I am Lecturer in Philosophy at MMU since January 2013. Before coming to MMU I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Glasgow and Stockholm University, two institutions with which I retain strong links. Before that I was an AHRC funded PhD student at the University of Reading where I worked with Professor Jonathan Dancy on the epistemology of Moral Particularism. I currently supervise doctoral work on Particularism and Wittgenstein at Edge Hill University.
My reserach specialisms are Metaethics and Aesthetics, and selected issues in Philosophy of Language and Perception.
I am married to the wonderful Dr Philip Mallaband who is Head of Religious Studies at St Edwards School in Oxford. We have a Siamese cat called Paddy. We like travelling, contemporary opera and post-rock bands, hiking and cycling - and fresh water swimming.
For me, one central aspect of teaching philosophy lies in its capacity to free peoples’ minds: the continuous work that it takes in deciding for yourself what is valuable and living your life in accordance with that decision. In practice, one of the central challenges as a teacher is to give students the opportunity to take ownership of the ideas they are offered.
“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies - 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'” Kurt Vonnegut
My lectures are structured so as to provide the student an engaging learning-experience. I produce substantive handouts that students can use as a starting place for their own further research for each lecture so they do not need to concentrate on copying down the material from the PowerPoint slides, but rather focus on the lecture itself. My seminars are run so as to give students more of an opportunity to express their own ideas, demonstrate their own understanding of the issue at hand, and to explore other related issues. As a supervisor I encourage, inspire and ‘point in the right direction’ in a way that enables the students to develop their own mark on the arguments and philosophical thoughts under discussion.
Keywords: rigour, passion, integrated learning
Temporary F/T Postdoctoral Positons:
Temporary P/T Graduate Positions:
Philosophy teaches you not only how to think, but also how to think critically: it enables you to assess which belief that have inevitably been passed down to you are worth holding onto, and on what grounds. This is a key principle that informs all my work, both teaching and reserach.
My approach to teaching is to give students opportunity to take ownership of the ideas by engaging actively in learning, by thinking about the ways in which abstract philosophical ideas can bear on everyday life, to engage with different perspectives, and to feel confident in independently reach conclusions and articulate ideas in discussing complex issues with your peers.
Outwidth MMU I have also thaught modules in:
Outwidth MMU I have also thaught postgraduate modules in:
My research interests surround Particularism, a thesis that is often thought to be restricted to moral philosophy, but in fact its conception of rationality, which I term ‘situated evaluative thought’, is of a more general importance. I have published on aesthetic particularism, thick evaluative concepts, semantic contextualism, and objectivity in criticism. My current work concentrates on the methodological implications of particularism for debates about perspectivalism and objectivity in aesthetics and metaethics, as well as wider debates about the role of context and professional judgement in medicine and bioethics. I am also involved in work at the intersection between ethics and philosophy of perception, where I deploy the idea of situated evaluative thought to illuminate the notion of affordances and the idea of action-oriented perception.
1) Philosophy and Museums: Ethics, Aestehtics and Ontology. Major Royal Institute of Philosophy conference and edited book collaboration with Victoria Harrison Gary Kemp of the University of Glasgow. Outcomes: Edited collection of original essays on Philosophy and Museums contracted with Cambridge University Press to appear in December 2015 (annual Philosophy supplement), including an authored chapter. Invited conference presentations at the Ashmolean Musem in Oxford and a workshop in collaboration with Moderna Museet in Stockholm.
2) Evaluative Perception. Major conference and edited book collaboration with Robert Cowan of the University of Glasgow. Outcome: Edited collection of original essays on Evaluative Perception contracted for publication with Oxford University Press (Occasional Series), including an authored chapter and co-authored Introduction chapter.
3) Aesthetics Anthology. Ediited interactive anthology book collaboration with Charles Taliaferro on aesthetics and philosophy of art aimed at academics and students of the subject. In preparation for submission to Oxford University Press USA.
4) Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and Medicine international network initiation with colleagues at Durham University, Tilburg University, University of Oslo, Diakonhjemmet University College Oslo, Uppsala University, Central European University and Sorbonne as external partners. Outcomes: inuagural programme initiation workshop at MMU 19 June 2014. One-year Wellcome Trust Ethics & Society Grant Award to run a series of workshops at MMU, Tilburg University and Diakonhjemmet/Oslo throughout 2015.
