Donald M. MacKinnon

Philosopher, Author

1913 – 1994


Who was Donald M. MacKinnon?

Donald Mackenzie MacKinnon was a Scottish philosopher and theologian. He was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, and held academic appointments in Oxbridge and Scotland - including Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy at Aberdeen University and Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University. MacKinnon delivered the Gifford Lectures in 1965 and 1966 on ‘The Problem of Metaphysics’. A revised version of the lectures was published under the same name in 1974. He was a Scottish Episcopalian and married to Lois Dryer.

MacKinnon is noted for his contributions to philosophical theology. He is particularly noted for the depth of analysis he applied to intractable theological problems, not least the refusal to simplify difficult questions in order to produce tidy or conclusive answers. His insistence on truth over tidiness is evident in his method of thought, an approach which some have labelled ‘open-textured’. The label derives from MacKinnon's use of literary, artistic, and political sources in his work - modes of enquiry which operate in contrast to the systematic and epistemologically narrow approach of some theology and philosophy.

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Aug 27, 1913
Also known as
  • Donald MacKinnon
  • Donald MacKenzie MacKinnon
Mar 2, 1994

on July 23, 2013


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