About

Robert M. Ellis is a philosopher, writer and teacher. He has produced a series of books about the Middle Way, understood as a principle of judgement that throws us onto experience by avoiding opposing absolutes. He has also founded the Middle Way Society to support the development and practice of the Middle Way understood in this way.

Robert’s academic background is a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Lancaster and a B.A. in Oriental Studies and Theology from Cambridge. His Ph.D., completed in 2001, was the beginning of the work on the Middle Way that he has been developing ever since. However, this work is different from most academic work in combining a great deal of cross-disciplinary synthesis together with strong critical, ethical and practical perspectives.

Robert’s practical perspective comes from past involvement in Buddhist practice, and he was previously a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order. His critical perspective owes much to philosophical training. However, he’s never been content with the limiting assumptions of any one discipline or tradition, and is strongly committed to a synthetic or integrative perspective that is also judged rigorously by pragmatic standards. Apart from philosophy and Buddhism, his work draws considerably on recent developments in psychology, neuroscience, and linguistics. He also finds sources of inspiration in Christian tradition, the arts, and Jungian psychology.

Robert’s wide interests have proved incompatible with a conventional academic career, but he has maintained a strong interest in academic developments. The majority of his books offer academic standards of referencing, along with detailed argument and careful anticipation of objections from different standpoints. His most recent book, The Buddha’s Middle Way, is being published in 2019 by an academic press (Equinox), and he has also published a few papers in peer reviewed journals. However, he is also concerned to reach a wider audience and support Middle Way practice, so books like Migglism and The Trouble with Buddhism have adopted a more popular style. He has also written fiction, a poetry collection and a hybrid philosophy/ fiction book (Parables of the Middle Way).

Robert has earned a living through most of his life by teaching and tutoring (of philosophy, religious studies, critical thinking, politics and English). He now divides his year between focusing on writing for one part and teaching English for Academic Purposes in another. Apart from writing books, he leads retreats and writes on the website of the Middle Way Society. He is also a classical pianist and loves poetry, art, novels, meditation, cycling and walking. He lives on the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire, UK.