Philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind, psychoanalysis, Ryle, Austin, Dennett
I did a B.A. in philosophy and politics, and an M.A. in philosophy, both at University College Dublin; and a PhD in philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. The topic of my PhD thesis was Freud's Psychoanalysis of Religion. It was while working on this that I developed an interest in evolutionary psycholgy, and a large part of the thesis ended up exploring the idea of Freud as a proto-evolutionary-psychologist, and asking how well his account of the origins of religion stand up when viewed in this light. Following that I held a Government of Ireland Post-doctoral Research Fellowship from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, during which time I took my interest in evolutionary psychology further. Then I lectured at Trinity College Dublin, until joining the department at Lancaster in 2005.
My research interests cover areas relating to philosophy of mind and to the theory of evolution, and the interface between the two. I have published papers on the incorrigibility of conscious states, on psychoanalysis understood in the light of analytic philosophy of mind, and on the theoretical underpinnings and implications of Evolutionary Psychology. The last-named is a major focus of my current research, and I see myself as a friendly rather than hostile critic of the project of Evolutionary Psychology. I also have a special interest in the work of the philosophers of mind Gilbert Ryle and Daniel Dennett. I recently edited a volume on J.L. Austin on Language, published by Palgrave-Macmillan in 2014 as part of their series Philosophers in Depth.
Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings › Chapter (peer-reviewed)