Jonardon Ganeri

Jonardon Ganeri


Bimal K. Matilal Distinguished Professor of Philosophy


St. George,


  • M.Math, University of Cambridge
  • M.Phil (Philosophy), Oxford University
  • D.Phil, Oxford University

Jonardon Ganeri is a philosopher whose work draws on a variety of philosophical traditions to construct new positions in the philosophy of mind, metaphysics and epistemology. He advocates an expanded role for cross-cultural methodologies in philosophical research, together with enhanced cultural diversity in the philosophical curriculum. His research interests are in consciousness, self, attention, the epistemology of inquiry, the idea of philosophy as a practice and its relationship with literature. He works too on the history of ideas in early modern South Asia, intellectual affinities between India and Greece, and Buddhist philosophy of mind.

Jonardon has published nine research monographs and over eighty research papers. He has written two introductory guides to philosophy in the South Asian tradition: Philosophy in Classical India: The Proper Work of Reason; and, with Peter Adamson, Classical Indian Philosophy, the fifth volume to emerge from the well-known History of Philosophy without any Gaps podcast series. He is the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy.

Jonardon’s current projects include a study of the philosophy of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, and a short book on the concept of subjectivity or inwardness, drawing on film, fiction, and philosophy. He is the project leader for the NYU-based project Virtues of Attention, and a member of YHouse NYC.

Jonardon joined the Fellowship of the British Academy in 2015, and won the Infosys Prize in the Humanities the same year, the only philosopher to do so.

For more information, please see Jonardon’s personal website.

Research Interests:

Indian Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Fernando Pessoa



Current Science 10.3.2016

What Would Kṛṣṇa Do?New York Times 3.7.2014

3:AM Magazine 12.7.2012



Virtual Subjects, Fugitive Selves: Fernando Pessoa and His Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).

Inwardness: An Outsiders’ Guide (New York: Columbia University Press, 2021). In the series No Limits: Philosophy Beyond Boundaries, edited by Costica Bradatan. A global exploration of notions of inwardness and interiority.

Classical Indian Philosophy. A history of philosophy without any gaps, volume 5 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020). Co-authored with Peter Adamson, based on scripts for the History of Philosophy without any Gaps podcast (here).

Attention, Not Self (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). Draws on the 4th c. Buddhist writings of Buddhaghosa to develop a new theory of mind. Paperback: 2020.

Identity as Reasoned Choice: The Reach and Resources of Public and Practical Reason (London: Bloomsbury, 2014).

The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, & the First Person Stance (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2012). Paperback 2015. Shortlisted for Metaphysical Society of America Annual Book Award 2015.

The Lost Age of Reason: Philosophy in Early Modern India, 1450–1700  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Inaugural Volume of the Oxford History of Philosophy Series. Paperback 2014. Winner of the ICAS Specialist Book Accolade 2013. NRC Book of the Year 2011.

The Concealed Art of the Soul: Theories of Self and Practices of Truth in Indian Ethics and Epistemology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). Paperback 2012.

Artha: Testimony and the Theory of Meaning in Indian Philosophical Analysis  (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006). Paperback, 2011; Oxford Scholarship Online 2013.

Philosophy in Classical India: The Proper Work of Reason (London: Routledge Press, 2001). South Asia edition (New Delhi: Motilal Bansidass, 2010).

Semantic Powers: Testimony and the Theory of Meaning  (Oxford: Clarendon Monographs Series 1999).



[45] “The global philosopher as interjacent intellectual,” in “Steps towards a global thought: thinking from elsewhere,” a special issue of Theory, Culture, and Society edited by Veena Das, Sudipta Kaviraja and Bhrigupati Singh (2021).

[44] “A story about personal identity from the Mahāprajñāramitāśāstra/ Di Zhidu Lun,” British Journal of the History of Philosophy (2021), with Jing Huang.

[43] “Selfless receptivity: Attention as an epistemic virtue,” Oxford Studies in Epistemology 7 (2021), with Nicolas Bommarito.

[42] “Précis” and “Replies,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2020). Book Symposium on Attention, Not Self, with commentaries from Evan Thompson, Carolyn Jennings, and Nilanjan Das.

[41] “Epistemic pluralism: from systems to stances,” Journal of the American Philosophical Association (2019): 1–21.

[40] “Minimal agents, attention, and epistemic agency: A reply to Carlos Montemayor and Abrol Fairweather’s review of Attention, Not Self”, Comparative Philosophy 10.1 (2019): 218–221.

[39] “Mental time travel and attention,” Australasian Philosophical Review 1.4 (2018): 353–373. (Lead article with invited and open commentaries).

