I teach at the University of York where I have, until September 2016, been Head of the Department of Philosophy. I was educated at John Ruskin Grammar School in Surrey, at the LSE, where I did the BSc(Econ), and at the University of California Berkeley where I was a Fulbright Scholar. Later, I studied briefly at the Courtauld Institute, when it was still in Portman Square.
My first academic posts were at the Universities of Otago, New Zealand and the University of Sydney. Later I was at Flinders, Adelaide. I moved to Nottingham in 2000, and was Dean of Arts there from 2004-7, and then Director of Research in Humanities from 2011-2013.
I've held visiting positions at the LSE, St Andrews, University of Maryland, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford and L’Ecole Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris.
I am the Executive Editor of Mind and Language, an editorial consultant for the British Journal of Aesthetics, on the editorial boards of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy and Storyworlds, and the book series Thinking Cinema (Continuum).
I was a member of the Philosophy sub-panel for REF2014 and have been on reviews of Philosophy programmes in the Czech Republic, Italy and Romania.
I work mostly on the arts and cognition. At the moment I am thinking about literature and the mind, the way the mind is represented in literature, and how well or badly these representations comport with the picture given us by experimental psychology. I hope that a book on this will appear, with Oxford, in 2019. See more on my research here. I also write about film, empathy and the emotions, irony, and about cognitive archaeology. See more on my publications here.