DATE
Fri, April 1, 2022

TIME
3:00 to 5:00 PM

LOCATION
UBC | Buchanan Building | A201
1871 West Mall

UBC Asian Centre Map
* Due to COVID restrictions, please note that this event is closed to members of the public.

This talk is open to any UBC students, faculty, or staff only.

 

As part of the Colloquia Series, the Department of Philosophy with support from UBC’s Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society will host a guest lecture by Professor Amber Carpenter entitled:

Epistemic Ideals and Moral Transformation

ABOUT THE EVENT
What does the process of coming to know reality do to one engaging in it, such that one might claim that knowledge, or seeking it, is morally improving?
For both the Buddhist and the Platonist, striving to know reality is good for us and makes us good. Indeed both therapeutic epistemologies have the explicit aim of drawing attention away from ourselves and even from human-specific goals, towards an impersonal reality. But their conceptions of transformative knowing differ profoundly. Plato not only thinks that knowledge is of unchanging intelligible things; he thinks, further, that such knowledge is or implies an ability to explain (Republic VII) and to teach (Meno). Knowledge is articulable, and in principle communicable. Buddhist philosophers, Vasubandhu and the epistemologist Dināga in particular, emphatically prioritize a perceptual model of knowledge over conceptual facility, which is generally denigrated as a lesser sort of knowledge, and of a lesser sort of reality. This reflects a formalization of the earliest Buddhist convictions that liberating knowledge is something experienced but not directly communicable.
This paper explores the different effects on character that are expected to arise from pursuing knowledge on these radically different accounts, and the different values implicit in considering such a process to be transformative and liberatory. While seeking knowledge Plato-wise is ordering and unifying, and elicits interpersonal engagement, seeking transformative knowledge as Diṅnāga understands it dissolves all structure and elicits profound acceptance.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Professor Amber Carpenter (Yale-NUS College)

Associate Professor Amber D. Carpenter works in ancient Greek and classical Indian philosophy, with a topical focus on the metaphysics, epistemology and moral psychology underpinning Plato’s ethics and Indian Buddhist ethics.

Her work increasingly brings Greek and Indian Buddhist philosophy together around topics at the intersection of metaphysics, mind, epistemology and ethics. She is also interested in contemporary relevance of ancient views, as well as interdisciplinary work, as in her collaboration on the Integrity Project.

Associate Prof Carpenter recently held a fellowship with The Beacon Project, exploring ‘Ethical Ambitions and their Formation of Character’ in Plato and in Buddhist though, and is currently running an international grant-funded project on Buddhist-Platonism.

Due to COVID restrictions, please note that this event is closed to members of the public.

Organized by the UBC’s Department of Philosophy and co-sponsored by UBC’s The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhism and Contemporary Society (何鴻毅家族基金佛學與當代社會課程)