Skip to main content

Gaskin, J(ohn) C(harles) A(ddison) 1936-

GASKIN, J(ohn) C(harles) A(ddison) 1936-


Born April 4, 1936, in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England; son of Harry James (an engineer) and Evelyn Mary (an accountant; maiden name, Addison) Gaskin; married Diana Dobbin, May 20, 1972; children: Rupert John Addison, Suzette Jane Addison. Education: St. Peter's College, Oxford, M.A., 1963, B.Litt., 1965; Trinity College, Dublin, M.A., 1967, D. Litt., 1997. Politics: "Conservative." Religion: "Stoicism."


Home—Crook Crossing, Morpeth, Northumberland, England. Office—Department of Philosophy, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland; Hatfield College, Durham DH1 3RQ, England.


Royal Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh, accountant, 1960-62; Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, lecturer, 1965-78, fellow, 1978—, professor of philosophy, 1982-94, professor of naturalistic philosophy, 1994-98, head of department of philosophy, 1995-98; Hatfield College, Durham, Durham, England, tutor, 1997—.


Kildare Street Club (Dublin).


David Hume, Philosophy of Religion, Macmillan (London, England), 1978, revised edition, 1988.

The Quest for Eternity: An Outline of the Philosophy of Religion, Penguin (London, England), 1984.

Varieties of Unbelief from Epicurus to Sartre, Macmillan (London, England), 1989.

(Editor) David Hume, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor) Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1994.

(Editor) The Epicurean Philosophers, Dent (London, England), 1995.

(Editor) Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

The Dark Companion: Ghost Stories and Tales of Twilight, Lilliput (Dublin, Ireland), 2001.

Contributor of stories to magazines and the BBC; contributor of articles and reviews to philosophy journals.


Tales of Twilight and Borderlands: The Collected Ghost Stories of an Uncommon Philosopher and a sequel, The Long Retreating Day; the novel The Pit; The Quest for Reality: Essays on Religion and Atheism.


J. C. A. Gaskin told CA: "At the age of sixteen, I read 'On the Nature of Things,' the great Epicurean poem by Lucretius. More than anything else in my life this work provoked the doubts and thoughts which eventually made me a philosopher and which have always led me to seek a full and joyful life. My earlier recreations were rowing, riding, climbing, travel, antiquarianism, and of course sex. In middle and old age they have tended toward walking, gardening, writing, and antiquarianism. I am by inclination a countryman and writer of stories, by profession a philosopher, and by necessity, on occasions, a dweller in great cities."

"Since partial retirement in 1998, I have traveled with delight in ancient lands, drunk finer wines, and written with more imagination; the first fruits being The Dark Companion. A second collection of tales of twilight and borderlands, The Long Retreating Day, is now with the Tartarus Press. A full-length story of mystery and fear, The Pit, is written and awaits revision. I write because I enjoy doing so: not to portray ghoulish impossibilities, but to amuse with things half seen at the edges of life and experience."



Times Literary Supplement, July 28, 1978; January 25, 1985.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Gaskin, J(ohn) C(harles) A(ddison) 1936-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . 22 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Gaskin, J(ohn) C(harles) A(ddison) 1936-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . (January 22, 2019).

"Gaskin, J(ohn) C(harles) A(ddison) 1936-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Retrieved January 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.