My areas of academic specialization are Indian/South Asian philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and ancient and modern skepticism (including skepticism in classical India). I am also interested in a wide variety of other areas including ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, early modern European philosophy, philosophy of religion, ethics, Chinese philosophy, Africana philosophy, and Mesoamerican philosophy. I also do work on the intersections of philosophy with science fiction and horror in literature and film.
I have published in journals including Philosophy East and West, Asian Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, Syndicate Philosophy, The International Journal for the Study of Skepticism, The International Journal of Hindu Studies, and The Journal of Philosophy and Science Fiction. I also have chapters in edited collections, including Ethics Without Self, Dharma Without Atman: Western and Buddhist Philosophical Traditions in Dialogue (edited by Gordon F. Davis) and The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedānta (edited by Ayon Maharaj). You can download some of my papers on my Academia.edu page. A full list of my scholarly publications and presentations is available on my CV.
My book, Three Pillars of Skepticism in Classical India: Nāgārjuna, Jayarāśi, and Śrī Harṣa, was published by Lexington Books in September 2018, with a paperback edition in 2020.
I also co-edited, with Matthew Dasti, a special issue on skepticism in Indian philosophy for the International Journal for the Study of Skepticism. I co-edited, with Prasanta Bandyopadhyay, an issue of the APA Newsletter on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies with the theme: "B. K. Matilal: The Past and Future of the Study of Indian Philosophy," which you can download here.
My next book project will explore the deep philosophical challenge of the epistemology of nondualism in the South Asian Buddhist philosophers Vasubandhu and Ratnakīrti.
I earned my PhD in philosophy from the University of New Mexico (2013) after earning an MA in philosophy from the University of Hawai'i and a BA in philosophy from Hamline University.
My dissertation, which you can find here, is entitled The Dependent Origination of Skepticism in Classical India: An Experiment in Cross-Cultural Philosophy.
Current Appointment and Service
I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where I am currently serving as the faculty advisor for the UTC Philosophy Club. I am also the Book Review Editor at The Indian Philosophy Blog, and from April 2016-July 2018 I served as a member of the APA Committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies. I served as the President of the Tennessee Philosophical Association from October 2019 until November 2021.
I am the current President of the Science Fiction and Philosophy Society, which had its inaugural meeting at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association on April 5, 2023!
I have taught a variety of courses including Buddhist Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Descartes to Kant, Ethical Theory, Reasoning and Critical Thinking, Science and Sense, Introduction to Philosophy Through Film, and Philosophy of Happiness.
Since coming to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I have taught courses such as Philosophies of India, Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy, Modern European Philosophy, Introduction to Asian Philosophy, Skepticism East and West, World Philosophy, Personal Identity in Buddhist, Western, and African Philosophy, Ancient Women Philosophers: India and Greece, Africana Philosophy, Mesoamerican Philosophy, Dune and Philosophy, Buddhist Nondualism, and Popular Culture, Religion, and Philosophy (versions of the latter have focused on topics including science fiction and horror and some versions of the course have included a student film-making project).
See my CV for a full list of courses I have taught.
Philosophy for a Popular Audience
In addition to my traditional academic work, I have published articles in Open Court's Philosophy and Popular Culture Series: Stephen Colbert and Philosophy (2009) and Philip K. Dick and Philosophy (2011). I have an article on Daoism in the work of Ursula K. Le Guin in The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy. I contributed a chapter to Blackwell's Dune and Philosophy: Minds, Monads, and Muad'Dib (2022). I also maintain a personal blog, Examined Worlds, where I write about my two favorite things: philosophy and science fiction. I also participate in my local science fiction conventions (such as Chattacon and Connooga), and I have presented on the academic track at the 2016 World Science Fiction Convention (aka, Worldcon) in Kansas City, MO and at the 2018 Worldcon in San José, CA.
When I'm not engaged in research, teaching, or writing, I enjoy reading (and occasionally writing) science fiction, horror, and fantasy, watching movies, trying to become a beer and whiskey connoisseur, going for walks, taking naps, hanging out with friends, and spending time with my spouse and my cats.