Simon Blackburn was born near Bristol in July 1944. Educated at Clifton College 1957–62, and Trinity College Cambridge (Moral Sciences, 1962–5). Junior Research Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge 1967–9. Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, Pembroke College, Oxford, 1969–90. Edna J. Koury Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1990–2001. He was until 2011the Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and remains a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is part-time Distinguished Visiting Research Professor at UNC, Chapel Hill, and Professor at the New College of the Humanities.
He has held visiting appointments at the University of Melbourne, the University of British Columbia, Oberlin College, Princeton University, Ohio State University, the Universidad Autonomia da Mexico, and was for ten years Adjunct Professor at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra. From 1984 —1990 he edited the journal Mind. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2001 and Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.
His books are: Reason and Prediction, 1973, Spreading the Word 1984, Essays in Quasi-Realism 1993, The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, 1994, (2nd edn. 2005, 3rd edn. 2015) Ruling Passions 1998, Think 1999, Being Good 2001, Lust 2004, Truth: A Guide 2005, How to Read Hume 2008, The Big Questions: Philosophy 2010, Practical Tortoise Raising 2010, and Mirror: Mirror 2014. Together with Keith Simmons he edited the Oxford Readings in Philosophy volume Truth, 2001.
He married Angela Bowles, 1968 and has two children, Gwendolen, b. 1973 and James, b. 1975.