5) Moral Particularism and Values-based Practice. Values-based Theory network initiation and collaboration with K. M. W. Fulford contributing to the Collaborating Centre for Values-based Practice at St Catherine's College Oxford with colleagues across Europe and the North American contexts. Outcomes: inuagural Advanced Seminar and programme initiation at the Centre 12 October 2015, sponsored by a generous grant from the Society of Applied Philosophy. Follow-on workshop on values and health economics in collaboration with colleagues the University of Manchester at MMU 11 January 2016, and follow-on workshop on values-based practice at the Centre in Spring 2016 (date TBD)
A. Bergqvist (2010). Why Sibley is Not a Generalist After All. The British Journal of Aesthetics. 50(1), pp.1-14.
Invited keynote speaker and other invited conference presentations
· Ethics and Aesthetics Conference. Lingnan University, Hong Kong, 28-29 May 2015. Title ‘Thick Aesthetic Concepts and Reasons’.
· Royal Institute of Philosophy Workshop on Moral Perception. Cardiff University, 30 October 2014. Title: ‘Situated Evaluative Thought: Revisiting Iris Murdoch on Moral Perception’.
· British Society of Aesthetics Connection Conference on Realism and Anti-Realism in Metaethics and Aesthetics. University of Cambridge, 8-9 August 2014. Title: ‘Value, Perspective and Objectivity’. Harvard Conference on the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception: Ethics and Psychology, Harvard University, 19-20 April 2014. Comments on Paul Kastafanas, ‘Moral Perception’.
· Ethics, Museums and Archaeology Workshop, the Ashmolean Museum University of Oxford, 2-4April 2014. Title: ‘Value and Perspective in the New Museum’.
· Imperatival Aspects of Perception Conference, Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN), University of Oslo, 28-29h August 2013. Comments on Susanna Siegel, ‘Affordances and the Contents of Perception’.
· Philosophy in the North West Symposium, University of Manchester, 8July 2013. Title: ‘Moral Perception’.
· Moral Uncertainty Workshop, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, 6 April 2011. Title: ‘Uncertainty and Rational Regret’.
· Particularism in Context Conference, Sorbonne, France, May 2008. Title: ‘Particularism and Semantic Normativity’.
Regular colloquia invitations
· Centre for Aesthetics and Centre for Ethics and Metaethics Joint Research Seminar. University of Leeds, 19 November 2014. Title: ‘Value, Perspective and Objectivity’
· KCL Concepts of Health Seminar, King’s College London, 6 May 2014. Title: ‘Methodological Particularism and Evidence Based Medicine’.
· Humanities in Public Women in Philosophy Lecture Series, MMU, 10 February 2014. Title: ‘Moral Particularism: a Contribution to Feminist Theory’.
· Manchester Philosophy Research Seminar, University of Manchester, 13November 2013. Title: ‘Thick Concepts, Meaning and Evaluation’.
· Royal Institute of Philosophy Seminars, Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, 30th October 2013. Title: ‘Thick Concepts, Meaning and Evaluation’.
· Human Sciences Research Seminar, Manchester Metropolitan University, 24 October 2013. Title: ‘Affordances and Situated Representation’.
· Visiting Speaker Programme, University of Stirling, 18 April 2013. Title: ‘Situated Evaluative Thought’.
Selected peer-refereed presentations
· ‘Moral Perfection and Situated Evaluative Thought’. Prospects for an Ethics of Self-Cultivation Conference, University of Warwick, 25-27 September 2014; Revising the “Divide” Conference, University of Sussex, 20-21 September 2014.
· ‘Particularism and Person Centered Medicine’, WMU Fourth Annual Conference in Medical Humanities, Western Michigan University at Kalamazoo, USA, 18-19 September 2014;
· ‘Thick Concepts, Meaning and Evaluation’, Inaugural Normativity Conference, University of Kent, 22 March 2014.
