Work Address: University of Liverpool, Department of Health Sciences Research, Room B105, 1st Floor Block B Waterhouse Buildings, 1-5 Brownlow Street, Liverpool L69 3GL
Telephone: +44 (0)151 7955305 (Work)
PGCE Teaching Degree in
Religious Education, Sheffield Hallam,
BSc in Philosophy with
in Health Care Ethics,
Community Dementia Support
I am lead for the teaching of medical ethics on the Liverpool MBChB course. I deliver lectures centrally relevant to clinical practice, run Special Study Modules, and have substantial involvement in the assessment of medical ethics and professionalism. I also teach on the Postgraduate Course in Healthcare Ethics, including a module on psychiatry and ethics.
My research interests include, medical ethics and professionalism (including, the regulation of attitudes, apologies and conscientious objections in medical practice), philosophy of mind (including, theories of emotion, and phenomenological approaches to understanding mind), and philosophy of health (including, theories of health, disorder, and decisional capacity).
2012. Are emotions perceptual experiences of value? Ratio. Forthcoming.
2011. Abortion and referral: why the law does not need changing. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. Forthcoming
2010. Serious professional misconduct and the need for an apology. Clinical Ethics. In Press.
2010. The feeling theory of emotion and the object-directed emotions. European Journal of Philosophy. In Press.
2009. Does decision-making capacity require the absence of pathological values? Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, 16: 341-344
2009. Should doctors ever be professionally required to change their attitudes? Clinical Ethics, 4: 67-73
2007. Inappropriate attitudes, fitness to practice, and the challenges facing medical educators. Journal of Medical Ethics, 33: 667-670
2006. Some more reflections on emotions, thoughts, and therapy. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 13: 255-257
2006. Why treating problems in emotion may not require altering eliciting cognitions. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 13: 237-246
2006. Standing up for an affective account of emotion. Philosophical Explorations, 9: 261-276
2004. Emotional disorder. Ratio, 17: 90-103
2002. Review of Fisher, P. 2002. The Vehement Passions.
2001. Review of Byrne, P. 2001. Philosophical and Ethical Problems in Mental Handicap. MacMillan Press. Philosophy, 76:171-174
PRECIS OF ARTICLES IN PRESS / FORTHCOMING
Are emotions perceptual experiences of value? (6300 words)
Some emotion theorists hold that emotions are perceptions of value. In this paper I say why they are wrong. I claim that in the case of emotion there is nothing that can provide the perceptual modality that is needed if the perceptual theory is to succeed. I argue that the five sensory modalities are not possible candidates for providing us with emotional perception. But I also say why the usual candidate offered namely feeling or affectivity does not give us the sought-after perceptual modality. I conclude that as there seems to be nothing else that can provide the needed perceptual modality we have excellent reason to hold that emotions are not perceptual experiences of value.
The feeling theory of emotion and the object-directed emotions. (12600 words)
An objection commonly made to feeling theories of emotion has it that emotions cannot be feelings, as emotions have intentional objects. Jack does not just feel fear, but he feels fear-of-something. To explain this property of emotion we will have to assign to emotion a representational structure, and feelings do not have the sought after representational structure. In this paper I argue that emotions do not possess an intentional structure (even though we might sometimes speak as if they do), and that the so-called object-directed emotions are really compound mental states comprising (non-intentional) emotions and bona fide representational mental states.
Serious professional misconduct and the need for an apology (5500 words)
In this paper I argue that doctors found guilty of serious professional misconduct should be required to apologise as a condition of their registration. I argue that such a requirement is to be justified on the basis of the need to protect patients, maintain public confidence in the profession, and declare and uphold proper standards of conduct.
Abortion and referral: why the law does not need changing (3000 words)
In an article published recently Daniel Hill argues that it is unacceptable that British law allows doctors to refuse to terminate non-emergency pregnancies but not to refuse to refer given that many doctors who are opposed to non-emergency abortion will be opposed also to any action that aids non-emergency abortion, including the action of referral. In this reply, I argue that Hills argument fails to describe properly the correct function of the law, which has never been about ensuring people can exercise moral consistency in their behaviours.
Responses to my work
2009. Tan, J, Stewart, A, and Hope T. Decision-making as a broader concept. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, 16: 345-349
2009. Thornton, T. Demian Whiting on pathological values. In the Space of Reasons
2006. Pugmire, D. Taming the beast within. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 13: 251-253
2006. Harland, R. Why the phenomenology remains foundational. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, 13: 247-249
On Fear. Department of Philosophy.
Should doctors ever be required to change their attitudes?
Commentary on Christopher Bennett, Self-defence and proportionate emotion.
Department of Philosophy,
Decision-making capacity and values. Department of Philosophy,
PAPERS IN PREPARATION
Conscientious objection in medicine and the law
Freedom, values, and decisional capacity
Understanding mind: why we have to attend to the phenomenology
Emotion and moral judgment
Is the use of aversive emotion in public health advertising ethically permissible? (Co-authored with Stephen Brown)
OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Member of the University Physical Intervention Research Ethics Committee
Chair and founding member of the University Medical Student Support Think Tank
Subject editor for PhilPapers, a directory of online philosophy articles
Personal Tutor for 15 undergraduate medical students
Organiser of the
I have refereed for the following journals: Journal of Medical Ethics, Bioethics, and Grazer Philosophische Studien