Dr Jan Westerhoff, MPhil, MA, PhD (Cantab)
I have been a lecturer at Durham University since 2006, during which time I have also held a post at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London as a Research Associate. Before this, I have worked at both the City University of New York and also at the University of Oxford and Linacre College, Oxford.
I began my study of philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge, where I completed my B.A., MPhil and my first PhD on the notion of an ontological category. I then moved to the School of Oriental and African Studies where I completed my second PhD, this time on Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka.
I am currently working on a major ERC project called "Sastravid: A New Paradigm for the Study of Indian Philosophical Texts"
Recent Projects, Grants and Awards
- Sastravid: A New Paradigm for the Study of Indian Philosophy. Since October 2010 the Department of Philosophy at the University of Durham is hosting a four-year research project on Indian philosophical texts funded by the European Research Council. The aim of this project, led by Dr Jan Westerhoff, is to construct a new electronic framework for the encoding of Indian philosophical texts, together with a newly developed method of displaying and analyzing the texts' contents. Further details about the project are available here. Associated with the project are four positions, two researchers and two PhD students, to be appointed from 1st October 2011.
- (1999-2000) Fellow of the Cambridge European Society; James Webb Prize for the History of Ideas
My core research areas include:
- Metaphysics and Philosophy of Language
- Indo-Tibetan Philosophy: Madhyamaka
- History of Ideas: 16th and 17th Century
I welcome enquiries from students regarding PhD dissertations in any of my core research areas. Some suggested topics include
* The place of solipsism in philosophical thought
* Foundation and anti-foundation in metaphysics
* Are narrative accounts of the self inherently circular?
* Yogaacaara and Madhyamaka: Rivals or Allies?
* Time in Buddhist philosophy
* Desideri's Madhyamaka: Interaction between Jesuit scholasticism and dGe lugs Madhyamaka
- Mind, Language and Metaphysics
- Westerhoff, Jan (2010). The Dispeller of Disputes: Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Westerhoff, Jan (2010). Twelve Examples of Illusion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Westerhoff, Jan (2009). Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka: A Philosophical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Westerhoff, J. (2005). Ontological Categories. Their Nature and Significance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Jessica Frazier (2012). Ontological Categories and Madhyamaka. In Thinking Inside the Box. Categories in Indian Philosophical Thought. Ashgate.
- Dreyfus, Georges, Finnigan, Bronwyn, Garfield, Jay L., Newland, Guy Martin, Priest, Graham, Siderits, Mark, Tanaka, Koji, Thakchoe, Sonam, Tillemans,Tom & Westerhoff, Jan (2011). The merely conventional existence of the world. In Moonshadows. Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy. Garfield, J & Priest, G et al Oxford University Press. 189-212.
Journal papers: academic
- Westerhoff, JC (2012). 'Constructions all the way down'. Rivista di Estetica
- Westerhoff, J. (2006). Nagarjuna's catuskoti. Journal of Indian Philosophy 34(4): 367-395.
- Westerhoff, J. (2005). Logical Relations Between Pictures. Journal of Philosophy 102(12): 603-623.
- Westerhoff, J. (2003). Ars Characteristica Kantiana. Ludwig Benedict Trede's Forgotten Necessary Grammar. Kant-Studien 94(3): 333-351.