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Personal profile

Teaching Interests

Every year I organise and teach Reasoning and Logic for first year philosophy students, and for the past two years I’ve taught the week on “Philosophy and Gender” for Philosophy and Other Subjects. I’ve also taught on modules such as Philosophy of Mind, a specialist module on Kant, Philosophy of Science and Epistemology and Metaphysics.

I’m always eager to work with third years and MA students on their dissertations and am supervising (or have supervised) projects on such topics as:
structural realism in philosophy of science
Mindfulness, Buddhism and mental health
philosophy of cognitive science
feminism

One of the most truly rewarding aspects of gaining a permanent position at UEA is being able to work as a student advisor, and the issue of student wellbeing is very close to my heart.

Biography

I did both my undergrad and PhD at UEA, in the School of Philosophy, and was lucky enough to be given a 10-month postdoctoral fellowship (2011-12), the year after I submitted my thesis.  After that, I worked part time as an Associate Tutor until 2016, when I was given a permanent fractional contract in PPL as a Philosophy Tutor.

Whilst teaching part time at UEA, my other jobs have included support work in mental health, which has in turn lead to my research interest in philosophy of psychiatry.

Education:
PhD in Philosophy, UEA (awarded at graduation: July 2011)
BA Joint Hons English and Literature, starred first, UEA (July 2006)

Key Research Interests and Expertise

My central interests:
Kant
Foundations of cognitive science
Philosophy of mind
Philosophy of science

Recent areas of interest:
Philosophy of mental health
Philosophy of psychiatry
Philosophy of gender, feminism and anything LGBTQ+
Logic

In my doctoral thesis, “Revised Kantian Naturalism: Cognition and the limits of inquiry”, I argued for the possibility of a quasi-Kantian philosophy of science, based upon Cassirer’s neo-Kantian approach to relativity theory and drawing upon Chomsky’s arguments for methodological naturalism. I apply this modified Kantian position to two problems within the overlap between philosophy of science and philosophy of mind.

The first issue concerns the possibility of a problem-mystery distinction for human inquiry and I use my quasi-Kantian position to challenge the notion that such a strict demarcation is possible. I highlight the remaining important insights about the nature of inquiry which are nonetheless integral to Chomsky’s suggestion.

The second problem concerns how we should characterise the achievements of scientific explanatory theories and how such success is so much as possible, with explicit reference to debates surrounding structural realism. I demonstrate that Cassirer’s broadly Kantian unity principle lends support to the defence of ontic structural realism over constructive empiricism.

I intend to return to research and produce papers for publication, based on these two strands to my thesis:
‘Problems, Mysteries and the Limits of Science.’
‘Investigative Modesty and Ontic Structural Realism.’

Further papers I have in mind include work on Kant’s aesthetic theory of the sublime, and an application of Chomsky’s methodological naturalism to questions about the metaphysics of diagnostic categories in psychiatry.

Academic Background

I did both my undergrad and PhD at UEA, in the School of Philosophy, and was lucky enough to be given a 10-month postdoctoral fellowship (2011-12), the year after I submitted my thesis.  After that, I worked part time as an Associate Tutor until 2016, when I was given a permanent fractional contract in PPL as a Philosophy Tutor.

2016 - ongoing: Tutor in Philosophy, UEA
2007 - 2016: Associate tutor, UEA
2011 - 2012: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Philosophy, UEA
2006 - 2010: PhD candidate, School of Philosophy, UEA (awarded doctorate July 2011).
2003 - 2006: English Literature and Philosophy (Joint Hons) BA - awarded starred first.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality