My research concerns how art and creative practices broadly speaking engage us as cognitive and ethical 'works-in-progress'. I have a specific interest in literature and its philosophical and ethical roles. Issues I am currently working on include: how the exercise of aesthetic judgement contributes to status as a person, what we can have at stake in relation to fictional characters, and whether certain forms of humour have a morally interesting impact. Authors who are provoking some of this work include Thomas Hardy, Flannery O'Connor, Herman Melville, Nathaniel West, J. M. Coetzee, and Toni Morrison. I also have an ongoing interest in how to think about poetry and the range of experiential and intellectual demands it can place on readers.
- 'Love and the Need for Comprehension', forthcoming in Philosophical Explorations.
- 'Caring about Characters', forthcoming in Fictional Characters, Real Problems: The Search for Ethical Content in Literature, ed. Garry Hagberg.
- 'Art and Knowledge', in The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics, 3rd ed., Berys Gaut and Dominic Lopes, eds. (Routledge, 2013). [replaces chapter in 2001 edition]
- 'Literature, Pluralism, and the Critique of Evaluative Concepts', in Understanding Fiction: Knowledge and Meaning in Literature, eds. Jürgen Daiber, Eva-Maria Konrad, Thomas Petraschka, and Hans Rott (Mentis, 2012).
- 'Beauty, Interest, and Autonomy', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (2), 2012.
- 'Literature and the Idea of Morality', in A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature, eds. Garry Hagberg and Walter Jost (Blackwell, 2010).
- 'Poetry and Cognition', in A Sense of the World: Fiction, Narrative and Knowledge, eds. John Gibson, Wolfgang Huemer, and Luca Pocci (Routledge, 2007).
- 'Artistic Value and Opportunistic Moralism', in Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art, ed. Matthew Kieran (Blackwell, 2006).
- Philosophy of Literature: Contemporary and Classic Readings, co-edited with Dominic Lopes (Blackwell, 2004).
- 'Literary Fiction and the Philosophical Value of Detail', in Imagination, Philosophy, and the Arts, eds. Matthew Kieran and Dominic Lopes (Routledge, 2003).
- 'Images of Community in American Popular Culture,' co-authored with Nancy Potter, in Diversity and Community, ed. Philip Alperson (Blackwell, 2002).
- Reading Fiction and Conceptual Knowledge: Philosophical Thought in Literary Context, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56(4), 1998.
Henry James: Making Moral Life Interesting, Henry James Review 18, 1997.
- 'Subtlety and Moral Vision in Fiction', Philosophy and Literature 19, 1995.
Selected book reviews
- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2012: review of J. M. Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature, eds. Anton Leist and Peter Singer
- British Journal of Aesthetics 2009, 49(2): review of Art, Emotion and Ethics by Berys Gaut
- Philosophy in Review 2009, XXIX(5): review of On Form: Poetry, Aestheticism and the Legacy of a Word by Angela Leighton
- Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008: review of Aesthetics and Literature by David Davies
- British Journal of Aesthetics 2007, 47(2): review of Aesthetics, Imagination and the Unity of Experience by R. K. Elliott
- Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 2002, 60(2): review of Fiction and Metaphysics by Amie Thomasson
Department of Philosophy
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
2012-13: Tues 11-12 and by appointment
Office: Social Studies 2.59
MA module Literature and Knowledge