Welcome to my home page. I hold a chair in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
- My research is principally in ethics, with particular emphases on grief, suicide, punishment, Kantian ethics, paternalism, work and labor, and moral psychology.
- In recent years, grief has been the centerpiece of my research. Learn more here. My Grief: A Philosophical Guide, the first-ever book on grief and bereavement from a philosophical perspective, is now available for order from Princeton University Press. My essay “Empathy and Psychopaths’ Inability to Grieve” was awarded the Royal Institute of Philosophy Essay Prize for 2022.
- My book Understanding Kant’s Ethics (Cambridge University Press) was published in 2016. My book, Suicide: The Philosophical Dimensions (2011) was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. My books are available for purchase here.
- I have also published 70 peer-reviewed articles, including articles in Mind, Ethics, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Studies, Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, as well as in collections published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Routledge.
- I’m also a founding member of the International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying and a former member of the American Philosophical Association Committees on Public Philosophy and Teaching Philosophy, and previously served as an at-large board member of the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division. I currently serve on the Association’s Committee on International Cooperation.
- I serve as an associate editor at Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, as well as on the editorial boards of the Philosophical Quarterly, the Journal of Applied Philosophy and Social Theory and Practice. I happen to like reviewing manuscripts!
Here are some online resources to familiarize you with my work (also see the Media and Blogs page for additional items):
- a video podcast from Eclectic Spacewalk – a good general introduction to my research, my background, and philosophical interests
- my article on suicide in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- my article on work and labor in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- an interview about my background and my work in the philosophy of grief
- an interview on philosophy of death and dying in light of the pandemic
- a discussion at PEA Soup of my article “Black Lives Matter and the call for death penalty abolition”
- a review of Fischer and Mitchell-Yellin’s Near-Death Experience
- my Reddit Philosophy AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, January 2018
- “Identity Threat” (a good introduction to some of my views on paternalism)
- an article highlighting some of my views on the ethics of work and a ‘post-work’ future, “The desire for work as an adaptive preference“