My research and teaching spans aesthetics and philosophy of art, environmental ethics, eighteenth-century philosophy, environmental humanities, and animal studies. My philosophical approach moves between the historical and contemporary, as I seek to reinterpret past thinking about nature, environment and the arts for a contemporary context. I’m especially interested in trying to understand how aesthetic and ethical values interact, the character of aesthetic experience and judgment, and the role of imagination in that experience.
I have published six books and over fifty articles. I’m currently working on a co-authored book, Between Nature and Culture: The Aesthetics of Modified Environments, with Isis Brook and Jonathan Prior. My publications have been translated into Chinese, French, Finnish, German, Icelandic, and Spanish.
Before coming to Texas A&M, I was Professor of Environment and Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh (2005-2018); Associate Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College-CUNY (2004-2005); Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Lancaster University (1994-2004); and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Kent State University (1992-1993). I have a BA degree in Philosophy and Political Science from Middlebury College, an MSc in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in Philosophy from Glasgow University.
From 2010-2013, I was President of the International Society for Environmental Ethics (and Vice-President 2007-2010). I have also served as Secretary, Treasurer, and Executive Committee Member of the British Society of Aesthetics and as a Trustee of the American Society of Aesthetics. Currently, I serve on the Executive Committee of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and the Advisory Board of the Centre for Animal Ethics. I have been an Associate Editor and Co-Editor of the journals, Environmental Values and Society and Space, and I sit on the editorial boards of Environmental Ethics and Ethics, Policy, and Environment (also, previously, Philosophical Quarterly).
I have held visiting positions in the Philosophy Department at the University of Pennsylvania (2010); as a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow at Princeton’s University Center for Human Values (2011-2012); and as a Sabbatical Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (2015).