Welcome to this website, which provides online access to many of my published and unpublished research papers.
My current and recent research, on ethics and markets, explores the ethical character of market institutions and of different kinds of capitalism. This follows on from previous work on market boundaries, which examined the proper limits of the market domain and the implications of this for the provision of cultural goods. Both of these connect loosely with some previous thinking about the relationship between socialism and liberalism.
My early research was mainly in the philosophy of science. This included a defence of scientific realism in the social and natural sciences, and an account of how the ideal of value-free social science is best understood and justified. I have also written about the conceptualisation of human bodies in social theory and philosophy, drawing on both phenomenological and psychoanalytic ideas.
A bit about me
I'm an Emeritus Professor in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, where I held the Chair of Political Theory from 1994 until I retired in 2006.
Before that, I'd worked for about 25 years in the Department of Philosophy at Lancaster University.
Over the years I've written (and taught) about quite a wide range of topics, engaging with and drawing upon several different disciplines, but in broad terms I think of myself as a social philosopher.
I'm also fond of walking, especially in the area around Fionnloch in the north-west highlands of Scotland - hence some of the photos used on this site...