Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1987
His research and teaching interests include ethics and aesthetics, especially virtue ethics, environmental ethics, and the philosophy of film.
His scholarly work has appeared in a wide variety of professional journals, including: Journal of Philosophy, Ethics, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Hastings Center Report, History of European Ideas, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Journal of Political Philosophy.
He has one ongoing scholarly project (with Robert Shanklin) on the notion of shared aesthetic experience, and he is also at work on a book on the ethics of gardening with the title:
The Good Life and the Garden: An Ethical View of the Gardens of the Anthropecene.
The common ground for ethics and gardens remains uncultivated and yet this neglect is a serious problem for our sympathetic consideration of human beings and the planet they now dominate.
I focus on what I call “the gardens of the Anthropocene” which is construed very broadly to include soybean fields and timber plantations, backyard plots, national parks and much more. I try to discover and then organize the moral attitudes and practices that are most fitting for the vast variety of garden types that now grace the planet.
My questions include: In the 21st C. are there any moral norms that then govern “the garden” and guide the many and diverse practices of gardening? At this stage of human and planetary history--the Anthropocene--is the planet itself also reasonably seen as a kind of garden, and if so, what ethical practices might such a novel paradigm suggest and how might they deepen as well as challenge our present views of environmental ethics?