Malcolm Keating
Yale-NUS College
Humanities Division (Philosophy)
16 College Avenue West
#01-220 Singapore 138527
malcolm.keating [at] yale-nus [dot] edu [dot] sg

Areas of Specialization
Indian Philosophy, Philosophy of Language
In particular, Mīmāṃsā linguistic analysis and topics at the semantics/pragmatics boundary, such as metonymy, metaphor, and ellipsis.

Areas of Competence
Epistemology, Philosophy of Religion, Chinese Philosophy
In particular, the Indian epistemic tradition analyzing knowledge sources, or pramāṇa, Hinduism, and early Confucian and Daoist thought.

June 2015 - current: Assistant Professor, Yale-NUS College, Humanities Division (Philosophy)
January 2016 - current: Courtesy Joint Appointment to Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, National University of Singapore

May 2015: Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin
    Dissertation: "Speaking Indirectly: Theories of Non-Literal Meaning in Indian Philosophy"
    Committee: Stephen Phillips (chair), Ray Buchanan, Josh Dever, Hans Kamp, Lawrence McCrea
2006 M.A. Philosophy (summa cum laude) University of Missouri at St. Louis
2000 B.A. English, Spanish (with honors) Grove City College

"Thinking about Embedded Metaphors", Journal of Pragmatics. 88, pp.19-26.
"The Cow is to Be Tied Up: Sort-Shifting in Classical Indian Philosophy", History of Philosophy Quarterly. 30:4, pp.331-332.

"Mukulabhaṭṭa’s Defense of Lakṣaṇā: How We Use Words to Mean Something Else, but Not Everything Else", Journal of Indian Philosophy. 41:4, pp.439-461.

Encyclopedia Entries & Annotated Bibliographies
"The Literal/Non-Literal Distinction in Indian Philosophy," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (Winter 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). forthcoming URL = <>.

"Epistemology (Pramāṇas)" with Matthew R. Dasti, Oxford Bibliographies Online, Hinduism.

Book Reviews
Amber Carpenter’s Indian Buddhist Philosophy. Philosophy East & West. 65:4, October 2015.

Christopher G. Framarin's Desire and Motivation in Indian Philosophy, Routledge Hindu Studies, Journal of the American Oriental Society. 133:1, 2013. pp.160-62.

Invited Talks
“The Self is a Sky-Flower: Buddhists and Mimaṃsāon Non-Referring Terms.” International Seminar, The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata, India, January 2018
“Metaphor or Delusion? Kumārila Bhaṭṭa on the Status of Figurative Language.” Keynote, Quadrangle Graduate Conference in Asian Philosophy, National Chengchi University, Taipei, April 2017.
“Knowing What is Ellided.” Underwood International College at Yonsei University, Seoul, October 2016.

"Is Ellipsis Completion Knowledge? Putting Words in their Place through Postulation.'' Kyoto University Department of Philosophy, June 10 2016.

Conference Papers
“Kumārila Bhaṭṭa on the Metaphor of Self.” Yogācāra Studies Unit: Reading Vasubandhu’s Triṃśikā and Its Commentaries, American Academy of Religion, Boston,MA.

“Conventional Truth, Metaphor, and Meaning.” Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy Session, American Academy of Religion, Boston, MA.

"Is Ellipsis Completion Knowledge? Linguistic Interpretation in Classical Indian Philosophy.'' International Conference on Ethno-Epistemology, Kanazawa, Japan.

Putting Words in their Place: Elliptical Completion through Postulation.'' East-West Philosopher's Conference, University of Hawaii-Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii.
"Mantras, Meaning, and the Mahāvākya: Explorations in Mīmāṃsā Pragmatics." Annual Conference for the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, October 2015.
"From Talking about Particular Things to Reasoning about their General Names: The Realist-Nominalist Debate in Uddyotakara, Kumārila and Śāntarakṣita." Annual Conference for the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, June 2014.
"Against Inference: Ānandavardhana on the Status of Suggestive Language." New England Association for Asian Studies Conference, October 2013.
"How Can I Know What You Mean? Implication, Inference, and Dhvani." Annual Meeting for the Society of Ancient Greek Philosophy with the Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science, October 2012.

"Lakṣaṇā and Sort-Shifting in Mukula Bhaṭṭa's Abhidhāvṛttimātṛkā" Pacific APA, Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, April 2012.

Conference Participation
Eastern APA Committee Session: "Building Bridges in Indian Philosophy: Across Traditions and World-Views'", Panel Organizer and Chair. For the APA Committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies.

Selected Seminar Participation

2018. Book Manuscript Workshop, "Understanding Indian Philosophy of Language," with Lawrence McCrea, Parimal Patil, Anand Vaidya at Harvard University, South Asian Studies Department.

Workshop on Rasa theory with C. Rajendran (Retired Professor, Calicut University) at Manipal University, Centre for Religious Studies, Manipal, India.

2013. Readings in Paṇini’s Aṣṭadhyayi and Patañjali’s Mahabhaṣya with R.K. Sharma (Visiting Professor, South Asian Studies Department, Penn State University) at the Yoga Society of New York, Monroe, NY.