[38] “Mental time travel and attention: replies to commentators,” Australasian Philosophical Review 1.4 (2018): 450–455.

[37] “Attention and self in Buddhist philosophy of mind,” Ratio 31.1 (2018): 1-9.

[36] “The Self restated,” Philosophical Studies 174 (2017): 1713–9. (An APA “Author Meets Critics” panel).

[35] “What is philosophy? A cross-cultural conversation in the cross-roads court of Chosroes,” The Harvard Review of Philosophy 24 (Spring 2017): 1–8.

[34] “An exemplary Indian intellectual: Bimal Krishna Matilal,” APA Newsletter on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies 17.1 (2017): 3–7.

[33] “Philosophical modernities: polycentricity and early modernity in India,” Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 74 (2014): 75–94.

[32] “Well-ordered science and Indian epistemic cultures: toward a polycentric history of science,” Isis 104.2 (2013): 348–59. Reprinted in Helaine Selin ed., Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (Springer, 3rd edn., 2014).

[31] “The Magadha origins of science in the medieval world,’ Isis 105.2 (2014): 399–400.

[30] “Raghunātha Śiromaṇi and the origins of modernity in India,” Nagoya Studies in Indian Culture and Buddhism 30 (2013): 55–78.

[29] “Emergentisms, ancient and modern,” Mind 120 (July 2011): 671–703.

[28] “Philosophy as a practice of estrangement,”Summerhill: Indian Institute of Advanced Study Review (2012): 18–22.

[27] “Interpreting Indian rational tradition: questions of method in the study of Indian intellectual history,” Journal of Hindu Studies 4 (2011): 12–22.

[26] “The geography of shadows: souls and cities in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials,” Philosophy & Literature 35 (2011): 269–281 [with Panayiota Vassilopoulou].

[25] “Can you seek the answer to this question? The paradox of inquiry in India,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2010): 571–594 [with Amber Carpenter].

[24] “The study of Indian epistemology: questions of method,” Philosophy East and West 60.4 (2010): 541–550.

[23] “Intellectual India: reason, identity, dissent”, New Literary History 40.2 (2009): 248–263. Translated into Brazilian Portuguese as “A Índia Intelectuel: Razão, Identidade e Dissenso,” Numen: Revista de estudos e pesquisa da religião 14.2 (2011): 59–84.

[22] “Sanskrit philosophical commentary: reading as philosophy”, Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 25.1 (2008): 107–127.

[21] “Contextualism in the study of Indian philosophical cultures,” Journal of Indian Philosophy 36 (2008): 551–562.

[20] “Self and morality: some Indian perspectives on Sorabji,” Antiqua Philosophia 2 (2008): 25–34. Reprinted in Self-knowledge and Agency, edited by Manidipa Sen (Delhi: D.K. Printworld, 2012), ch. 12.

[19] “Worlds in conflict: Yaśovijaya Gaṇi’s cosmopolitan vision,” International Journal of Jaina Studies 4.1 (2008): 1–11.

[18] “Words that burn: why did the Buddha say what he did?,” Contemporary Buddhism 7.1 (2006): 7–27.

[17] “Traditions of truth: changing beliefs and the nature of inquiry,” Journal of Indian Philosophy 33.1 (2005): 43–54.

[16] “An irrealist theory of self,” The Harvard Review of Philosophy 12 (Spring 2004): 61–80.

[15] “Ancient Indian logic as a theory of case-based reasoning,” Journal of Indian Philosophy 31 (2003): 33–45.

[14] “Jaina logic and the philosophical basis of pluralism”, History and Philosophy of Logic 23 (2002): 267–281.

[13] “Why truth? The snake sūtra,” Contemporary Buddhism 3.2 (2002): 127–139.

[12] “Objectivity and proof in a classical Indian theory of number”, Synthese 129.3 (2001): 413–437.

[11] “Argumentation, dialogue and the Kathāvatthu,” Journal of Indian Philosophy 29.4 (2001): 485–493.

[10] “Cross-modality and the self,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61.3 (2000): 639–658.

[9] “Self-intimation, memory and personal identity”, Journal of Indian Philosophy 27 (1999): 469–483.

[8] “For a revised ‘potentially complete ancestor’ account of causation”, Analysis 58 (1998): 45–48 [with M. Ramachandran and P. Noordhof].

[7] “Counterfactuals and preemptive causation”, Analysis 56 (1996): 219–226 [with M. Ramachandran and P. Noordhof].

