•  77
    Selfless Receptivity: Attention as an Epistemic Virtue
    In Tamar Szabó Gendler, John Hawthorne & Julianne Chung (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology 7, Oxford University Press. pp. 1-14. 2022.
    A natural way to think of epistemic virtue is by analogy with an archer. Just as a skilled archer is able to take aim and hit a target, a skilled epistemic agent will aim at truth and, if things go well, get things right. Here we highlight aspects of epistemic virtue that do not fit this model, particularly ways in which epistemic virtues can be non-voluntary and not goal-directed. In doing so, we draw on two important figures in the history of philosophy: the 6th-century Indian Buddhist Buddhag…Read more
  •  30
    Responding to Myisha Cherry's The Case for Rage, I discuss how the book touches on the difficulties of disentangling emotions and their expressions. Then I suggest two ways in which destructive rage might be good, one on Kantian grounds and another via extension from experience. Finally, I raise the issue of whether there might be other Lordean emotions.
  •  97
    Seeing Clearly: A Buddhist Guide to Life
    Oxford University Press. 2020.
    Many of us, even on our happiest days, struggle to quiet the constant buzz of anxiety in the background of our minds. All kinds of worries--worries about losing people and things, worries about how we seem to others--keep us from peace of mind. Distracted or misled by our preoccupations, misconceptions, and, most of all, our obsession with ourselves, we don't see the world clearly--we don't see the world as it really is. In our search for happiness and the good life, this is the main problem. B…Read more
  •  134
    Modesty and Humility
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2018.
    This article discusses conceptions of modesty and humility and their key features. It gives a brief historical overview of debates about whether or not they’re really virtues at all. It also discusses theories of modesty and humility that root them in the presence or absence of particular beliefs, emotions, desires, and attention. it also discusses related phenomena in epistemology: rational limits on self-ascription of error, attitudes to disagreement, and openness to alternative views.
  •  372
    Bimal Krishna Matilal (1935-1991) was a Harvard-educated Indian philosopher best known for his contributions to logic, but who also wrote on wide variety of topics, including metaethics. Unfortunately, the latter contributions have been overlooked. Engaging with Anglo-American figures such as Gilbert Harman and Bernard Williams, Matilal defends a view he dubs ‘pluralism.’ In defending this view he draws on a wide range of classical Indian sources: the Bhagavad-Gītā, Buddhist thinkers like Nāgārj…Read more
  •  137
    Inner Virtue
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    What does it mean to be a morally good person? It can be tempting to think that it is simply a matter of performing certain actions and avoiding others. And yet there is much more to moral character than our outward actions. We expect a good person to not only behave in certain ways but also to experience the world in certain ways within.
  •  613
    Imaginative Moral Development
    Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (2): 251-262. 2017.
    The picture of moral development defended by followers of Aristotle takes moral cultivation to be like playing a harp; one gets to be good by actually spending time playing a real instrument. On this view, we cultivate a virtue by doing the actions associated with that virtue. I argue that this picture is inadequate and must be supplemented by imaginative techniques. One can, and sometimes must, cultivate virtue without actually performing the associated actions. Drawing on strands in Buddhist p…Read more
  •  470
    Private Solidarity
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2): 445-455. 2016.
    It’s natural to think of acts of solidarity as being public acts that aim at good outcomes, particularly at social change. I argue that not all acts of solidarity fit this mold - acts of what I call ‘private solidarity’ are not public and do not aim at producing social change. After describing paradigmatic cases of private solidarity, I defend an account of why such acts are themselves morally virtuous and what role they can have in moral development.
  •  201
    Virtuous and Vicious Anger
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (3): 1-28. 2017.
    I defend an account of when and why anger is morally virtuous or vicious. Anger often manifests what we care about; a sports fan gets angry when her favorite team loses because she cares about the team doing well. Anger, I argue, is made morally virtuous or vicious by the underlying care or concern. Anger is virtuous when it manifests moral concern and vicious when it manifests moral indifference or ill will. In defending this view, I reject two common views about anger and moral character. Firs…Read more
  •  61
    Review of Knowing Better (review)
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1): 199-202. 2017.
  •  126
    Bile & Bodhisattvas: Śāntideva on Justified Anger
    Journal of Buddhist Ethics 18 357-81. 2011.
    In his famous text the Bodhicaryāvatāra, the 8th century Buddhist philosopher Śāntideva argues that anger towards people who harm us is never justified. The usual reading of this argument rests on drawing similarities between harms caused by persons and those caused by non-persons. After laying out my own interpretation of Śāntideva's reasoning, I offer some objections to Śāntideva's claim about the similarity between animate and inanimate causes of harm inspired by contemporary philosophical li…Read more
  •  311
    Modesty as a Virtue of Attention
    Philosophical Review 122 (1): 93-117. 2013.
    The contemporary discussion of modesty has focused on whether or not modest people are accurate about their own good qualities. This essay argues that this way of framing the debate is unhelpful and offers examples to show that neither ignorance nor accuracy about the good qualities related to oneself is necessary for modesty. It then offers an attention-based account, claiming that what is necessary for modesty is to direct one’s attention in certain ways. By analyzing modesty in this way, we c…Read more
  •  17
    Tibetan Philosophy
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2010.
    A brief introduction to some of the major issues in Tibetan philosophy.
  •  38
    Review of Emotions in the Moral Life (review)
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (5): 780-783. 2014.
  •  189
    Patience and Perspective
    Philosophy East and West 64 (2): 269-286. 2014.
    I offer a Buddhist-inspired account of how patience can count as a moral virtue, arguing that virtuous patience involves having a perspective on the place of our own desires and values among others and a sense of their relative importance.
  •  1492
    The Khache Phalu: A Translation and Interpretation
    Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines 39 60-132. 2017.
    A translation and analysis of a short ethical treatise written in Tibet in the late 18th or early 19th century. The Khache Phalu includes references to both Buddhist and Islamic thought in providing ethical and spiritual advice. The analysis gives an overview of the secondary literature in both Tibetan and English that is accessible to non-specialists and defends the claim that many passages are deliberately ambiguous. The translation was done with Tenzin Norbu Nangsal and also includes the full…Read more