2012. Theories of Communication: International Summer School in Cognitive Sciences & Semantics sponsored by University of Latvia, Riga and McMaster University. Faculty: Elisabeth Camp, Ernie Lepore, Peter Ludlow, Dan Sperber, Matthew Stone, Deirdre Wilson.

2010. Words of Wisdom: Toward a Western Terminology for Buddhist Texts sponsored by Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley, at the Mangalam Research Center. Faculty: Carmen Dragonetti, Luis Gómez, Michael Hahn, Paul Harrison, Fernando Tola.

Grants and Awards
Teaching Innovation Grant, Yale-NUS College
Awarded a $3735 competitive grant to support a a Philosophy Major impact assessment via student survey methods.
Competitive Internal Grant, Yale-NUS College
Grant for tenure-track faculty first books to support a workshop hosted by the Harvard University, South Asian Studies department on Abhidhāvṛttamātṛka translation and philosophical commentary: Understanding Indian Philosophy of Language.
Competitive Internal Grant, Yale-NUS College
Awarded a two-year, $49,500 grant to support an edited volume of translations and essays on the topic of arthāpatti, an instrument of knowledge in classical Indian epistemology.
JY Pillay Fellowship, Yale-NUS College
Awarded a two-year, $20,000 fellowship as part of the J Y Pillay Global-Asia Programme at Yale- NUS, a programme which enables the design and development of innovative academic and student programs that integrate Western and Asian ideas and cultures.
Travel Grant, American Philosophical Association
Competitive grant to attend and participate in the Teaching and Learning Seminar for early career scholars at the American Association of Philosophy Teachers’ 20th Biennial International Workshop-Conference.
Continuing Fellowship, Graduate School, University of Texas at Austin
Two or three students per academic year are nominated by the department based on major accomplishments and a well-defined program of research.
Billy Bob Draeger Graduate Research Fellowship in the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin
Awarded from the College of Liberal Arts to humanities students based on academic merit.

Pedagogical training
Leadership Certificate in Inclusive Classrooms from UT Austin (Link to website)
Drawing from the literature which continues to show that a discriminatory climate negatively impacts students’ transition to college, sense of belonging at the institution and academic success, this leadership certificate seminar provides tangible elements of course design, planning, and processes considered with an inclusive lens.

Teaching and Learning Seminar: American Association of Philosophy Teachers’ 20th Biennial International Workshop-Conference (Link to website)
 Participants in the seminar studied how to identify and select challenging and transformative learning goals and, by understanding the principles of integrated course design, will examine how to guide students to the successful achievement of these goals.

Teaching Experience 
Assistant Professor, Yale-NUS College
  • Analogical Reasoning & Metaphor
  • Classical Indian Philosophy of Language
  • Doing Things with Words
  • Philosophy & Political Thought 1
  • Philosophy & Political Thought 2

Independent studies

  • Introduction to Analytic Philosophy of Language
  • Fiction and Fictionalism
  • Sanskrit Language
  • Vasubandhu's Triṃśikā or Thirty Verses (on Consciousness-Only)
Assistant Instructor, University of Texas at Austin
  • World Philosophy
  • Introduction to Philosophy   
Adjunct Instructor, Various
  • Moral Reasoning, St. Edward’s University (Austin, TX)
  • Online Introduction to Philosophy, City Colleges of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • Online Logic, Elgin Community College (Chicago, IL)
  • World Religions, Forest Park Community College (St. Louis, MO)
Teaching Assistant, University of Texas at Austin
  • History of Ancient Philosophy
  • Honors Knowledge & Valuation
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Introduction to Philosophy of the Arts
  • Philosophy of Knowledge
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • World Philosophy
Other Teaching Experience
  • Logic, Johns Hopkins University, CTY Summer Program (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Sanskrit Language Tutor, Private (Austin, TX)
Student Supervision
Helke, T. (Doctoral) Philosophy of Conditionals, 2016 - present, (Committee Co-Supervisor)

    Service to the profession
    Referee, Sophia
    External reviewer, Bloomsbury Academic Publishing
    Referee, Philosophy East & West, Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies
    Contributor, Indian Philosophy Blog, a scholarly group blog
    Referee, SAGAR: A South Asia Research Journal
    Referee, Journal of Comparative Philosophy, Erkenntnis

    Professional Membership
American Philosophical Association
American Association of Philosophy Teachers
Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy
American Academy of Religion

References Arranged Alphabetically
Professor, Department of Philosophy
University of Texas at Austin
dever at
phone: (512) 471-4857

Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy
Smith College
Visiting Professor of Buddhist Philosophy, Harvard Divinity School
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063
jgarfield at
phone: (413) 585-3649

Visiting Professor, Departments of Philosophy and Linguistics
University of Texas at Austin
Professor of Formal Logics and Philosophy of Language
Universität Stuttgart
hanskamp at 
phone: (512) 471-4880

Larry McCrea
Professor, Department of Asian Studies
Cornell University
ljm223 at
phone: (607) 254-6366

Professor, Departments of Philosophy and Asian Studies
University of Texas at Austin
phillips at
phone: (512) 471-5080