Sean Gaston was born in Melbourne in 1967 and grew up in America and Britain. He studied at the University of Melbourne, gaining his B.A. Hons. In English in 1990, his M.A. in 1994 and his PhD in 1999. His M.A. focused on Derrida's reading of G.W.F. Hegel. His doctoral thesis examined concepts of disinterest – taken as the opposite of self-interest – in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Britain from Thomas Hobbes to Adam Smith. He was a major scholar at Ormond College, University of Melbourne (1988) and recipient of a Commonwealth Scholarship (1992).
He was Senior Lecturer and then Reader in English at Brunel University London from 2006-2017. He is a Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, in 2017-2019.
He has published five monographs on the work of the philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930-2004). In Derrida and Disinterest
(2005) he examined the rethinking of ideas of disinterest as an ethical concept. The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida
(2006) focused on the necessary gaps in philosophy, literature and history that both invite bridging and refuse any possible closing of the gap.
In Starting With Derrida: Plato, Aristotle and Hegel
(2007), he addressed concepts of 'starting with' that must always start again by moving backwards to move forwards. In Derrida, Literature and War: Absence and the Chance of Meeting
(2009), a range of philosophical and literary works are used to dispute the idealisation of a pure absence and to examine in its place the chances of the chance meeting that can also become a duel or a war-like encounter. In 2011 he edited Reading Derrida's Of Grammatology
In 2013, he published The Concept of World from Kant to Derrida
, which focused on the treatment of the concept of world in Kant, Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger and Derrida. In addition to his work on Derrida, he has published articles on
Commonwealth Scholarship, Australian Research Council,
Marion Boothby Prize, University of Melbourne,
Major Scholar, Ormond College, University of Melbourne,
Felix Rabb Prize, University of Melbourne,
Available for supervision
I am happy to offer advice or assistance on research projects, though I am currently in the UK. My areas of research interests include: Jacques Derrida, Continental Philosophy, Philosophy and History, and Concepts of World. I have also supervised a range of research projects in English Literature, notably on British Romanticism and Jane Austen.