Research

I am interested in how reason and value interconnect and the ways in which they shape our lives. Kant and Hegel are central points of reference for my work, but I also engage closely with a range of positions in contemporary philosophy.

Kant and the Culture of Enlightenment (SUNY 2005), my first book, argues for the contemporary relevance and intrinsic vulnerability of Kant's conception of public reason. Understood as a model for autonomous thinking that stipulates actual engagement with others, public reasoning forms the basis for a distinctive defense of freedom of speech. The book was widely reviewed, including in Kant-Studien (R. Ziegler), Journal for the History of Philosophy (T.M. Costelloe), Clio (G. Garrard), Political Theory (N. Tampio), Radical Philosophy (K. Hutchings), Hegel Bulletin (G. Di Giovanni).

The Scope of Autonomy: Kant and the Morality of Freedom (OUP 2012) offers a new theory of autonomy. The theory uses Kantian resources to address recent debates on agency, morality, and practical reasoning. An author-meets-critics session, organised by the Society for German Idealism, was held at the Pacific APA in April 2012. The book has been widely reviewed, including in Kantian Review (Susan Meld Shell), Australasian Journal of Philosophy (Anne Margaret Baxley), Journal for the History of Philosophy (Matthew McAndrew), British Journal for the History of Philosophy (Robert Louden), Archiv fuer Geschichte der Philosophie (Martin Sticker), Mind (Jeppe von Platz), The Times Literary Supplement (Timothy Chappell). Here is a link to the Critique blog with an author-meets-critics session and responses: http://virtualcritique.wordpress.com/

I am currently working on a monograph on the metaphysics and psychology of freedom, The Value of Freedom. 

Other interests include normativity, the explanation of action and of behaviour, morality and idenitity, judgments of value and their justification, pluralism and absolutism. I also work on aesthetics and the philosophy of literature.

I offer supervision in the areas of my research, the philosophy of Kant and of Hegel, and the legacy of German Idealism.