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)


University staff webpage



PhD in Philosophy, University of Sheffield, July 2002

PGCE Teaching Degree in Religious Education, Sheffield Hallam, Sheffield, 1997                                                             

BSc in Philosophy with Law, University of Hertfordshire, first class honours, 1995



Lectureship in Health Care Ethics, University of Liverpool, 2003 –­

Community Dementia Support Worker, NHS, Sheffield, July 2000 – December 2002

Part-time Philosophy Tutor, University of Sheffield, April 2002 – December 2002



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).



Journal Articles 

• 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


Book reviews

• 2002. Review of Fisher, P. 2002. The Vehement Passions. Princeton University Press. Metapsychology Online 


• 2001. Review of Byrne, P. 2001. Philosophical and Ethical Problems in Mental Handicap.  MacMillan Press. Philosophy, 76:171-174



• 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 Hill’s 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. Liverpool, 2010.

• Should doctors ever be required to change their attitudes? School of Population, Community and Behavioural Sciences. Liverpool, 2009

• Commentary on Christopher Bennett, ‘Self-defence and proportionate emotion’. Department of Philosophy, Sheffield, 2009

• Decision-making capacity and values. Department of Philosophy, Lancaster, 2009



• Conscientious objection in medicine and the law

• Freedom, values, and decisional capacity

• On Fear

• 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)



• 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 School of Population, Community and Behavioural Sciences Seminar Series, 2006-2007

• I have refereed for the following journals: Journal of Medical Ethics, Bioethics, and Grazer Philosophische Studien