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. My work centers on Mīmāṃsā philosophers, who are part of a brahminical tradition also known as the science of sentences (vākya-śāstra), although to some extent I also work on thinkers in the science of poetics/aesthetics (alaṃkāra-śāstra).

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

Controversial Reasoning in Indian Philosophy: Major Texts and Arguments on Arthâpatti (editor, contributor)

  • Philosophical essays, translations of important primary texts, and substantial introductory essay focused on epistemology and logic in Nyāya and Mīmāṃsā. Focus is the means of knowledge known as arthâpatti (known as postulation, presumption, etc.).
  • Under contract with Bloomsbury Academic Publishing. Anticipated publication date 2020.

Metaphor and Analogy in Mīmāṃsā

  • Exploration of the work of the important early thinker Kumārila Bhaṭṭa. Focus is his analysis of linguistic meaning and the interpretive processes involved in understanding "figurative" language in the Vedas as well as ordinary speech.
  • Goal is to engage constructively with contemporary work in metaphor, analogy, and the semantics-pragmatics boundary in the course of understanding Kumārila's work in its original context.
    • "Metonymy and Metaphor as Verbal Postulation: The Epistemic Status of Non-Literal Speech in Indian Philosophy," Journal of World Philosophies, 2:1 (Summer 2017).
    • "Metaphor or Delusion? A Mīmāṃsaka's Response to Conceptual Metaphor Theory." Philosophy East and West. (2019): doi: 10.1353/pew.0.0172
    • Book manuscript in progress, supported by NEH Summer Stipend (2019).

Past Projects

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

  • A monograph which takes the Fundamentals of the Communicative Function (Abhidhāvṛttamātṛkā) as an entry-point into Indian linguistic analysis in grammar, philosophy, and poetics.
  • Bloomsbury Academic Publishing, May 2019.