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.
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).