Professor of philosophy emeritus at the University of Reading, John Cottingham has written extensively on Descartes. He is the author of five books on the seventeenth-century French philosopher and mathematician, who is often regarded as the father of modern philosophy, and is co-editor and translator (with Robert Stoothoff and Dugald Murdoch) of the standard three-volume Cambridge University Press edition of The Philosophical Writings of Descartes (1985-91). He has also published widely on moral philosophy and the philosophy of religion. Educated at Merchant Taylors’ School in Northwood and at St John’s College, Oxford, where he took double first-class honors in Latin and Greek languages and literature and in philosophy and ancient history, Dr. Cottingham received his D.Phil. in philosophy from Oxford University in 1973. He taught at the University of Washington in Seattle and at Exeter College, Oxford, before joining the Reading faculty as a lecturer in philosophy in 1971. He was appointed a reader in 1987 and named a full professor three years later. He held the chair in philosophy for fifteen years before his retirement in 2007. Dr. Cottingham is currently a professorial research fellow at Heythrop College, University of London. He has held a Fulbright Fellowship and a Radcliffe Research Fellowship in Philosophy and has been an Erskine Fellow and visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, a visiting scholar in residence at Rhodes University, and Stanton Lecturer in the Philosophy of Religion at Cambridge University. An elected honorary fellow of St. John’s College, Oxford, he has served as chairman of the British Society for the History of Philosophy, president of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion, the Aristotelian Society, and the Mind Association, and secretary of the organizing committee for the 1989 World Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy as well as of the UK Association for Legal and Social Philosophy. Dr. Cottingham is currently editor of Ratio and a member of the editorial board of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy and of the advisory panel of the European Journal of Philosophy. In addition to more than eighty papers on early modern philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of religion published in academic journals or as chapters in volumes of collected works, he is the general editor of two series, Oxford Philosophical Texts and (with Daniel Garber) Cambridge Philosophical Texts in Context, and the editor of Western Philosophy: An Anthology (1997 and 2007), as well as the editor and translator of three additional volumes of Descartes’ works in addition to the three-volume edition of The Philosophical Writings. He is the author of eleven books, including Rationalism (1984 and 1997), Descartes (1986), The Rationalists (1988 and 1997), Descartes Dictionary (1993), Descartes: Descartes’ Philosophy of Mind (1997), Philosophy and the Good Life: Reason and the Passions in Greek, Cartesian and Psychoanalytic Ethics (1998), On the Meaning of Life (2003), The Spiritual Dimension: Religion, Philosophy and Human Values (2005), How to Read Descartes (2008), Cartesian Reflections: Essays on Descartes’ Philosophy (2008), and, most recently, Why Believe?, a consideration of the human impulses and aspirations that the author argues can only be satisfied by religious belief, which was published by Continuum last year.