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. I currently teach at the University of York where I was, until September 2016, Head of the Department of Philosophy. I am a fellow of the British Academy, and of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
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. In 2021 I was a visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Turin.
I was a member of the Philosophy sub-panel for REF2014 and was on the sub-panel for REF2021. I 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 the relation between art and social cognition. I hope that a book, Signs of Agency, on this will appear with Oxford in 2023. See more on my research here. I also write about film, empathy and the emotions, irony, the philosophy of poetry, and about fiction and knowledge. See more on my publications here.