I mainly focus on systematic metaphysical and epistemological questions that stem from the Post-Kantian German philosophical tradition. I am currently Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where I was first appointed in the fall of 2016. Before joining the faculty at CUHK I was a lecturer in philosophy at Clemson University from 2014-2016.
I took my PhD in philosophy in August 2014 under Distinguished Research Professor Richard Dien Winfield at the University of Georgia. Before taking my PhD in philosophy I completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Bonn, Germany (2013-2014). At the University of Bonn I investigated Schelling's influence on Hegel's Doctrine of the Concept under Markus Gabriel.
Currently, I am completing a book entitled Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics: the Logic of Singularity. Hegel’sFoundation Free Metaphysics focuses on one question: What is it to be a universal? I argue, through a close examination of Hegel’s Doctrine of the Concept in his Science of Logic, how Hegel’s concept of singularity is designed to solve a host of philosophical paradoxes relevant to the self-referential nature of universality. I argue that Hegel’s account of universality, particularity, and singularity offers solutions to four paradoxes of self-reference: the problem of participation, the problem of the missing difference, the problem of psychologism, and the problem of onto-theology. By adopting a metaphysical reading of Richard Dien Winfield’s foundation free epistemology, I critically engage dominant readings in contemporary Hegel scholarship, including McDowell, Brandom, and Pippin. What is more, I attempt to further contribute to the current debate concerning the status of Hegel as a metaphysician by systematically explicating Hegel’s appropriation of the ontological argument in his Doctrine of the Concept. Hegel’s Foundation Free Metaphysics will appeal to scholars interested in Hegel, the history of 19th-century philosophy, metaphysics, and epistemology.
More generally, I am very interested in Hegel’s philosophical relationship with his contemporaries, most specifically Jacobi, Hölderlin, and Schelling. I also have a growing interest in Schelling and Early German Romanticism. My interest in these historical connections is a reflection of my systematic interest in questions concerning the legitimacy of the authority of Reason and the relation between Rationalism and Philosophical Mysticism, e.g. Meister Eckhart. I also have an enduring interest in Ancient Greek Philosophy, and the impact of Ancient Greek Philosophy on the tradition of German Idealism.
My other current research project concerns the influence of Hegel’s concrete universal on Ernst Cassirer, and his philosophy of culture. The current project is entitled Ernst Cassirer and the Autonomy of Myth, which is funded by the Research Grants Council in Hong Kong (2019-2021). This book will constitute the second volume in a trilogy of books on Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms. (The first book in the trilogy, Ernst Cassirer and the Autonomy of Language, was published in November 2014 by Lexington Books.) The trilogy focuses on the three volumes of Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms: Philosophie der Symbolischen Formen: Die Sprache (1923), Das mythische Denken (1925), and Phänomenologie der Erkenntnis (1929). Each book in the trilogy investigates two central, albeit neglected, themes in each of Cassirer’s volumes on the philosophy of symbolic forms: (i) the autonomy of the cultural forms and (ii) the influence of G.W.F. Hegel’s philosophy (including phenomenology, philosophical anthropology, and logic) on the concept of autonomy in Die Philosophie der Symbolischen Formen. In Ernst Cassirer and the Autonomy of Language I investigated the autonomy of language, and Hegel’s role in the development of that concept; in Ernst Cassirer and the Autonomy of Myth I intend to investigate the autonomy of myth and Hegel’s influence on Cassirer’s concept of the autonomy of myth.
Beyond these research projects, I have broader interests in contemporary German philosophy, the Philosophy of Religion, as well as Buddhist and Japanese philosophy, with special emphasis on the Kyoto School’s reception of German philosophy.
Because I am thoroughly committed to the Socratic mission, teaching inside and outside the classroom is integral to my mission as a philosopher. Teaching provides philosophers a way to improve the moral condition of the community to which they belong. Accordingly, one of my main goals as a teacher of philosophy is to extend philosophy and the skills endemic to philosophy beyond the philosophy classroom.
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