Most of my philosophical work is based on the dialectical or deconstructive technique of taking a set of premises and pushing them to their limits so that they turn into the opposite of what they are trying to assert. I generally do this by building models of theories within a particular domain and then pushing them to the point at which they become monstrous and self-contradictory. This technique often uncovers the limits of our knowledge and I am particularly interested in deconstructive readings of scientific theories that show how little we know about the world.
An overview of this approach can be found in the introduction to my recent book What We Can Never Know, which applies this technique to contemporary theories about space, time, madness and knowledge. In other work, I have applied this methodology to philosophical ideas about the profundity of wisdom, utopia in America and alienation in the modern subject.
The key place that self-reflexivity plays in my work has had an important influence on my philosophical style. Although my texts' surface level explains the arguments as clearly as possible, I am often attempting to enact things with language that are complementary to what is being said. The problem with this approach is that people often get stuck at the surface level and I sometimes wonder whether it would be better to have a less digestible style that forces people to struggle with the content and potentially pay more attention to the many different levels of the text.
In my recent research on machine consciousness I used the relationship between the phenomenal and the physical to develop a systematic approach to the science of consciousness. I have also carried out innovative work on synthetic phenomenology and I am currently working on a book about human and machine consciousness.
An interest in the nature and purpose of philosophy led me collaborate with Havi Carel on the Philosophy As... conference at Senate House, London in November 2002, which brought established academics, graduate students and artists together to discuss the nature and purpose of philosophy. The success of this conference and follow-up workshops led us to co-edit a book based on this topic, titled What Philosophy Is.