About Amber Carpenter

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BA (Yale), PhD (Kings College London)
Associate professor in Philosophy, Yale-NUS; Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, University of York

Email: amber.carpenter@yale-nus.edu.sg

Amber Carpenter is Associate Professor at Yale-NUS College, and Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of York. Dr. Carpenter specializes in Ancient Greek philosophy and Indian Buddhist philosophy. She is particularly concerned with the place of reason in a well-lived life— what might reason be that it could be ethically relevant, or even required? Addressing this question opens up lines of inquiry in metaphysics, epistemology and philosophical psychology.

Dr. Carpenter’s work considers the intersections of these areas of inquiry. In both Greece and India, metaphysics and epistemology mattered. Debates over them were parts of wider disputes about the nature and domain of the moral. Dr. Carpenter’s work in Ancient Greek philosophy focuses on Plato’s metaphysical ethics and related epistemological issues— including the intelligence of plants. Her book, Indian Buddhist Philosophy, appeared in 2014, and her study of the pudgalavādins can be found in The Moon Points Back (2015). In her current work, she creates a conversation between these two philosophical traditions, under the rubric ‘Metaphysics and Epistemology as Ethics’, as for instance in ‘Ethics of Substance’.

Dr. Carpenter is Head of Philosophy at Yale-NUS, where she initiated and convenes the Ancient Worlds Research Group; co-founder of the Yorkshire Ancient Philosophy Network; and collaborates with Rachael Wiseman on the Integrity Project. In 2017-18, she will hold a fellowship with the Beacon Project, exploring “Ethical Ambitions and Their Formation of Character”.

selected publications test 2

  • link icon design sherice Metaphysics as Ethics: Indian Buddhist Philosophy. Routledge (Acumen2014
  • The Unhappiness of the Great King’, Rereading Ancient Philosophy: Old Chestnuts and Sacred Cows. (Essays in Honour of M. M. McCabe) Verity Harte and Raphael Woolf, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., forthcoming January 2017 (final draft)
  •  ‘The Sāṃmitīyas and the Case of the Missing Who: A Buddhist Whodunit?’, in The Return of Consciousness A New Science on Ancient Questions, Anders Haag, ed. Ax:son Johnson Foundation, forthcoming January 2017 (page proofs)
  • ‘Illuminating Community: How to learn from India’s lack of a category for non-human animals’. Oxford Philosophical Concepts: Animals. P. Adamson and F. Edwards, eds. Oxford. Expected 2017 (draft)
  •  ‘… ‘and none of us deserving the cruelty or the grace’ – Buddhism and the Problem of Evil’ for Engaging Buddhist Philosophy: A Cross-Cultural Approach to the Perennial Questions. Steven Emmanuel, ed. Columbia University Press, expected 2017 (draft)
  • ‘Ethics Without Justice: Eliminating the Roots of Resentment’ in A Mirror is for Reflection: Understanding Buddhist Ethics, Jake Davis, ed. New York: OUP; expected 2017 (draft)
  • pdf icon ‘Ranking Knowledge in Plato’s Philebus’, in Phronesis 60 (2015)  
  • link icon design sherice ‘Aiming at Happiness, Aiming at Ultimate Truth – In Practice’, in The Cowherds, Moonpaths: Ethics and Emptiness. New York: OUP 2015
  • pdf icon ‘Persons Keeping Their Karma Together’  in The Moon Points Back: Analytic Philosophy and Asian Thought. Garfield, Priest and Tanaka, eds. New York: Oxford University Press 2015
  • pdf icon ‘Perfect Knowledge and its Affects’ in Plato’s Philebus. Edited by Jakub Jirsa and Štěpán Špinka. Prague: OIKOYMENH
  • link icon design sherice ‘Ethics of Substance’, in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume LXXXVIII (2014)
  • pdf icon ‘Judging Strives to be Knowing’, Plato’s Republic: Proceedings of the IXth Symposium Platonicum. Edited by Luc Brisson and Noburu Notomi. Academia Verlag 2012-13  
  • link icon design sherice ‘Eating One’s Own: Exploring Conceptual Space for Moral Restraint in Ancient Greece’, Ethical Perspectives on Animals 1400-1650. Edited by Cecilia Muratori. SISMEL – Editzioni del Galluzzo 2013   
  • pdf icon ‘Faith Without God in Nāgārjuna’ in Thomism and Asian Cultures, Alfredo P. Co and Paolo A. Bolaños, eds. Manila 2012     
  • pdf icon ‘Pleasure as Genesis’. Ancient Philosophy 31 (2011): 73-94  
  • pdf icon ‘Embodying Intelligence (?): Plants in Plato’s Timaeus’. Phronesis 55 (2010): 281-303
  • pdf icon ‘Can You Seek the Answer to this Question?’ [with Jonardon Ganeri]. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2010): 571-594 (The ‘Paradox of Inquiry’ in India)
  • pdf icon ‘Nevertheless: the Philosophical Significance of the Questions posed at Philebus 15b’. Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 12 (2009): 103-129
  • pdf icon ‘Embodying Intelligence: Animals and Us in Plato’s Timaeus’, in Platonism and Forms of Intelligence, edited by Marie-Elise Zovko. Berlin: Academie Verlag 2008: 39-56
  • pdf icon ‘Putting the Philebus’ Indispensable Method to Use’. Ancient Philosophy 27 (2007): 303-322
  • link icon design sherice ‘Hedonistic Persons: The Good Man Argument in Plato’s Philebus’. British Journal of the History of Philosophy 14/1 (2006): 5-26
  • pdf icon ‘Questioning Kṛṣṇa’s Kantianism’. Conceptions of Virtue East and West. Chong Kim Chong & Yuli Liu, eds. Marshall Cavendish Academic. Singapore 2005: 80-99
  • link icon design sherice ‘Phileban Gods’. Ancient Philosophy 23 (2003): 93-112

