Personal Biography

I studied PPE at Oxford having started out as a student in Classics. I stayed on to study the BPhil in philosophy and do a DPhil. I left Oxford in 1992 to take up a lectureship in the Department of Philosophy at UCL, and became Professor of Philosophy there in 2002.

Over the last decade or so, I’ve been dividing my time between the UK and the USA. Since 2009, I have been Mills Adjunct Professor at Berkeley, and I still teach every Fall semester (Michaelmas Term) there.

Research and Teaching

My research has principally been in the philosophy of perception. Much of this has circled round two of the oldest and most disreputable arguments in the Western tradition: the argument from illusion and the causal argument from hallucination, but it has on occasion ranged more widely than just these narrow concerns: on the nature of memory, on the nature of self-awareness and self-knowledge. I’ve also long been concerned with the relations among the senses and as part of that interested in the awareness that each has of his or her own body. Some of my research strays into aesthetics – in particular, concerns with depiction and reproduction of art works; and in political philosophy, on taxation and the nature of social institutions. I also have an interest in the history of philosophy, most notably the work of David Hume, early modern theories of perception, and early Analytic Philosophy, particularly the views of GE Moore and Bertrand Russell.

Currently I’m working on the puzzle of conflicting appearances; the contrast between sense perception, memory and imagination; the problem of other minds; and the objectivity of sense experience.

Selected Publications

‘Elusive Objects’, Topoi, 2017

‘Old Acquaintance: Russell, Memory and Problems with Acquaintance’, Analytic Philosophy, 2015

‘Moore’s Dilemma’ in Paul Coates and Sam Coleman, edd., Phenomenal Qualities, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2015)

‘What’s in a Look?’ in Bence Nanay, ed., Perceiving the World, (New York: Oxford 2010)

‘In the Eye of Another’, Philosophical Studies, 2013

‘Sounds & Images’, British Journal of Aesthetics, 2012

‘On Getting on Top of Oneself’, in Acta Analytica, 2010

‘In Praise of Self: Hume’s Love of Fame’, in European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 2, Nov 2006

‘On Being Alienated’ in Tamar Szabo Gendler and John Hawthorne, edd., Perceptual Experience (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005)

‘The Limits of Self-Awareness’, in Philosophical Studies, July 2004 (reprinted in Disjunctivism edited by Alex Byrne & Heather Logue, published by MIT Press 2008)

‘The Transparency of Experience’, in Mind & Language, September 2002