Philosopher, Writer, Composer & Conservationist
I was born in 1980 and, from a very young age, showed a keen interest in music. At the age of seven I made my treble solo debut standing in at a day's notice to sing the first treble part of Allegri's Miserere Mei at St Bartholomew-the Great. The following year I gained a choral scholarship to St. Paul's Cathedral where I was a chorister from 1988 -1990; whilst there, as well as the daily regular services, I was involved in, among many other things, the memorial service for Sir Peter Scott and numerous services involving the Royal Family.
I subsequently transferred to Guildford Cathedral Choir (boarding school was not for me) where I became Head Chorister (decani) and regular soloist. In 1993 I recorded Allegri’s Miserere on an album of passiontide music (Crucifixus (Herald Label)) - again as first treble.
Outside my commitments for the cathedral choirs, I was a regular treble soloist in concerts and services across London and the Home Counties including Westminster Cathedral and Sandhurst Military Academy; I also did regular work for my father (Brian Brockless) at St. Barthlomew-the-Great.
In September 1993 I left Guildford Cathedral Choir and attended George Abbot School until July 1998 when, having completed my A-levels, I spent two years working and travelling before attending university. I did basic administrative work for the Ministry of Agriculture, Farming and Fisheries (MAFF, now DEFRA), bar work and supervisory work in retail. During this time I was also involved in the production of a CD - Songs of Heaven and Earth - released by Queen's College Cambridge in 2001 (Guild Label). My musical life since my choral days has continued in the direction of an ever developing interest in composition; some of my compositions can be heard on the Music page of this website.
In 2001 I began a single honours degree in philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire and graduated in 2004 with a 2:1. I also won a University Humanities Prize for "An outstanding student contribution to philosophy in the humanities programme" (Prof. Daniel Hutto) and was secretary of the university's philosophy society. I continued my studies as a postgraduate at Durham University completing a 50,000 word thesis under the supervision of Professor David Cooper. The external examiner's report on his thesis read: 'The author tackles some exceptionally difficult [ethical] issues in a way that shows a broad knowledge of the relevant literature and, more importantly, originality, insight and sensitivity.' (Prof. Raimond Gaita).
I dedicate a significant amount of my spare time to my lifelong interest in and love of the natural world, primarily through involvement in conservation work. I have undertaken survey work (and analysis), as well as more practical work such as scrub clearance and the construction of dry stone walls, fences and gates. Organisations for which I am either currently volunteering or have volunteered for include the RSPB, Fair Isle Bird Observatory, The British Trust for Ornithology and Surrey Wildlife Trust. I have also attended courses on 'Management Planning for Conservation' and 'Phase 1 Habitat Surveying' through which I have learnt both the necessary practical and theoretical skills to evaluate species and habitats, and assess practical management implications.
From 2006-2015, I was a member of the academic staff at Heythrop College, University of London where I taught a number of first, second and third year courses (for details of these courses see my Areas of Expertise page), as well as conducting one-to-one tutorials and leading seminars. I was also a primary examiner and moderator for the University of London BA Philosophy Programme. In addition, from 2011-2015 I taught A-level Philosophy (AQA) and GCSE Religious Studies (OCR) at Sutton Grammar School and was head of philosophy at the school from 2012. Since leaving both Heythrop and Sutton Grammar School, I have pursued a freelance career as a teacher and writer and, in this capacity, was a guest lecturer at the London School of Philosophy in 2015 where I gave a series of 10 lectures on ‘Themes in Plato’s Dialogues’. In the academic year 2017-2018 I also held the post of Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, taught A-level philosophy at Roedean School in Sussex and ran a series of adult education classes outside of London. I have been editor of the British Wittgenstein Society I am on the editorial board of Anthem Press.
I continue to present papers at academic research seminars and to give public lectures (see ‘Publications’ page), and have also been involved in successful outreach work, taking philosophy to London state schools.
Outside of academia, I have worked professionally for the National Trust as a Species Protection Warden on a Northumbrian nature reserve (protecting Little & Arctic Terns); this was a summer contract in 2010. For a short while, I also worked as a Countryside Ranger for the Deadwater Valley Trust where I carried out surveys and promoted awareness of the wildlife of the area to the wider public.
I hold National Proficiency Tests Council qualifications CS30 (Chainsaw Maintenance and Related Operations) and CS31 (Felling Small Trees). Power Boating Level 2. VHF Marine Radio Certificate. Powerboating Intermediate. MCA Sea Survival. STCW First Aid At Sea.
Natural History, Astronomy, Meteorology, Theatre, Fell Walking and Cricket