Jay L. Garfield
Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Buddhist Studies
Contact & Office Hours
Dewey Hall 101
Ph.D., M.A., University of Pittsburgh
A.B., Oberlin College
Jay L. Garfield chairs the Philosophy department and directs Smith’s logic and Buddhist studies programs and the Five College Tibetan Studies in India program. He is also visiting professor of Buddhist philosophy at Harvard Divinity School, professor of philosophy at Melbourne University and adjunct professor of philosophy at the Central University of Tibetan Studies.
Garfield’s research addresses topics in the foundations of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind; the history of Indian philosophy during the colonial period; topics in ethics, epistemology and the philosophy of logic; methodology in cross-cultural interpretation; and topics in Buddhist philosophy, particularly Indo-Tibetan Madhyamaka and Yogācāra.
Garfield’s most recent books are Minds Without Fear: Philosophy in the Indian Renaissance (with Nalini Bhushan, 2017), Dignāga’s Investigation of the Percept: A Philosophical Legacy in India and Tibet (with Douglas Duckworth, David Eckel, John Powers, Yeshes Thabkhas and Sonam Thakchöe, 2016) Engaging Buddhism: Why it Matters to Philosophy (2015), Moonpaths: Ethics and Emptiness (with the Cowherds, 2015) and (edited, with Jan Westerhoff), Madhyamaka and Yogācāra: Allies or Rivals? (2015).
He is currently working on a book with Yasuo Deguchi, Graham Priest and Robert Sharf, What Can’t Be Said: Paradox and Contradiction in East Asian Philosophy; a book on Hume’s Treatise, The Concealed Operations of Custom: Hume’s Treatise from the Inside Out; a large collaborative project on Geluk-Sakya epistemological debates in 15th- to 18th-century Tibet following on Taktshang Lotsawa’s 18 Great Contradictions in the Thought of Tsongkhapa and empirical research with another team on the impact of religious ideology on attitudes toward death.