Jay L. Garfield

Jay L. Garfield

Visiting Professor of Buddhist Philosophy


Jay L. Garfield is visiting professor of Buddhist philosophy at Harvard Divinity School. He also chairs the Philosophy department and directs the Tibetan Studies in India program at Smith College, and is professor of philosophy at Melbourne University and adjunct professor of philosophy at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. AcademicInfluence.com has identified him as one of the 50 most influential philosophers in the world over the past decade.

Garfield’s research addresses topics in Buddhist philosophy, particularly Indo-Tibetan Madhyamaka and Yogācāra and methodology in cross-cultural interpretation. He also works on modern Indian philosophy, the philosophy of the Scottish enlightenment and topics in the foundations of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, topics in ethics, epistemology and the philosophy of logic.

Garfield’s most recent books are Knowing Illusion: Bringing a Tibetan Debate into Contemporary Discourse (with the Yakherds 2021, Buddhist Ethics: A Philosophical Exploration (2021), ̛What Can’t Be Said: Paradox and Contradiction in East Asian Thought (with Yasuo Deguchi, Graham Priest, and Robert Sharf 2021), The Concealed Influence of Custom: Hume’s Treatise from the Inside Out (OUP 2019), Minds Without Fear: Philosophy in the Indian Renaissance (with Nalini Bhushan, 2017), Dignāga’s Investigation of the Percept: A Philosophical Legacy in India and Tibet (with Douglas Duckworth, David Eckel, John Powers, Yeshes Thabkhas and Sonam Thakchöe, 2016) Engaging Buddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy (2015), Moonpaths: Ethics and Emptiness (with the Cowherds, 2015) and (edited, with Jan Westerhoff), Madhyamaka and Yogācāra: Allies or Rivals? (2015).

He is currently working on a book on selves and persons, Losing Yourself; How to be a Person Without as Self, to be published in 2022, a book to be called Nature and Norms, presenting a Humean account of the sources of normativity, a book with Nalini Bhushan on the Krishnachandra Bhattacharyya’s Subject as Freedom, and, with Tashi Tsering, Sonam Thakchöe, and Jan Westerhoff, a commentary on Candrakīrti’s Introduction to the Middle Way.

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