I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at Texas Tech University and a Trustee of the American Society for Aesthetics (2017-2020). I specialize in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Most of my work has focused on a philosophical analysis of poetry.

My main research project at the moment is a monograph, entitled Beautiful Speech: The Nature, Origins, and Powers of Poetry (under contract with Oxford University Press). In Beautiful Speech I offer a comprehensive philosophical theory of poetry, drawing on philosophy of language, cognitive and evolutionary psychology, pragmatics and metrical phonology in linguistics, and work in disciplines such as classics, anthropology and archaeology on oral literary traditions ancient and contemporary. Beautiful Speech has been funded by fellowships from the Mellon and Woodrow Wilson Foundations and from the National Humanities Center.

Once Beautiful Speech is complete, I will be writing The Philosophy of Poetry and Literature for the Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy Series (under contract).

Other research:
2017-18 talks:
You may find my work in the philosophy of poetry, literature, and art in general in the following volumes (click on pictures for more information about the books; these and other articles available under the research tab above left):

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Literature       The Philosophy of PoetryEncyclopedia of AestheticsSuffering Art Gladly   
 The Bloomsbury Companion to Aesthetics   A Companion to Aesthetics, 2nd Edition (1405169222) cover image    Special Issue: Philosophy & Poetry (MSIP 33:1)

was awarded the 2016 American Society for Aesthetics Ted Cohen Prize for "The Spoken and the Written: An Ontology of Poems" (in The Philosophy of Poetry, edited by J. Gibson, Oxford University Press 2015). The prize is meant to "to recognize writing that is clear, graceful, and unencumbered by jargon or academic clichés. It should examine serious problems in aesthetics while also giving pleasure to the reader." Here are some reviews of the book that discuss my contribution: Estetika, BJA, JAAC.

In 2016, I was selected as the speaker sponsored by the American Society for Aesthetics to speak at the Rutgers Summer Institute for Diversity in Philosophy.

In 2014 I defended The Philosophical Importance of Aesthetics in my first contribution to the blogosphere. After a lively debate there, the discussion continued here. The post won the first Ornie Award for Outstanding Guest Post.

In 2012, Texas Tech selected me as one if its "Integrated Scholars" for excellence in teaching, research, and service. You can read and watch my interview here.

For further information, please click on my Curriculum vitae to the left or the tabs above left.

Page last updated on 29 May 2018.