Gordon Finlayson studied modern literature and languages (French and German) with philosophy at the University of St. Andrews. He took his MA in philosophy and completed his PhD on Hegel's Criticism of Kant at the University of Essex. Afterwards he held a DAAD post-doctoral fellowship in Berlin and studied ancient Greek at the Humboldt University. From 1995 to 2004 he lectured in modern European philosophy at the University of York, before moving to the University of Sussex in 2004, where he now is a senior lecturer in philosophy and convenor of the social and political thought graduate program.
Finlayson's interests are in social and political philosophy, ancient and modern ethics, modern German philosophy, and the history of philosophy. Much of his recent work has been on Adorno, Frankfurt School Critical Theory, and Habermas. He is the author of Habermas: A Very Short Introduction, which has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Turkish, among other languages. Jurgen Habermas, a renowned living German philosopher, works in the fields of ethics, politics, and law. Finlayson uses a problem-based approach to explain how Habermas's ideas can be applied to actual social and political situations. His most recent publication is "Moral Selves and Other Women. Discourse Ethics and Feminist Social Criticism" in Dialogue, Ethics and Gender Identity (2008).
Finlayson is a member of the Executive Committee of the British Philosophical Association and director of the Society for European Philosophy.