Welcome to my blog. I am a philosopher and medical ethicist, a Visiting Lecturer at Heythrop College London and Fordham University New York (based at Heythrop) and have lectured at a number of UK universities, including St. Andrews, Leeds, Imperial College London and King’s College London. My doctoral thesis (Birkbeck College, London) was on ‘Human Death: its Nature and Significance’ but since then I hope I have become less grandiose. My first book Ethics was first published in 1997 and has been reprinted several times by Routledge. My latest book (2011) is Commitment, for the Art of Living series of Acumen Press. It explores the value of, and obstacles to, personal commitment in matters of love, work and faith. My interests range widely but focus on applied philosophy – especially freedom and toleration, philosophy of religion and philosophy of psychiatry. Within the last category, I am particularly intrigued by sociopaths and addicts.
I am on the Battle of Ideas Committee of the Institute of Ideas and I co-produced and spoke at panel discussions on ‘Crime and Punishment: what are prisons for?’ (2011), ‘Religion, Spirituality or Neither’ (2012), ‘Sacrifice and philanthropy: what’s in it for me? (2013) and ‘Romantic love: just an illusion?’ (which I produced and chaired in 2014) at the Battle of Ideas annual conferences at the Barbican in London.
My media appearance include Channel Four News, ITV News, Sky News, BBC News Channel, See Hear (BBC 2), The Moral Maze (Radio 4), The World Tonight (Radio 4), Night Waves (Radio 3), Radio 5 Live, The Colin Bell Show (BBC Radio Scotland), Newshour (BBC World Service), Resonance FM and BBC Radio Leeds, for which I was a regular contributor while a philosophy lecturer at Leeds University in the 1990s.
I have published many articles for both academic and semi-popular journals. I have also published online commentaries for Independent Voices and The Times. I intend my blog to contain reflections on the ideas behind topical and not-so-topical questions and disputes. I am an unpredictable user of Twitter, and I use Facebook for inane banter, japes and keeping up with friends.