· ‘Particularism and Linguistic Competence’. VAF III: Recent Trends in the Philosophy of Language Conference, Tilburg University, the Netherlands, (January 2009); 45th WCPA Western Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Meeting, University of Alberta at Edmonton, Canada, October 2008; Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association, University of Aberdeen, July 2008.
· ‘Sibley and Defeasibility: Holism about Reasons in Aesthetic Evaluations’. American Philosophical Association Annual Pacific Division Meeting, San Francisco, USA, April 2007; American Society of Aesthetics Annual Pacific Division Meeting, Asilomar, USA March 2007; 7th SIFA Conference, Milan, Italy, September 2006; British Society of Aesthetics Annual Conference, Oxford, September 2006.
· ‘Brandom and Dancy on the Normativity of Prima Facie Reasons’. ENFA-3 Conference, University of Lisbon (Faculty de Letras), Portugal, June 2006; III Meeting on Pragmatism: Inference, Agency and the Origins of Analytic Philosophy Conference, University of Granada, Spain, April 2006; Reading-Lund Conference, Lund University, Sweden, May 2006.
· Invited Panel Speaker, Manchester Debating Society, ‘Has science got the monopoly on truth?’, University of Manchester, 19 November 2015.
· Invited Speaker, Students for Sensible Drug Policy UK, ‘The ethics of drug use’, MMU, October 2015.
· Invited Battle of Ideas Panel Speaker, ‘Playing God? The ethics of biomedicine’. Manchester Science Festival. Venue: Cross Street Chapel Manchester, 27 October 2014.
· Discussant, IHSSR Humanities in Public Festival Feminism in the 21st Century: Privilege, Bias and Feminist Practice (together with Dr Ginette Garpenter, Caroline Bayliss-Green and Helen Malarky). Venue: Friends Meeting House Manchester, 5 March 2014.
· Humanities in Public Lecture on Women in Philosophy, 21 February 2014.
· Public lecturing for TRAUMA film group to run a film season on the cinematography of Terrence Malick. Three film screening sessions during January and February 2014. Venue: MMU Business School.
· Public Lecture, University of Glasgow. Title: ‘Moral Discernment’. Venue: University of Glasgow Debating Chamber, 18 January 2012.
· Outreach Philosophy Programme Developer and Course Designer. School of Continuing Education, University of Reading, 2008-2009; 2009-2010.
· Organiser, Workshop on Virtue Ethics and Health Economics, Manchester Metropolitan University, 11 January 2016.
· Organiser, Advance Studies Inaugural Workshop to launch the Values-based Practice Theory Network of St Catherine’s Collaborating Centre for Values-Based Practice. St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, 12 October 2015.
· Organiser, Particularism and Professional Ethics workshop, Diakonhjemmet University College Oslo, 14 September 2015.
· Organiser. Particularism and Bioethics workshop, Tilburg University, 6 June 2015.
· Organiser, Particularism and Personalised Medicine workshop. MMU, 6-7 January 2015.
· Organiser, Particularism in Bioethics and Professional Ethics Conference. MMU, 19 June 2014.
· Co-Organiser, Feminism in the 21st Century: Privilege, Bias and Feminist Practice workshop (together with Helen Malarky, Dr Ginette Carpenter and Caroline Bayliss-Green. Humanities in Public Festival, Friend’s Meeting House Manchester, 5 March 2014.
· Organiser, IHSSR Humanities in Public Lecture Series. Theme: Women in Philosophy. MMU, Spring Term 2014.
· Co-organiser, Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience conference on Evaluative Perception (with Dr Robert Cowan). Department of Philosophy, University of Glasgow, September 2013.
· Co-organiser, 2013 Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on Philosophy and Museums (with Dr Victoria Harrison and Dr Gary Kemp). Philosophy, School of Humanities, University of Glasgow, July 2013.
· Co-organiser, Think About Health conference workshop on Compassion and the NHS (with Dr Anne Raustol), Birmingham, 26-28 June 2013.
· Organiser, Practical Conflicts and Degrees of Moral Rightness conference. Stockholm University in association with the Swedish Research Council, 9 November 2011.
