Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
Areas of Interest
Asian Philosophy
  •  6
    “Friendship of Dharma” as Existential Communion between Enemies
    Journal of Japanese Philosophy 8 (1): 73-96. 2022.
    “Atsumori” is a Noh play composed by master playwright Zeami sometime before 1423, featuring characters from the Tales of the Heike. Although popular to this day, the philosophical significance of the play remains underdeveloped and underappreciated. Prima facie, it features a ghost who is liberated thanks to the sincere prayer of the priest who killed him. Simplistic reading would yield simplistic understanding of the characters and their dynamism, and would fail to appreciate, for instance, th…Read more
  •  52
    A Buddhist Theory of Persistence: Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla on Rebirth
    Journal of Indian Philosophy 47 (5): 979-1001. 2019.
    The so-called Buddhist momentarists, such as Dharmakīrti and his followers, defend the momentariness of all things. However, with equal force they also defend the persistence of all things, not just within a single lifetime but over an indefinite cycle of rebirth. Naturally, they have an interesting theory of persistence, according to which things persist without being self-identical over time. The theory is best presented in the Lokāyatāparīkṣā chapter of Śāntarakṣita’s Tattvasaṃgraha and Kamal…Read more
  •  32
    Tragic Beauty in Whitehead and Japanese Aesthetics by Steve Odin
    Philosophy East and West 68 (1): 1-7. 2017.
    In the preface to his new monograph, Tragic Beauty in Whitehead and Japanese Aesthetics, Steve Odin proposes to do two things: better understand Alfred N. Whitehead's "poetic vision of tragic beauty" through comparison with Japanese aesthetics, and thereby also suggest a "new religio-aesthetic vision of tragic beauty and its resolution in the supreme ecstasy of peace". He does more than that, though. Besides thoroughly discussing Whitehead's aesthetics throughout the latter's works, from An Enqu…Read more
  •  38
    The doctrine of radical impermanence expresses the temporal dimension of Buddhist metaphysics, especially in the philosophy of Dharmakīrti and his successors. Most straightforwardly, the doctrine says that everything that exists is momentary; we are not impermanent in the sense that we perish eventually, say when our brain ceases functioning, but rather we perish immediately upon conception. The person who begins to write this sentence and the person who completes it are, strictly speaking, diff…Read more
  •  29
    According to the Buddhist doctrine of Two Truths, there are no persons in our final ontology, but there are persons in our conventional ontology. What does it mean to say that persons exist conventionally? The Ābhidharmikas say that ultimately there are psychophysical tropes, called dharmas, certain collections or combinations of which are conventionally taken to be persons. We would then ask: what kind of reality is conventional reality, and what is the metaphysical relation between conventiona…Read more