Peter studied Mathematics and Philosophy at the University of Manchester, where he was supervised by Wolfe Mays. There he co-founded, with Kevin Mulligan and Barry Smith, the Seminar for Austro-German Philosophy (1975–85). After working briefly as a librarian he became Lecturer in Philosophy at Bolton Institute of Technology (now the University of Bolton). He then moved to Austria and lectured at the University of Salzburg from 1980-1995, gaining his Habilitation in 1986 and becoming an Austrian citizen in 1988. Visits to the University of California, Irvine and the University of Texas at Austin were interspersed with teaching in Neuchâtel, Geneva, Fribourg, Berne and Innsbruck. From 1995-2009 he was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Leeds. From 1989-2001 he worked as a consultant to the software company Ontek Corporation. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and in 2006 a Member of the Academia Europaea. From 2009 to 2016 he held the Chair of Moral Philosophy (1837) at Trinity College Dublin. He is married with two (very) independent children; his hobbies include walking, skiing, choral singing (currently with the Chichester Singers) and reading ridiculously thick and heavy history books.