After studying jazz saxophone at Berklee College of Music in Boston, U.S.A., I studied philosophy at University College London, where I graduated with a BA (hons.) in 1996, an M.Phil. (on intentionality) in 1998, and a Ph.D. (on consciousness) in 2001. In 2001-2 I was a Teaching Fellow at UCL and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. I then joined Keele Philosophy in 2002.

My main interest is in understanding and enhancing awareness of the nature of philosophical inquiry, which I think centres on the question of the meaning of life; in reconnecting Philosophy with issues of natural human interest; and in re-positioning philosophy within a contemporary culture dominated by scientific understanding. My main works in this connection are Philosophy in a Meaningless Life (Bloomsbury 2016) and Gods and Titans (Bloomsbury 2020). In addition, I lead the band Continuum of Selves, which combines jazz music with philosophical ideas.

For more information, including downloads, go to the 'Philosophy' part of my personal website
To find out more about Jazz-Philosophy Fusion, and to hear samples, visit my band website.

Research and scholarship

My research specialisms are: 

  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Metaphilosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • The philosophy of Richard Rorty
  • Philosophy of Technology

For downloads of my publications, go to the 'Philosophy' part of my personal website.

I am Associate Editor of the journal, Human Affairs.


Undergraduate Teaching

  • 10 Problems of Philosophy (Year 1)
  • Philosophy of Mind (Year 2)
  • Metaphysics (Year 3)
  • Rorty and the Mirror of Nature (Year 3)


Consciousness and the great philosophers Philosophy in a meaningless life book Richard Rorty Early Philosophical papers
Continuum of selves Jazz-Philosophy fusion Rorty and the Mirror of Nature Rorty book cover

PhD Supervision

I am available for supervision in all areas of philosophy of mind, especially consciousness and physicalism; metaphilosophy, especially the nature and subject-matter of philosophy; most areas of metaphysics, especially the meaning of life, freedom, personal identity, time, universals, and truth; and I may be interested in some projects in the history of philosophy, continental philosophy or non-Western philosophy. Plus anything on Richard Rorty.

Current Research Students


  • Kieran Brayford (Philosophy of Consciousness)
  • Sila Ozdemir (Philosophy of Technology)
  • Jacob Fox (Meaning of Life)
  • Karl Wilson (Illusionism)


  • Lugh Corcoran (Philosophy of Measurement)

Further information is available about studying at the School of Social, Political and Global Studies, including funding available for pursuing a doctoral research degree.

School of Social Sciences
Chancellor's Building CBA1.039
Keele University
Staffordshire, ST5 5BG
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734346

Undergraduate and postgraduate enquiries
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734346