•  323
    Concepts, Intension, and Identity in Tibetan Philosophy of Language
    Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 29 (2): 383-400. 2006.
    This article examines one highly localized set of developments to the Buddhist doctrine of word meaning that was made by twelfth and thirteenth century Tibetan Buddhist epistemologists primarily schooled at gSaṅ phu Monastery in central Tibet. I will show how these thinkers developed the notion of a concept (don spyi) in order to explain how it is that words are capable of applying to real objects, and how concepts can be used to capture elements of word meaning extending beyond reference to rea…Read more
  •  196
    Phywa pa's Argumentative Analogy Between Factive Assessment (yid dpyod) and Conceptual Thought (rtog pa)
    Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 32 369-386. 2009.
    This paper delves into one particular topic within this Buddhist theory of cognition. I examine a single argument by Phywa pa Chos kyi seṅ ge (1109–1169) contained within his famous epistemology text, the Tshad ma yid kyi mun sel, drawing out the philosophical implications that this argument has on his theory of cognition and his account of ontological dependence. I make the case that Phywa pa’s argument fails to explain adequately the nature of the relation between certain cognitive episodes an…Read more
  •  119
    Buddhist Epistemology: The Study of Pramana
    Religion Compass 3 (4): 537-548. 2009.
    Epistemology – the study of the nature and scope of knowledge – has been an integral topic in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist scholastic communities for the past 1500 years. This article provides an overview of the Buddhist epistemological tradition, emphasizing the central role that the concept of pramana plays in Indian theories of knowledge. After elucidating the two pramanas accepted by the Buddhist epistemological tradition, the article concludes by discussing the relationship between Buddhist …Read more
  •  75
    Gettier and factivity in indo‐tibetan epistemology
    Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228): 394-415. 2007.
    The similarities between contemporary externalist theories of knowledge and classical Indian and Tibetan theories of knowledge are striking. Drawing on comparisons with Timothy Williamson's recent work, I address related topics in Indo‐Tibetan epistemology and show that correct analysis of these issues requires externalist theories of mind and knowledge. The topics addressed range from a discussion of possible Gettier cases in the Tibetan philosophical tradition to an assessment of arguments for…Read more
  •  46
    The Ethics (and Economics) of Tibetan Polyandry
    Journal of Buddhist Ethics 21 601-622. 2014.
    Fraternal polyandry—one woman simultaneously being married to two or more brothers—has been a prominent practice within Tibetan agricultural societies for many generations. While the topic of Tibetan polyandry has been widely discussed in the field of anthropology, there are, to my knowledge, no contributions by philosophers on this topic. For this reason alone, my brief analysis of the ethics of Tibetan polyandry will serve to enhance scholars’ understanding of this practice. In this article I …Read more
  •  37
    Sakya pandita and the status of concepts
    Philosophy East and West 56 (4): 567-582. 2006.
    : The thirteenth-century Tibetan thinker Sakya Pandita was a diehard supporter of nominalism with respect to abstract entities. Here, two arguments given by Sakya Pandita against the robust existence of concepts (don spyi) are analyzed and elucidated. The first argument is rooted in the Buddhist idea that conceptual thought is unsound, whereas the second argument arises from considerations of intersubjectivity and verification. By presenting these arguments we gain both a fuller picture of the c…Read more