And welcome! My name is Mark Rowlands. I’m Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Miami. I am from Wales, specifically a town called Cwmbrân (The 'Valley of the Crow'), which, of course, needs no introduction, being known throughout the world, surely, for its copious amounts of free parking spaces (As Newport rappers, Goldie Lookin’ Chain, once aptly put it: “I’ve lived all around the world from LA to Japan, never seen parking like they got in Cwmbrân.”).
Upon reaching the age of majority, I ventured forth to the University of Manchester, from which I eventually emerged with a B.A. in Philosophy. Then, it was on to Oxford University, Jesus College (loose family talk of my having ‘gone to Jesus’ led one of my young cousins to think I was dead) to do a D.Phil. (that’s what Oxford and that other bridge-place to the east, call their Ph.D.s, to distinguish them from inferior, non-bridgey, counterparts).
The eventual result of this extended formal education was a series of jobs, at universities in the US, UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. Also, around twenty or so books, the most widely known of which is probably (if sales are anything to go by) The Philosopher and the Wolf, the philosophically oriented memoir of the decade or so I was fortunate enough to spend living and traveling with a wolfdog named Brenin.
There is a certain intellectual restlessness I possess that manifests itself most clearly in a visceral hatred for things I have recently been working on. Suppose I’ve been writing a book about X. It doesn’t matter what X is. My point is that once I’ve finished the book, it seems to me that I will never, ever want to think about X again. Okay, usually, I’ll circle back again, eventually. Someone will say something about X that just really pisses me off and I’ll have to write another book. But, at the time, I don’t want to think about X, and I don’t want to hear anyone talk about X. My life must remain, in so far as this is at all possible, X-less. A change is as good as a rest, as my da used to say. And so, I will go on and do something very different next – as un X-y as possible.
And, so, I find myself having worked in a number of somewhat different areas. There is the philosophy of mind, where I started out in this business – especially the 4E mind stuff that I helped develop, and also animal minds. There is ethics, especially of the animal and environmental variety. There is, also, moral psychology, especially in its application to animal behavior. I also have a long-standing interest in phenomenology which, it turns out, has informed much of my work in these other areas. I have also spent a not inconsiderable amount of time trying to convince the general public of the wonders of philosophy, issuing in various mass market ventures.
Likes include dogs, wolves, football – actually, both football and fútbol, but especially fútbol (or ‘soccer’ as they insist on calling it over here) – rugby, cricket, lifting things, red wines of the Faugères and St. Chinian terroirs (I will drink nothing else, not even water), and, the Oxford Comma. Dislikes include anyone who dislikes any of the preceding. And arthritis.
Should I choose to express any views on this website - it's been a year since I built it and I haven't got around to it yet, so don't hold your breath, but should I - then I must emphasize that they are my views alone and do not represent represent those of the University of Miami (at least, I hope not).
Thanks for visiting!