Fiona Macpherson is Head of Philosophy and Director of Research in Philosophy in the School of Humanities at the University of Glasgow, where she is also Director of the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience. She studied at the University of Glasgow, the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling. She has been a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University and a Rosamund Chambers Research Fellow at Girton College, Cambridge. Macpherson has held visiting positions at the Australian National University, Umeå University and the Institute of Philosophy, University of London. Between 2014 and 2018, she is a member of the governing council of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She is a trustee of the Kennedy Memorial Trust, having been appointed by the British prime minister for a five-year term from 1 October 2014. Macpherson is president of the Scots Philosophical Association.
Macpherson's research interests include the nature of consciousness, perception, introspection, imagination and the metaphysics of mind. Amongst her publications, she is the co-editor of Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge, published by Oxford University Press in 2008, and The Admissible Contents of Experience, published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2011, editor of The Senses: Classic and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives, published by Oxford University Press in 2011, and co-editor of Hallucination: Philosophy and Psychology, published by MIT Press in 2013. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4, discussing human senses and perception.
In relation to debates about the issue of all-male panels at academic conferences, Macpherson has warned against tokenism, noting that she had herself organised an all-male panel, when the prominent women she invited were unavailable. She stated that "I think that it is even all right to only invite men as speakers to some events, if that is appropriate because of research that you want to hear about and the theme of the conference".