I hold the Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock Director’s Chair at the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, and I am also a Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. Before coming to Texas A&M, I was Professor of Environment and Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
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: The Sublime in Modern Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 2013); Human-Environment Relations: Transformative Values in Theory and Practice (edited with Pauline Phemister, Springer, 2012); Humans in the Land: The Aesthetics and Ethics of the Cultural Landscape (edited with Sven Arntzen, Oslo Academic Press, 2008); Aesthetics of the Natural Environment (Edinburgh UP, 2003); Aesthetic Concepts: Essays After Sibley (edited with Jerrold Levinson,Oxford UP, 2001); Environment and Philosophy (with Vernon Pratt and Jane Howarth, Routledge, 2000). A new, co-authored book, Between Nature and Culture: The Aesthetics of Modified Environments (with Isis Brook and Jonathan Prior), will be out later this year. Various publications of mine have been translated into Chinese, French, Finnish, German, Icelandic, or Spanish.
I am a past President and Vice-President of the International Society for Environmental Ethics and have served on the Executive Committee of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and the British Society of Aesthetics, as well as having been a Trustee of the American Society of Aesthetics. Currently, I serve on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Animal Ethics and the editorial boards of Environmental Ethics and Ethics, Policy, and Environment. Previously, I was Associate Edtor of Environmental Values and Co-editor of Society and Space.
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).