Welcome to my personal website. Here is a little information about me. I was born and brought up in Barnet, a large and somewhat uninspiring suburb of North London of which I am nonetheless very fond. I lived through the era of punk rock, Thatcherism and the GLC, and seemed to spend a lot of time at free concerts in the Meanwhile Gardens.
After school, I went to study French and German at the University of St. Andrews, where I made some great friends, but where frankly I got a bit bored. Fortunately, I managed to spend a year at the F.U.Berlin, paid for by the D.A.A.D. (Thanks Adrian.)
I fell in love with that city, where I met a few wonderful people, started studying philosophy alongside German and Comparative Literature. By the time I went back to finish my degree in St. Andrews (with a short spell at Toulouse-le-Mirail) I had the bug. I went to do the M.A. in Continental Philosophy at the University of Essex, where I studied Hegel with Jay Bernstein, Kant with Onora O’Neill, and contemporary Continental philosophy with Peter Dews. I stayed on and wrote my Ph. D. there on Hegel’s Criticism of Kant. Afterwards, I held a post-doctoral fellowship in Berlin, where I attended Axel Honneth’s colloquium. Instead of writing my Ph.D. into a book, I studied ancient Greek at the Humboldt University. My first job was in Philosophy and the School of Politics Economics and Philosophy at the University of York, where I taught until 2004. I learnt a lot from my fantastic colleagues at York, Christian Piller, Joseph Melia, Tom Baldwin, Marie McGinn, Andrew Ward and Roger Woolhouse.
In 2004, I switched to University of Sussex, where I am now Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Convenor of the Social and Political Thought Programme, and Director of the Centre for Social and Political thought. I was an elected member of the Executive Committee of the British Philosophical Association, on the Programme Committee of the Forum for European Philosophy and from 2007-2011 was Chair of the Society for European Philosophy.
I believe in the benefits of a humanities education. I dislike the current banausic, narrowly economistic and anti-intellectual trend in Higher Education policy that is gradually succeeding in turning Universities from educational institutions and seats of learning into firms that sell education. I spend part of my time now fighting for the Humanities, in all kinds of different arenas, and writing about Higher Education policy. I have a tendency to parrhesia and seek admiration only from those whom I admire. I love books. I wish I had more time to read them. I like pens and stationery. I wish I spent more time writing with them. Computers make me anxious, although I seem to be addicted to them.
One day I’ll give up University teaching and work with my hands or take up any profession, save writing, where one has to use one’s brains all the time.