Full professor of philosophy at the Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). He studied at the University of Manchester, and has held teaching posts at the University of Bolton, the University of Salzburg, where he is Honorary Professor of Philosophy, and the University of Leeds. He has been President of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy and is current director of the Franz Brentano Foundation.
His research interests include metaphysics and ontology, the history of logic, the history of Central European Philosophy, particularly in Austria and Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the application of metaphysics to engineering and other non-philosophical disciplines. He is the author of two books and over 200 articles. He is currently working on a project supported by the British Academy to chart the metaphysics of quantity.