Philosophically, I am   concerned   with   the communicative  process. Specifically, I am interested in how it is that speakers can convey a range of things, in the status of those things as meanings—whether said, implied, suggested, etc.—and in how it is that hearers can come to understand what is said, implied, or suggested.

Historically, I am interested in Indian philosophical traditions writing in Sanskrit. My focus to date has been primarily Mīmāṃsā, a brahminical tradition concerned with Vedic hermeneutics. I am beginning to look at nāstika ("naysaying") interlocutors to this tradition, such as the Buddhist Yogācārin Vasubandhu.

Of course, the philosophical and the historical are not mutually exclusive categories. My aim is to do philosophy with Sanskrit interlocutors, and to approach contemporary philosophy with a sense of broad historical context.

Current Projects:
  • Understanding Indian Philosophy of Language: Introducing Mukula’s ‘Fundamentals of the Communicative Function'
    • A translation, analytic commentary, and introductory essay focused on the Abhidhāvṛttimātṛkā as an entry-point into Indian linguistic analysis in grammar, philosophy, and poetics.
  • Postulatory Reasoning in Indian Philosophy: Major Texts and Arguments on Arthāpatti
    • Translations of important primary texts, expository essays, and introductory essay focused on the controversial knowledge source arthāpatti (known as postulation, presumption, etc.), in Nyāya and Mīmāṃsā.
  • Articles on metaphor and figurative language in the Tantravārttika (article in Journal of World Philosophies, others in draft form)
    • Kumārilabhaṭṭa's analysis of the levels of linguistic meaning and the interpretive processes involved in understanding figurative language. Employing his comparison-based theory of metaphor as critical of a cognitive theory, I make analogical criticisms of Lakoff & Johnson's theory of metaphor.
  • Articles on ellipsis in Mīmāṃsā (one forthcoming in Journal of Indian Philosophy, others in draft form)
    • The resolution of different kinds of ellipsis and its epistemological basis in arthāpatti.
Past Work:
  • Mukulabhaṭṭa's Abhidhāvṛttimātṛkā and metonymical processes of interpretation (articles in JIP and HPQ)
    • Metonymical interpretation and its epistemological basis, the varieties of indication or secondary meaning adduced by Mukula which do the work of the putatively third meaning, dhvani, put forward by Ānandavardhana.
  • Embedded metaphors and what is said/meant (article in Journal of Pragmatics)
    • A theory of metaphor such as that of Lepore/Stone which does not constrain disquotational uses of metaphor is inadequate.

In the long range, I hope to extend my philosophical interlocutors historically beyond the Indian and Anglophone traditions. Through teaching at Yale-NUS College, I have become more familiar with early Confucian thinkers such as Xunzi, whose work I hope to explore, especially in connection with Indian thought about ritual, virtue, and epistemology.