Reader in Philosophy
King's College London
Amber D Carpenter
Professor of Philosophy
College of Charleston
University of British Columbia
University of New Mexico
University of New Mexico
Sherice Ngaserin Ng
University of Michigan
Lycée Militaire of Aix-en-Provence
University of Michigan
University College Utrecht
University of Reading
Dr Joachim Aufderheide teaches philosophy at King’s College, London. Most of his philosophical interests relate to The Good Life. Two questions in particular have held his attention: What role does pleasure play in a good life? And what contribution does theoretical philosophy make to a life lived well?
While he has addressed these questions by looking at ancient Greek texts (mostly Plato and Aristotle), he also likes tracing them through history of philosophy. Research on these topics inform his book, Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics X (2020).
Having discovered a deep liking for Indian philosophy more recently (while learning Sanskrit), Dr Aufderheide has started thinking more thoroughly about the role of the self in The Good Life, especially from a Buddhist perspective. Stressing connectedness and dependence, he finds Buddhist philosophy very helpful in teaching Environmental Ethics.
Associate Professor Amber Carpenter works in ancient Greek and classical Indian philosophy, with a topical focus on the metaphysics, epistemology and moral psychology underpinning Plato’s ethics and Indian Buddhist ethics.
While publishing on each philosophical tradition separately, she is keenly interested in the mutual illumination gained from bringing the thought of each to bear on the other. Thus her work increasingly brings Greek and Indian Buddhist philosophy together around particular topics—such as the ethics of atomism, for instance, the meaning and fittingness of blame, or the moral values implicit in substance metaphysics. She is interested in how exploration of these ancient ideas can expand and correct the parochialism inherent in contemporary views, and offer new angles for understanding our current situation and options, both in the logical space of philosophical inquiry and in the dynamic three-dimensional space of everyday life.
Christian Coseru works in the fields of philosophy of mind, phenomenology, and cross-cultural philosophy, especially Indian and Buddhist philosophy in dialogue with Western philosophy and cognitive science. Some of his most recent work focuses on theories of perception, first-person approaches to consciousness, and issues in moral psychology concerning empathy and evolution, and agency and moral responsibility. He is deeply committed to making philosophy more conceptually inclusive by incorporating resources of philosophical skill from other cultures.
He is the author of Perceiving Reality: Consciousness, Intentionality, and Cognition in Buddhist Philosophy, and is currently completing a book manuscript on the intersections between perceptual and affective consciousness, tentatively entitled Sense, Self-Awareness, and Sensibility, and a book on cross-cultural philosophy of mind, entitled Moments of Consciousness.
Associate Professor Michael Griffin has two broad lines of interest that bridge Platonist and Buddhist traditions. First, he hopes to come to a better understanding of their theories of mind through intertheoretical dialogue, attentive to psychological and phenomenal vocabulary. (How would an Abhidharma theorist interpret the manifestation of the ‘Form’ (eidos) in Diotima’s account of Beauty? How would Proclus translate and interpret Buddhist terms like samādhi or viññāṇa?) Second, he is interested in comparing the exegetical practices of ancient philosophical commentators, especially their evocation of consistent conceptual structures underlying fluid primary texts, and their use of these structures to organise a curriculum of study.
Assoc Prof Griffin’s projects to date study late ancient Platonist and Aristotelian philosophy. He is co-editor with Richard Sorabji of the Ancient Commentators project. His books focus on logical and ethical education in Mediterranean antiquity, including Aristotle’s Categories in the Early Roman Empire (2015) and Olympiodorus of Alexandria on Plato’s Alcibiades (2014, 2016). He is currently working on a monograph treatment of the Greek Platonist scales (bathmoi) of self-knowledge, virtue, and inspiration.
Dr Stephen Harris specialises in Comparative and Indian philosophy. His research focuses on Indian philosophical texts, in particular Buddhist moral philosophy, and their conceptual relationship to issues investigated in contemporary philosophy. His current interests include moral demandingness in the writing of the 8th century Indian Buddhist philosopher, Śāntideva, and cross-cultural study of well-being.
His other interests include comparative virtue theory, the role of suffering in ethical theory and the relation between personal identity and ethics. His research is also influenced by phenomenology, as well as ancient philosophy, including Chinese and Greek thought.