[6] “The Hindu syllogism: 19th century perceptions of Indian logical thought”, Philosophy East and West 46 (1996): 1–16.

[5] “Meaning and reference in classical India”, Journal of  Indian Philosophy 24 (1996): 1–19.

[4] “Ākāśa and other names”, The Journal of Indian Philosophy 24 (1996): 339–362.

[3] “Numbers as properties of objects”, Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences 3 (1996): 111–121.

[2] “Contexually incomplete descriptions: a new counter-example to Russell?”, Analysis 55 (1995): 287–290.

[1] “Vyāḍi and the realist theory of meaning”, Journal of Indian Philosophy 23 (1995): 403–428.


Chapters in edited volumes

[37] “Buddhism after Buddhist modernism,” in a symposium on Evan Thompson’s Why I am Not a Buddhist?, APA Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies Newsletter, edited by Minh Nguyen (Spring, 2021).

[36] “Pessoa’s imaginary India,” in Fernando Pessoa & Philosophy, edited by Bartholomew Ryan, Giovanbattista Tusa, and Antonio Cardiello (Boulder, Co.: Roman & Littlefield, 2021).

[35] “Epistemic pluralism: from systems to stances,” in Ethno-epistemology, edited by Masaharu Mizumoto, Jonardon Ganeri, and Cliff Goddard (London: Routledge, 2020), pp. 19–42.

[34] “Epistemology from a Sanskritic point of view,” in Epistemology for the Rest of the World, edited by Masaharu Mizumoto, Stephen Stich and Eric McCready (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 12–21.

[33] “Illusions of immortality,” in Imaginations of Death and Beyond in India and Europe, edited by Sudhir Kakar and Günter Blamberger (Delhi: Springer, 2018), pp. 35–45.

[32] “Self and subjectivity: the wandering ascetic and the manifest world,” in Hindu Law: A New History of Dharmaśāstra, edited by Patrick Olivelle and Don Davis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 442–454.

[31] “The Upaniṣadic episteme,” in Signe Cohen ed., The Upaniṣads: A Complete Guide (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 146–52.

[30] “Attention to greatness: Buddhaghosa,” in Stephen Hetherington ed., What Makes a Philosopher Great? (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 67–85.

[29] “Śrīharṣa’s dissident epistemology: Of knowledge as assurance,” in The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 522–538.

[28] “Freedom in thinking: Intellectual decolonisation and the immersive cosmopolitanism of K. C. Bhattacharyya,” in The Oxford Handbook of Indian Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 718–736.

[27] “Memory and the self: classical Indian theory,” in the Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Memory, ed. Stan Bernecker and Kourken Michaelian (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 408–415.

[26] “Participative citizenship in a pluralistic democracy,” in Challenges to Democratic Participation: Antipolitics, Deliberative Democracy, and Pluralism, edited by Andre Santos Campos and José Gomes André  (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2014), pp.115–128.

[25] “Philosophy as a way of life: spiritual exercises from the Buddha to Tagore,” in Philosophy as a Way of Life: Ancients and Moderns. Essays in Honour of Pierre Hadot, edited by Michael Chase, Stephen Clark and Michael McGhee (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2014), pp. 116–131.

[24] “A seven-category ontology reaffirmed,” in Categorisation in Indian Philosophy: Thinking Inside the Box, edited by Jessica Frazier (London: Ashgate, 2014), pp.101–114.

[23] “Experiment, imagination, and the self: the story of Payāsi,” in Buddhist and Jaina Studies, edited by Jayandra Soni, M. Palke and Christoph Cüppers (Lumbini: Lumbini International Research Institute, 2014), pp. 367–376.

[22] “Buddhist no-self: an analysis and critique,” in Hindu and Buddhist Ideas in Dialogue: Self and No-Self edited by Jonardon Ganeri, Irina Kuznetsova and C. Ramprasad (London: Ashgate, 2012), pp. 63–76.

[21] “Dārā Shikoh and the transmission of the Upaniṣads to Islam,” in Migrating Texts and Traditions, edited by William Sweet (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2012), pp. 150–161.

[20] “Apoha, feature-placing, and sensory content,” in Buddhist Semantics and Human Cognition, edited by Arindam Chakrabarti, Mark Siderits and Tom Tillemans (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011), pp. 228–246.

[19] “Subjectivity, selfhood, and the use of the word ‘I’,” in Self, No-self ?, edited by Dan Zahavi, Evan Thomson and Mark Siderits (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 176–192.

[18] “A return to the self: life as art and philosophical therapy,” in  Philosophy as Therapeia, edited by Jonardon Ganeri and Clare Carlisle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2010), pp. 119–135.

