Research

Research Agenda

Philosophically, my main focus is communication. I am interested in how speakers 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, my main focus is Sanskritic Indian philosophy. Primarily my work centers on Mīmāṃsā, a brahminical tradition concerned with Vedic hermeneutics, although to some extent I also work on thinkers in Alaṃkāra-śāstra, or the study of poetic/aesthetics.

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, drawing on philosophical insight wherever it may be found.

Current Projects

Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy: Introducing Mukula’s ‘Fundamentals of the Communicative Function' (author, translator)

  • A translation, analytic commentary, and introductory essay focused on the Abhidhāvṛttimātṛkā as an entry-point into Indian linguistic analysis in grammar, philosophy, and poetics.
  • Under contract with Bloomsbury Academic Publishing. Anticipated publication date 2019.
    • Out for review.

Major Texts and Arguments on Reasoning in Indian Philosophy: A Guide to Arthāpatti (editor, contributor)

  • 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.
  • Under contract with Bloomsbury Academic Publishing. Anticipated publication date 2020.
    • Drafts in progress
    • Participant workshop scheduled for August 2018

Metaphor and Non-Ordinary Language in Mīmāṃsā

  • One goal is to understand Kumārila Bhaṭṭa's analysis of the levels of linguistic meaning and the interpretive processes involved in understanding "figurative" language in the Vedas as well as ordinary speech.
  • Another goal is to engage constructively with contemporary work in metaphor and the semantics-pragmatics boundary.
    • One paper has already been published: "Metonymy and Metaphor as Verbal Postulation: The Epistemic Status of Non-Literal Speech in Indian Philosophy'', Journal of World Philosophies, 2:1 (Summer 2017).
    • Others under way as drafts (and book manuscript).