Peter originally studied Mathematics at Oxford, but graduated in Philosophy and Theology before moving into postgraduate study in Philosophy (also at Oxford). After a brief spell lecturing in Philosophy of Religion at Glasgow, from 1985 until 2005 he lectured in Computer Science and Philosophy at Leeds University, where much of his work was devoted to building interdisciplinary links. In 2005 he became Gilbert Ryle Fellow at Hertford College, then Reader in Early Modern Philosophy in 2007, and Professor of Philosophy in 2010.
From 2006-07 until 2018-19, Peter gave the Lectures on General Philosophy (for all Philosophy degree programmes), and since 2012-13, he has lectured on Alan Turing on Computability and Intelligence (for Computer Science & Philosophy). He has also recently given several series of Lectures on David Hume. For Hertford College first year students, Peter normally tutors in General Philosophy and Turing; and for upper year students, he tutors in Early Modern Philosophy, Knowledge and Reality, Logic and Language, and Philosophy of Religion.
Before moving to Oxford in 2005, Peter spent 20 years lecturing in Computing and Philosophy at the University of Leeds, and soon after created the new Oxford degree programme in Computer Science and Philosophy. He now devotes considerable time to outreach, including the development of educational software to encourage students from all backgrounds to learn programming and take an interest in Philosophy (see www.philocomp.net and www.turtle.ox.ac.uk). For links to radio discussions, debates, and the Futuremakers podcast, see http://www.millican.org/media.htm.
Research interests and publications
Most of Peter’s research – including several edited books and over forty published papers – has focused on philosophical issues that arose in the early modern period, especially in connection with David Hume’s philosophical development and his discussions of induction, causation, free will, miracles, and scepticism. For most of these publications, see https://davidhume.org/scholarship/millican.