[17] “The defence of realism in Vaiśeṣika,” in Materialism and Immaterialism in India and Europe, edited by Partha Ghose.  Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture, vol. xii, part 5 (Delhi: Centre for Studies in Civilizations, 2010), pp. 153–166.

[16] “Philosophies of path and purpose,” in Grounding Morality: Freedom, Knowledge and the Plurality of Cultures, edited by Jyotirmaya Sharma and A. Raghuramaraju (Delhi: Routledge, 2010), pp. 1–10.

[15] “Hinduism,” A Companion to Philosophy of Religion, edited by Charles Taliaferro and Paul Draper, 2nd edn. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010), pp. 5–12.

[14] “Analytical philosophy in early modern India,” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta (Spring 2009 Edition).

[13] “What you are you do not see, what you see is your shadow: The philosophical double in Mauni’s fiction,” in The Poetics of Shadows: The Double in Literature and Philosophy, edited by Andrew Hock Soon Ng (Hanover: Ibidem-Verlag, March 2008). pp. 109–122.

[12] “Towards a formal regimentation of the Navya-Nyāya technical language I,” in Logic, Navya-Nyāya and Applications: Homage to Bimal Krishna Matilal, edited by Mihir Chakraborty, Benedikt Loewe and Madhabendra Mitra (London: College Publications, 2008), pp. 109–124.

[11] “Towards a formal regimentation of the Navya-Nyāya technical language II,” in Logic, Navya-Nyāya and Applications: Homage to Bimal Krishna Matilal, edited by Mihir Chakraborty, Benedikt Loewe and Madhabendra Mitra (London: College Publications, 2008), pp. 125–141.

[10] “The study of the Hindu self,” in Contemporary Practice and Method in the Philosophy of Religion, edited by David Cheetham and Rolfe King (London: Continuum, 2008), pp. 74–86.

[9] “Universals and other generalities,” in Peter F. Strawson and Arindam Chakrabarti, eds. Universals, Concepts and Qualities: New Essays on the Meaning of Predicates (London: Ashgate 2006), pp. 51–66. ISBN: 0754650324.

[8] “A dynamic tradition of truth-telling: moral innovation in the Mahābhārata,” in Boundaries, Dynamics and Construction of Traditions in South Asia, edited by Federico Squarcini (Florence: Florence University Press 2006), pp. 175–202. ISBN: 8884532620.

[7] “Indian philosophy, influence on British,” in Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy, edited by Naomi Goulder, A.C. Grayling and Andrew Pyle (London: Thoemmes Continuum, 2006). ISBN: 9781843711414.

[6] “A cloak of clever words: the deconstruction of deceit in the Mahābhārata,” in Conceptions of Virtue East and West, edited by Kim-Chong Chong and Yuli Liu (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Academic, 2006), pp. 149–179. ISBN: 9812103031.

[5] “Indian Logic”, in Handbook of the History of Logic, Volume 1: Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, edited by D.M. Gabbay and J. Woods (North Holland: Elsevier, 2004), pp. 255–332. ISBN: 0444504664.

[4] “The ritual roots of moral reason,” in Thinking Through Rituals: Philosophical Perspectives, edited by Kevin Schilbrack (London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 207–233.

[3] “Hinduism and the proper work of reason,” in The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, edited by Gavin Flood (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003), pp. 411–446.

[2] “Indian logic and the colonization of reason”, in Indian Logic: A Reader edited by Jonardon Ganeri (RoutledgeCurzon Press 2001), pp. 1–25.

[1] “Dharmakīrti’s semantics for the quantifier only”, in Shoryu Katsura ed., Dharmakīrtis Thought and Its Impact on Indian and Tibetan Philosophy (Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie Der Wissenschaften, 1999), pp. 101–116.


Online Essays and Talks

“So You Want to Teach Some Indian Philosophy,” Blog of the American Philosophical Association (8 October 2018).

“Taking Philosophy Forward,” Los Angeles Review of Books (20 August 2018), review of Bryan Van Norden’s Taking Back Philosophy.

The Tree of Knowledge Is…a Banyan,” Aeon Magazine (23 June 2017). Translation in Ukrainian.

“Blueprint for an Institute of Cosmopolitan Philosophy in a Culturally Polycentric World,” Academica.

“Why Philosophy Needs Sanskrit, Now More than Ever,” Yale University Salisbury 175th Anniversary Lecture (6 April, 2017).

“Why Philosophy Must Go Global,” Chicago University lecture (2017).


Jackman Humanities Building (room 540), 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8