Ralph Jessop is a senior lecturer in Literature and Philosophy.
A graduate of the Universities of Glasgow and Cambridge, he has taught a broad range of Literature and Philosophy courses at Cambridge, Glasgow, and Aberdeen.
Author of Carlyle and Scottish Thought, and a number of publications on, for example, 19th-century Scottish Women journalists, the formal logic of Sir William Hamilton, and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, he is recognised as a leading international Carlyle scholar.
Some of his more recent work explores synergies between 19th-century philosophical and literary critiques of modernity’s complicity with the mechanical metaphor and its instrumentalist bias. His teaching encourages students to seek new, interdisciplinary ways of understanding literature, culture, and intellectual history.
Thomas Carlyle, Scottish Philosophy, and several literary figures associated with Carlyle remain key interests. In addition he is interested in the work of Descartes, Locke, Swift, Voltaire, Fielding, Hume, Reid, Burns, Sir William Hamilton, early 19th-century reviewers and essayists, contemporary argumentation theory, and Jürgen Habermas.
He is currently exploring the philosophical problems of knowledge and scepticism generated in the eighteenth century and how philosophical discourses about these problems are re-enacted or enmeshed in the literature of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Other more general areas of interest include moral philosophy and the presentation of moral problems in fictional works and several other philosohical approaches to the reading of fictional texts.