Annual Conference

BSHP Annual Lecture

The BSHP Annual Lecture features an accessible paper from a distinguished speaker in the history of philosophy. It is normally held in the autumn at a UK university. Attendance is free, and everyone is welcome.

BSHP Annual Lecture 2020

Prof. Jan Westerhoff

Prof. Jan Westerhoff, "For your eyes only: the Problem on Solipsism in Ancient Indian Philosophy"

The British Society of the History of Philosophy’s Annual Lecture 2020 will be given online by Jan Westerhoff, Fellow and Tutor in Theology and Religion at Lady Margaret Hall and Professor of Buddhist Philosophy at Oxford University. Dr. Jessica Frazier (Trinity College, Oxford) will join us for the discussion.

The event will take place on 4 November 2020, 5-7pm GMT. The audience may join the event online via Microsoft Teams. Please contact the society secretary Dr. Mogens Lærke for a link by emailing Enable JavaScript to view protected content.

Jan Westerhoff read Philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge and holds doctorates in Philosophy (Cambridge) and Oriental Studies (SOAS). Before coming to Oxford, he taught the Philosophy of Mathematics for the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford, and was a Reader in Philosophy at the University of Durham. Originally trained as a philosopher and orientialist, his research focuses on philosophical aspects of the religious traditions of ancient India. Much of his work concentrates on Buddhist thought (especially Madhyamaka) as preserved in Sanskrit and Tibetan sources, and he also has a lively interest in Classical Indian philosophy (particularly Nyāya). His research on Buddhist philosophy covers both theoretical (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language) and normative aspects (ethics); he is also interested in the investigation of Buddhist meditative practice from the perspective of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. Among other works, he is the author of Nāgārjuna's Madhyamaka. A Philosophical Introduction (Oxford UP, 2009), The Dispeller of Disputes. Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani (OUP, 2010), The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy (Oxford UP, 2018), and, most recently, The Non-Existence of the Real World (Oxford UP, 2020).

Past Annual Lectures

2019: Prof. MM McCabe, "Taking time to talk: Plato's Euthydemus on the metaphysics of conversation", University of Aberdeen


2018: Prof. Sarah Hutton, "Women, Philosophy, and the History of Philosophy", Maison Francaise d'Oxford


2017: Prof. John Cottingham, "Why the History of Philosophy Matters", King’s College London