Simon Blackburn (born 1944) is a British academic philosopher known for his work in quasi-realism and his efforts to popularise philosophy. He retired as professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge in 2011, but remains a distinguished research professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, teaching every fall semester. He is also a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a member of the professoriate of New College of the Humanities. He was previously a Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford and has also taught full-time at the University of North Carolina as an Edna J. Koury Professor. He is a former president of the Aristotelian Society, having served the 2009-2010 term.
In philosophy, he is best known as the proponent of quasi-realism in meta-ethics and as a defender of neo-Humean views on a variety of topics. He is a vice-president of the British Humanist Association and a former editor of the journal Mind. He makes occasional appearances in the British media, such as on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze.
Blackburn was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007. He was one of 55 public figures to sign an open letter published in The Guardian in September 2010, stating their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI's state visit to the UK.
Blackburn attended Clifton College and went on to receive his bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1965 from Trinity College, Cambridge. He obtained his doctorate in 1970 from Churchill College, Cambridge.