· Co-Organiser, Moral Uncertainty workshop. Karolinska Insitututed in association with Stockholm University in association with the Swedish Research Council, 6 April 2011.
a) Member of the AHRC Peer Review College, 1 October 2015-31 December 2018.
b) Journal Scholarly Article Referee:
- The British Journal of Aesthetics
- Journal of Applied Philosophy
- Journal of Moral Philosophy
- Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
- Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology
- Logique et Analyse
c) Conference Scholarly Article Referee
- American Philosophical Association
- American Society for Aesthetics
- Western Canadian Philosophical Society
- Philosophy and Museums Conference
- Evaluative Perception Conference
1. Society of Applied Philosophy Event Garnt. Project: Moral Particularism and Values-based Practice. Value: £1500 (September 2015).
Wellcome Trust Ethics & Society Small Grant Award. Project: Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and Medicine. Value: £4,854. (July 2014).
2. Society of Applied Philosophy Event Grant. Project: Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and Medicine. Value: £1,500. (June 2014).
3. Mind Association Minor Conference Grant. Project: Particularism in Bioethetics, Professional Ethics and Medicine. £420. (May 2014).
4. MMU Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences Research (IHSSR) ‘Future Networking Now’ Event Grant. Project: Particularism in Bioethics, Professional Ethics and Medicine. Value: £1500. (March 2014).
5. MMU Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Research (IHSSR) Special Award (to take up an invited Visiting Scholarship/Associate Researcher appointment at Harvard University during April 2014). Value: £3000. (February 2014).
6. ERASMUS Staff Mobility Grant to conduct a series of staff training, pedagogy and knowledge exchange activities in professional ethics in Oslo 10-14 April 2014.
7. Mind Association Major Conference Grant (with Dr Robert Cowan). Project: Evaluative Perception. Value: £2000. (November 2012).
8. Scots Philosophical Association Conference Support Grant (with Dr Victoria Harrison and Dr Gary Kemp). Project: Philosophy and Museums: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Ontology. Value: £2000. (November 2012).
9. Mind Association Minor Conference Grant (with Dr Victoria Harrison and Dr Gary Kemp). Project: Philosophy and Museums: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Ontology. Value: £600. (November 2012).
10. Aristotelian Society Conference Grant (with Dr Robert Cowan). Project: Evaluative Perception. Value: £1000. (October 2012).
11. British Society of Aesthetics Conference Grant. Project: Evaluative Perception. Value: £1000. (August 2012).
12. Scots Philosophical Association Conference Support Grant (with Dr Robert Cowan). Project: Evaluative Perception. Value: £3000. (July 2012).
13. 2013 Royal Institute of Philosophy Departmental Conference Grant (with Dr Victoria Harrison and Dr Gary Kemp). Project: Philosophy and Museums: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Ontology. Value: £5000. (July 2012)
14. Swedish Research Council Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Project: Partial Norms (joint investigator with main investigator Prof. Martin Peterson, Eindhoven University of Technology). Value: 1,350,000 SEK. (01/10/2010 – 31/12/2011).
15. Swedish Research Council Overseas Travel Stipend. Value: 30,000 SEK. (May 2011).
16. AHRC Doctoral Fees and Maintenance Award. 01/10/2005 – 30/09/2009.
17. Winner of the American Society of Aesthetics annual graduate essay prize 2007. Value: $500.
18. Winner of graduate student travel stipend from the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division), 2007. Value: $500.
19. Winner of Overseas Travel Grant from the University of Reading Research Travel Grant Subcommittee, 2008. Value: £800.
20. Winner of Subsidies from the Career Development Fund of the University of Reading Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, 2009 (Travel Grant x 1); 2008 (Travel Grant x 3); 2007 (Travel Grant x 2); 2006 (Travel Grant x 3).
21. AHRC Overseas conference grant, 2007. Value: £1000.
22. Winner of British Society of Aesthetics graduate student conference grant, 2006.
23. Nominated for the 2006-07 Students’ Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning Support, University of Reading.
24. Nominated for the 2008-09 Students’ Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning Support, University of Reading.
Curatorial exhibition catalogue text:
Outreach Philosophy Programme for the Worker’s Educational Association (South Division, Reading Branch):