Prior to joining the Stirling Philosophy Department in 2004, I held teaching and research posts at the Universities of Dundee, Oxford, and Stirling (a previous appointment). My doctoral work was carried out at the University of Sussex.
I have given invited papers at symposia and conferences all over the UK, and in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Canada and the USA. Symposia specifically on my work have been organised by philosophy departments at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, the Free University of Amsterdam, and Tilburg University.
I have held AHRC awards for individual research leave and for a series of interdisciplinary seminars on ‘The Interactive Mind' as part of the Council's programme of strategic initiatives. I am currently a steering committee member of ‘Cognitive Futures in the Humanities', an AHRC funded network with the goal of bringing cognitive science and the humanities into productive interaction.
I co-edit (with Prof. John Protevi) the Palgrave-Macmillan series, New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. I am an Associate Editor of the British Journal of the Philosophy of Science and a member of the Editorial Board of The Philosophical Quarterly.
I have examined 18 Doctoral theses - for the Universities of Edinburgh, London (KCL, UCL, LSE), Oxford and Sussex, and the Open University. I have examined 6 Masters by Research theses - for the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London (Birkbeck), as well as for Simon Fraser University, Canada.
My primary research interests are in philosophy of science (especially cognitive science, psychology, biology, artificial intelligence and artificial life) and philosophy of mind. I also work on Heidegger. Although I am an analytic philosopher, I am keen to explore ideas and arguments at the interface between the analytic and the contemporary European traditions. This productive interaction between different ways of thinking is at work in my first book, Reconstructing the Cognitive World: the Next Step (MIT Press, 2005). In this book I draw on sources as seemingly disparate as Heidegger and robotics, in order to articulate and defend a non-standard philosophical framework for cognitive science. Interpreted within this framework, some recent empirical work in cognitive science is revealed as going beyond the recognisably Cartesian vision of mind that still dominates the field.
In recent published and forthcoming papers, I have, among other things, (i) criticized a number of prominent arguments for, and a number of prominent arguments against, the extended mind hypothesis, while developing and defending my own functionalist version of the view, (ii) clarified and criticized Evan Thompson's enactive view of cognition, (iii) defended the idea of a Heideggerian cognitive science (as presented in my 2005 book) against various published criticisms, and (iv) argued that transcendental phenomenology in the Heideggerian tradition and philosophical naturalism as required by cognitive science may be rendered compatible with each other.
My second book, Thinking Without the Box: the Case for Extended Cognition (draft completed, currently under revision) will present a distinctive development and defence of the extended mind hypothesis.