I took a BA in Philosophy at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne 1982–5 and an MA at York in the following year. After some years in the wilderness/‘real world’, I started studying part-time at Birkbeck College, University of London. I gained a PhD from Birkbeck in 2002, writing on the problem of colocation - whether two material objects can occupy exactly the same region of space at the same time. After a number of short-term teaching jobs at Birkbeck, Durham, and York, I gravitated to York and have been here ever since.
Reason and Argument (an introduction to logic and language for philosophers)
I teach modules in metaphysics and philosophy of language.
My main research interests are in the metaphysics of time and the semantics of our talk about time. I’m interested in the debate concerning the nature of temporal reality (between presentists, static block theorists, growing block theorists, and ‘moving spotlight’ theorists, amongst others), and I’ve recently started thinking about whether static block theorists can account for the nature of our experience of time. I sometimes think about whether there really might have been nothing at all (well, at least, whether there might have been no ‘concrete’ things like planets, stars, buses, and space-times), and occasionally I can be found discussing what universities and university education are meant to be for.
I’m currently looking at whether the nature of our experience of time generates difficulties for static block theories.