I'm a philosopher and writer. I'm the author and editor of ten books, most published internationally in English and translation. I've written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines, including The Age, The Australian, The Guardian, the ABC and BBC. I speak regularly on ABC radio.

In 2013 I was awarded the AAP's Media Prize for my work in public philosophy.

I'm an Associate in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, and Founding Faculty at the School of Life, Melbourne.

I live in Melbourne's eastern suburbs with my wife, sociologist and writer Ruth Quibell, and our son and daughter.

More information on my books, journalism, media and academic background is below.


My new book is The Art of Reading (MUP), which is out now in Australia. The Australian described it as "an ethics of attention towards the written word.... [A]n eminently readable, rousing and hugely intelligent account." It's available now in the UK (Scribe), in a signed and numbered edition. On general release in August. It's also out in Dutch, with Ten Have. More foreign editions, in English and translation, are on their way.

My last book was Voltaire's Vine and Other Philosophies, published by Rider, an imprint of Random House UK. The Daily Telegraph praised its "tremendous vistas of thought", while the Spectator called it "sprightly and stimulating". Voltaire's Vine is published in translation in Holland and Belgium (Ten Have), Turkey (Can) and Italy (Iacobelli Editiones). More editions coming. This was first published as Philosophy in the Garden (MUP), and described by The Australian as "fluent and stylish and never marred by cliches or cliched thinking."

I'm also the author of How to Think About Exercise, which was published in the United States by Picador in January 2015. It was released earlier by Pan Macmillan in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, India, Singapore and other Commonwealth countries. It's also out  in Dutch in the Netherlands and Belgium, with Ten Have.

My first book was Distraction, published in Australia, the US and UK. The UK's Financial Times called it "lucid and optimistic". It's also published in Netherlands by Ten Have, and in Spanish by Editiones B.

I'm the editor, with Graham Priest, of Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness. A scholarly collection on the same topic, Philosophy and the Martial Arts, is now out with Routledge internationally.

Fiction and Poetry

My fourth picture book for children is My Brother is a Beast. The first, My Nanna is a Ninja, was published in 2014, and reprinted several times. My next was My Pop is a Pirate then My Sister is a Superhero. All four are illustrated by Peter Carnavas.

I've also published short fiction and poetry in literary magazines.

Opinion, Features and Reviews

I've published opinion, features and reviews for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Guardian,  The Australian Literary Review and BBC. I've been a regular columnist for the ABC and Canberra Times. My work is published in The Best Australian Science Writing 2013.

Radio and Television

I regularly comment on radio, including a monthly spot as a 'Modern Dilemmas' panelist on Radio National's 'Life Matters'.  I was a regular guest on 'Mornings' with Alan Brough on ABC 774, 'philosopher-in-residence' on 'Afternoons' with James Valentine on ABC Sydney 702, and 'sports philosopher' with Francis Leach on SEN 1116.  I've also spoken on television: ABC's 'The Drum' and 'Hack' and Channel 7's 'Sunrise'.

Academic Background

I have a PhD in Philosophy, after a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Literature. I am an Associate in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, where I was a Research Fellow in Aesthetics from 2005-2007.  I've published in various scholarly journals, including Philosophy Today and Philosophy East and West.