"Be quiet, sir!" said the Princess. "Can't you see these are strangers, and should be treated with respect?" "Well, that's respect, I expect," declared the Clown, and immediately stood upon his head.
My main areas of research are in the philosophy of language and mind (psychology, cognitive science), though I am also work on Feminist Philosophy, Metaphysics and some Early Analytic Philosophy (Frege and Wittgenstein largely).
Currently I am working on the philosophy of action, thinking about the structure of intentional action and the epistemic relationship that we have to our reasons. I'm thinking about whether we have a different relationship to our reasons for acting when we perform highly skilled activities—I'm particularly interested in speaking—and whether, as a result, we can say more about how our skilled activities contribute to the things the we plan to do.
I am also interested in the semantics/pragmatics of indexicals and am working on a proposal whereby we consider non-standard uses of indexicals—such as the use of "I" to refer to something stand as proxy for the speaker (like a playing piece in a game)—as involving pretence. The view is interesting as it is difficult to classify it straighforwardly as a semantic or pragmatic proposal—I think that this case provides a good model for explaining how we violate the contraints of semantic rules in a great deal of our ordinary speach.
Both of these lines of research had their beginnings in work I did in my PhD thesis, "How to do things with indexicals". In the thesis I also talk about how indexicals are used to refer indeterminately and try to give a (admittedly weak!) account of how this works.
I love teaching philosophy. Some of the topics that I have taught in the past few years include: Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mathematics and Neuroscience and the Mind at undergraduate level, and Philosophy of Mind at Master's level.
Below you can find some useful tips for doing philosophy (I highly recommend Jim Pryor's materials) and some reading lists that I have drawn up over the years.
Guides and Tips
- Jim Pryor: How to read a philosophy paper
- Jim Pryor: How to write a philosophy paper
- Jim Pryor: Intro to philosophical terms and methods
- Some very good writing tips from the late Peter Lipton (Cambridge)
- A very interesting essay on improving your writing style by Johnathan Bennett and Samuel Gorovitz