Professor Alexander Bird

Professor Alexander Bird

Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, Cambridge University


Alexander Bird is the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge, and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge.

Bird matriculated at St John’s as a Thomas White Scholar in 1983, initially to read Physics and Philosophy, graduating in PPE. Thereafter he studied in Munich and Cambridge. After a period as a civil servant, Bird was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Edinburgh and later to the chair of Philosophy at the University of Bristol. He was Peter Sowerby Professor of Philosophy and Medicine at King’s College London before being elected to the Russell Professorship at Cambridge in 2020. He has held visiting positions at Dartmouth College, St Louis University, Helsinki University, St John’s College Oxford, Exeter College Oxford, and All Souls College Oxford. He was chair of the Philosophy subpanel in REF2014 and has been President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science.

Bird’s published books are Philosophy of Science (1998), Thomas Kuhn (2000), and Nature’s Metaphysics (2007). His work is characterised by the rejection of empiricism, in both metaphysics and epistemology, and by integrating central topics in metaphysics and epistemology with philosophy of science. His current project Knowing Science, Knowing Medicine aims to bring insights from general epistemology to bear on the philosophy of science and medicine.