My research concerns pre- and post-humanist modes of thought, and pursues those philosophies and means of enquiry that resist anthropocentric appropriation. To date, my interests have manifested in three related domains:
(1) Animals. I am interested in the ambiguous roles that non-human animals have been required to play, frequently unacknowledged, in the texts of philosophy and critical theory. From Buridan's ass to Schopenhauer's porcupines, from Austin's pigs to Derrida's cat, we find a mischievous menagerie of animals pressed into service, or suppressed by the notion of an amorphous 'animality'. I have discussed medieval bestiaries and monstrous manuscripts which, prior to Enlightened times, were inhabited by instructive animals and fabulous races. I am especially interested in apes, ancient and modern, and have written on the taxonomy of the chimpanzee, to which genus Homo sapiens truly belongs.
(2) Anthropocentrism. I am interested in the variety of anthropocentric assumptions that permeate, but are rarely intrinsic to, a wide range of philosophies, from Kant's critical idealism to Moore's common sense realism, from Whorf's linguistic relativism to Heidegger's hyperhumanism. My work has traced the relations and disparities between a number of these anthropocentric starting-points and the philosophical systems into which they are imported. In so doing, I have drawn in particular on the affirmative perspectivism of Nietzsche, the therapeutic pragmatism of Wittgenstein, the historical methodology of Foucault, and the counter-teleological insights of evolutionary theory, old and new.
(3) Games. I am interested in the media ecology of digital games, which is to say their impact on, and integration into, the social, psychological, and cultural environment. Irrespective of the content or subject matter of individual games, the technologies on which they depend engender significant personal and perceptual changes. From Sid Meier's Civilization to the 'Smellovision' of Dog's Life, from dedicated consoles and computers to mobile phones and handheld devices, digital games require of their players new modes of engagement and participation. McLuhan's prescient, provocative probes into the operation and effects of new technologies have provided a fruitful means of investigation.