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(If you are interested in reading any of the texts below, please contact Dr. Carpenter via email.)

  • ‘Plato on Restricting Knowledge to Make Room for Belief’
  • ‘Pleasure as Temptress, Pleasure as Complex’
  • ‘The Intelligence of the Bodhicaryāvatāra: reasoning as protreptic’ for Jonathan Gold, ed. Readings of the Bodhicaryāvatāra; under contract with Columbia University Press. Expected 2018
  • ‘Plato’s Socrates’ in Portraits of Integrity, ed., with Rachael Wiseman and Charlotte Alston; Bloomsbury

selected talks test

  • pdf icon ‘Philosophy as a Moral Discipline’, York Humanist Society, 10 December 2015.
  • ‘The Saṁmitīyas and the Case of the Missing Who: A Buddhist Whodunit?’, in The Return of Consciousness – A New Science on Ancient Questions; Avesta, Sweden, June 2015
  • audio icon design sherice ‘The Good Life’, London School of Economics, Forum for European Philosophy, 12 May 2015
  • ‘Restricting Knowledge to Make Room for Belief’, Stirling, 25 Sept. 2014
  • audio icon design sherice ‘Ethics of Substance’, lead symposiast at the Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association, Cambridge, July 2014
  • audio icon design sherice ‘Keeping One’s Bearings in World Gone Mad’, Saints & Madmen: Integrity at its Limits. Integrity Project Conference co-hosted with the Einstein Forum (Berlin/Potsdam), June 2014.
  • pdf icon ‘Creating the Place to Speak and Act for the Sake of the Fine’, Hannah Arendt: A One-Day Symposium, University of York 13 March 2013
  • ‘Ranking Knowledges and the Form of Knowledge’, Yale University, April 2012
  • ‘Aiming at Happiness and the Good’, Workshop in Ancient Philosophy, Oxford, November 2011
  • ‘Eliminating Anger, Facing Injustice in Stoic and Buddhist Ethics’, La Trobe University, Melbourne, August 2011
  • ‘Substantial Freedom or Freedom from Substance?’, International Philosophy Colloquium, Evian, July 2011
  • link icon design sherice ‘Relinquishing Control: The Ethics of Accepting Suffering’, Making Sense of Suffering. Prague, November 2010
  • ‘Animals With Human Souls, Animals In Human Souls’, Menschen, Tiere, Automaten: Die Debatte über die Tierseele. Munich (LMU), July 2010
  • ‘The Constructed Good’, part of the panel ‘The Good Delusion’. How the Light Gets InFestival of Philosophy. Hay-on-Wye, May 2010
  • ‘Menschenbilder in Platon und Buddhismus’. Menschenbilder Conferenz, Bamberg, October 2009
  • link icon design sherice ‘Ethics in Flux: Heracliteanism in Plato and the Indian Buddhist Philosophers’. Einstein Forum. Berlin (Potsdam). November 2008
  • ‘Reasoning About the Good: What Sort of Eudaimonist is Plato?’ Centre for the Study of the Platonic Tradition. Trinity College, Dublin. December 2007
  • ‘On the Moral Injunction “Know Thyself”’. International Congress on Person and Society. Braga, Portugal. November 2005
  • ‘Roles, Rules and the Irreducibly Particular in Stoic Moral Thought’. Ancient and Medieval Philosophy Conference. Fordham University, NYC. October 2004.