Pierre-Julien Harter is assistant professor of philosophy and The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Professor of Philosophy in Buddhist Studies at University of New Mexico. He specialises in Buddhist philosophy in India and Tibet. His research on the Buddhist concept of the path has nurtured his wide-ranging interests in different aspects of Buddhist thought, such as metaphysics and ontology, epistemology, and ethics. He works also on Indian philosophy more broadly, ancient Greek philosophy, and continental philosophy, framing his research in the larger context of philosophy by fostering conversations between different philosophical traditions and texts. His interest in the Platonic tradition dates from the time of his Parisian studies during which he wrote an MA thesis on Plotinus’ anagogia, which showed his early preoccupation with the concept of the path.
Professor Rachana Kamtekar studies ancient philosophy – primarily ethics, politics, and moral psychology – and has mostly written about Plato on these topics, but she also has substantial interests in Stoicism, especially Epictetus, and in contemporary moral psychology.
Her monograph, Plato's Moral Psychology: Intellectualism, the Divided Soul, and Desire for Good(2017), challenges a mainstream narrative according to which Socrates believes that we always do what we believe to be best, but Plato introduces good-independent motivations in order to accommodate phenomena like akratic action. She argues instead that Socrates AND Plato claim that we have a natural desire for good, that motivations conflicting with this desire are unwilling, and that Socrates “de-attributes” such conflicting motivations but Plato assigns them to non-rational parts of the soul, so that they still belong to the agent. These non-rational parts also aim at the good – in keeping with Plato's teleological psychology – but under a limited conception
Professor Paul Livingston works on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, phenomenology, and political philosophy, analytic and continental. He also has interests in the philosophy of science. He has published on Husserl, Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine, Sellars, Putnam, Heidegger, Derrida, Agamben, Badiou, and other twentieth-century and contemporary figures. He is strongly committed to the development of “pluralist” philosophy, i.e. philosophy located beyond the divide between the analytic and continental traditions.
Sherice completed her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at Yale-NUS College, Singapore, where she majored in Philosophy and minored in Global Antiquity (Sanskrit, Greek). She is interested in the intersection of metaphysics and ethics, and is concerned about the role of philosophical thinking in an ethical life. She is particularly interested in the views of ancient Greek (Plato) and Indian Buddhist philosophers on the matter, individually and in conversation with each other.
Dr Alexis Pinchard is a former fellow of the Ecole normale supérieure (Paris) and a former non-residential fellow of the Center for Hellenic Studies (Harvard University) in Washington, D.C., where he was pursuing research in Greek philosophy with special interest in Indo-Iranian comparative cosmology (2010-2011). In France, he is professeur agrégé of philosophy in the selective “Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles”.
His current teaching regularly deals with ancient philosophy, especially Plato, the Pre-Socratics and Aristotle, with a supplementary interest in continental metaphysics. Moreover, he has had opportunities to teach philosophy and ancient cultures at a variety of institutions in France and abroad (University of Leipzig, of Aix-Marseille, of Reims and of Tours).
Professor Sara Ahbel-Rappe teaches in the Department of Classical Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She works on Socrates, Plato and Neoplatonism. She is working on a Greek Commentary on Marcus Aurelius' Meditations; a study of Plato's Phaedrus and its reception in Late Antiquity, and a monograph entitled, Dialogues: Greek and Indian.
She is a long time Buddhist practitioner and has taken the lay precepts.
With a background in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Associate Professor Chiara Robbiano is now working on cross-cultural philosophy, especially Greek, Indian and Japanese philosophy, and East Asian studies. She is also involved in SoTL (scholarship of teaching and learning) and in projects promoting dialogue and reflection in the broader public, such as the TV series Food For Thought. Right now she is serving as secretary of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, and co-editing a volume on Key Concepts in World Philosophies, which will soon appear as a paperback for Bloomsbury Academic.
Studying philosophy has always been a way for her to cultivate intellectual humility, by probing under our unexamined everyday assumptions and exploring different frameworks, which facilitate self-reflection and re-assessment of one’s values. She believes we should always seek new texts, new frameworks, methods, projects and conversation partners, to engage together in epistemic friction and real dialogues across differences. Her interest in Greek and Indian philosophy has centred so far on Pre-Socratics and Advaita Vedanta. She is now thrilled to look closely at Plato and Buddhist philosophers, with the community of world-experts on both traditions created by Amber Carpenter.
Dr Shalini Sinha is a Lecturer in Non-Western Philosophy at the University of Reading, UK where she convenes a programme in Global Philosophy. She has previously taught at SOAS, University of London and the University of York, UK. Her research is primarily in Buddhist, Hindu and Jaina metaphysics and ethics. The cross-cultural focus of her teaching and research led to an interest in Buddhist and Platonic approaches to metaphysics and ethics. In particular, she is interested in knowledge and pleasure in Tantric Buddhism and Plato and its implications for engaged cross-cultural philosophy.