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Copy of Directors

NEH Summer Institute: Christian Coseru, Jay Garfield, Evan Thompson

The Directors


Christian Coseru is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the College of Charleston, and Associate Faculty in the Asian Studies and Religious Studies Programs. His research focusses on philosophy of mind, phenomenology, and cross-cultural philosophy, especially Indian and Buddhist philosophy in dialogue with Western philosophy and cognitive science. He is also interested in issues in moral psychology concerning empathy and evolution, and agency and responsibility. Coseru is the author of Perceiving Reality: Consciousness, Intentionality, and Cognition in Buddhist Philosophy (OUP, 2012), and his work has appeared in Philosophy East and WestPhilosophical StudiesJournal of Consciousness StudiesAsian PhilosophyStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy, the The Routledge History of Indian Philosophy, the Blackwell Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, and the Routledge Handbook of Consciousness. He is currently writing an introduction to Buddhist philosophy of mind, titled Moments of Consciousness, for Oxford University Press, and also working on a book manuscript on the intersections between perceptual and affective consciousness, tentatively entitled Sense, Self-Awareness, and Sensibility.

Email: coseruc AT cofc DOT edu


Jay L. Garfield is Doris Silbert Professor of Philosophy at Smith College, visiting professor of Buddhist Philosophy at Harvard Divinity School, professor of philosophy at Melbourne University, and adjunct professor of philosophy at the Central University of Tibetan Studies. Garfield’s research addresses topics in the foundations of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind; the history of Indian philosophy during the colonial period; topics in ethics, epistemology and the philosophy of logic; methodology in cross-cultural interpretation; and topics in Buddhist philosophy, particularly Indo-Tibetan Madhyamaka and Yogācāra. Garfield’s most recent books are Minds Without Fear: Philosophy in the Indian Renaissance (with Nalini Bhushan, 2017), Dignāga’s Investigation of the Percept: A Philosophical Legacy in India and Tibet (with Douglas Duckworth, David Eckel, John Powers, Yeshes Thabkhas and Sonam Thakchöe, 2016) Engaging Buddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy (OUP, 2015), Moonpaths: Ethics and Emptiness(with the Cowherds, 2015) and (edited, with Jan Westerhoff), Madhyamaka and Yogācāra: Allies or Rivals? (OUP, 2015). He is currently working on a book with Yasuo Deguchi, Graham Priest and Robert Sharf, What Can’t Be Said: Paradox and Contradiction in East Asian Philosophy; a book on Hume’s TreatiseThe Concealed Operations of Custom: Hume’s Treatise from the Inside Out; a large collaborative project on Geluk-Sakya epistemological debates in 15th- to 18th-century Tibet following on Taktshang Lotsawa’s 18 Great Contradictions in the Thought of Tsongkhapa and empirical research with another team on the impact of religious ideology on attitudes toward death.

Email: jay DOT garfield AT gmail DOT com


Evan Thompson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia and an Associate Member of the Department of Asian Studies and the Department of Psychology. He was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto from 2005 to 2013, and held a Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Science and the Embodied Mind at York University from 2002 to 2005. In 2014, he was the Numata Invited Visiting Professor at the Center for Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has also held invited visiting appointments at the Faculty of Philosophy, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, the Ecole Polytechnique (Paris), the Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen, and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He works on the nature of the mind, the self, and human experience. His work combines cognitive science, philosophy of mind, phenomenology, and cross-cultural philosophy, especially Asian philosophical traditions. He is the author of Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy (Columbia University Press, 2015); Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind (Harvard University Press, 2007); and Colour Vision: A Study in Cognitive Science and the Philosophy of Perception (Routledge Press, 1995). He is the co-author, with Francisco J. Varela and Eleanor Rosch, of The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (MIT Press, 1991, revised edition 2016).

Email: evan DOT thompson AT ubc DOT ca