My main research is in the philosophy of emotion. One strand of this concerns the epistemic value of emotion; here I am interested in how we should understand the common-sense idea that emotions can tell us about value, and the conditions in which emotions can play a positive epistemic role. My monograph on these themes, Emotional Insight, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.
The other strand concerns the nature and value of suffering. I was Principal Investigator, along with my colleague David Bain, on a major three-year interdisciplinary project The Value of Suffering, funded by the John Templeton Foundation. The project was an investigation by a team of philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and clinicians into the nature and role of suffering and affective experience in general. My monograph on this topic, Suffering & Virtue, was published by Oxford University Press in 2018.
My introductory book Emotion: The Basics was published by Routledge in 2018. I’ve recently co-edited two volumes with my colleagues David Bain and Jennifer Corns, both with Routledge. Philosophy of Pain was published in 2018, and Philosophy of Suffering was published in 2019. That year also saw the publication of Summer.Autumn.Winter.Spring by Manchester University press, a book I co-edited with colleagues at Quarantine, a Manchester-based ensemble of artists and producers making theatre and public performance.
I joined the Department at Glasgow in 2005, having previously taught at the University of Stirling. I received my PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara, after having studied for a Masters in Philosophy at King's College, University of London, and a BA (Hons) in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool.
I was Director of the British Philosophical Association from 2011 until 2014, and Secretary of the Scots Philosophical Association from 2009 until 2012. I am on the Board of The Philosophical Quarterly, and subject editor responsible for Moral Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Philosophy of Religion for Oxford Bibliographies Online.
Outside of academic philosophy, I am Philosopher-in-Residence at the Manchester-based theatre and performance company Quarantine, and have worked with them on a number of productions.