708-083-7
  • Complaint: From Minor Moans to Principled Protests - Profile Books, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84668-057-1
  • Welcome to Everytown: a journey into the English mind - Granta, 2007.
  • The Ethics Toolkit: A Compendium of Ethical Concepts and Methods, Blackwell, 2007 (co-written with Peter S. Fosl) ISBN 978-1-4051-3231-2
  • Do You Think What You Think You Think? - Granta, 2006 (co-written with Stangroom, J.)
  • The Pig that Wants to be Eaten and 99 other thought experiments - Granta, 2005.
  • What’s It All about? Philosophy and the meaning of life - Granta, 2004.
  • Making Sense: Philosophy Behind the Headlines - Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Atheism: A Very Short Introduction - Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0-19-280424-2
  • Philosophy: Key Themes - Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.
  • The Philosopher's Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods - Blackwell, 2002 (co-written with Peter S. Fosl) ISBN 978-1-4051-9018-3
  • Great Thinkers A-Z - Continuum, 2004 (co-written with Stangroom, J. (eds.))
  • What Philosophers Think - Continuum, 2003 (co-written with Stangroom, J. (eds.))
  • New British Philosophy: The interviews - Routledge, 2002 (co-written with L.Alpeart (eds.)).
  • How to Think Like a Philosopher - Granta. Reviewed in Times Literary Supplement, Issue No. 6261, March 31, 2023


  1. ^ "Full Circle talks to Julian Baggini – Short interview (2018)" on YouTube
  2. ^ "Profile: Julian Baggini". BBC. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b Kennedy, Maev (19 August 2012). "There'll be blue-sky thinking over the white cliffs of Dover". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Mesure, Susie (2 February 2014). "Julian Baggini: Eat, think, and be merry - the ethics of food". The Independent. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Alumni and Supporters". University of Reading. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Julian Baggini". davidhigham. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  7. ^ "1990 - 1999". UCL. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Julian Baggini appointed academic director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy". University of Kent. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Dr. Julian Baggini Journalist, editor of The Philosophers' Magazine, and Patron of Humanists UK". Humanists UK. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Thinking lessons to recapture lost education". The Telegraph. 18 April 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Profile: Julian Baggini". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Articles by Julian Baggini". Prospect magazine. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Julian Baggini". Muck Rack. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  14. ^ Manzoor, Sarfraz (10 March 2007). "We're all English now". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  15. ^ Radford, Benjamin; Frazier, Kendrick (January 2017). "The Edge of Reason: A Rational Skeptic in an Irrational World". Skeptical Inquirer. 41 (1): 60.
  16. ^ Kelly, Stuart (4 October 2018). "Book review: How The World Thinks, by Julian Baggini". The Scotsman. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  17. ^ O’Grady, Jane (14 December 2018). "How the World Thinks by Julian Baggini — home truths". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 March 2019.

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