Biography

I am Professor of Philosophy, and Head of the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies (SOPHIS) at Monash. I am also Chair of Council of the Australasian Association of Philosophy. I was elected Fellow of the Australian Academcy of Humanities in 2009.

I have a BSc./BA (Hons) from Melbourne, and a PhD from Princeton. My dissertation was on semantics for propositional attitude ascriptions (philosophy of language).  Some of my early publications were in the areas of philosophy of language and aesthetics. Most of my recent publications have been in philosophy of religion (though I have also published in metaphysics and philosophy of science).

I came to Monash in 1996 after a period as an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Philosophy Program in the Research School for Social Sciences (RSSS) at the Australian National University (ANU). I published a book on ontological arguments as an outcome of my ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship.

I am on the editorial boards of: Annales Philosophici, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, Philo, Philosophy Compass, Religious Studies and Sophia.

I have held a number of ARC Project Grants. In particular, I had a large grant for a project on the history of philosophy in Australia and New Zealand that has issued in: a companion to philosophy in Australia and New Zealand, a book of interviews with philosophers in Australia and New Zealand, a book of public lectures by philosophers in Australia and New Zealand, and a two-volume history of philosophy in Australia and New Zealand (all co-edited with Nick Trakakis).

Other large grants on which I have been a CI include a project on Bayesian statistical inference, a project on critical thinking pedagogy, and a project on neglected problems about time. The project on Bayesian statistical inference led to the publication of a major paper on MML (in the British Journal for Philosophy of Science); the project on critical thinking pedagogy led to various publications, and to the creation of an innovative creative thinking unit; the project on neglected problems in time will eventually yield a book (currently still in process).

I currently hold a large grant for a project on multi-faith dialogue, involving philosophers from a wide range of different religious traditions. This project will eventually lead to the publication of a five-volume work on inter-faith dialogue (edited with Nick Trakakis).

Apart from my book on ontological arguments, I have also written a book on arguments about the existence of God, a book on infinity, a short introduction to philosophy of religion, and (with Michael Scott) a textbook on philosophy of religion. I am contracted to write a book on naturalism and religion; and, for some years, I have been working on a book on divine attributes. With Nick Trakakis, I edited a five-volume History of Western Philosophy of Religion; and I am currently editing a handbook of contemporary philosophy of religion.

My major research interest has been in arguments about the existence of God. More generally, I have tackled a range of topics in philosophy of religion (including various questions about divine attributes, creationism, the epistemology of religious belief, and spirituality and healthcare). I have published most on: ontological arguments; cosmological arguments; Pascals’ wager; and arguments from evil.

Other topics on which I have published include: the two-envelope paradox; the Turing Test; future individuals; new atheism; slingshot arguments; pantheism; the definition of art; supervenience; eschatology; two-dimensional time; omnipotence; teleological arguments; gods; minimalism about truth; minimalism about truth-aptness; local realism; causal models; norms of assertion; and resemblance nominalism.

Qualifications

PHD Institution: Princeton University. Year awarded: 1990
MA Institution: Princeton University Year awarded: 1989
BSC/BA (HONS) Institution: University of Melbourne Year awarded: 1985

Career Summary:

  • 1990 Tutor, T&M
  • 1991-2 Lecturer, Wollongong
  • 1993-5 ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, RSSS
  • 1996-9 Senior Lecturer, Monash
  • 2000-4 Associate Professor, Monash
  • 2005- Professor, Monash.

Career Highlights:

  • Fulbright Graduate Award
  • Conference Organiser: AAP ’99
  • Head of School 2001-4
  • Associate Dean, Research 2004-
  • ARC Discovery Grants 1993, 2002, 2005
  • ARC Linkage Grant 2002.

Editorial Boards:

AJP, Philo, Sophia, Religious Studies, Philosophy Compass.