Alfred Deakin Institute
The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) is a leading humanities and social sciences research institute based at Deakin University, Australia. Our researchers aim to understand the complex meanings of citizenship, social inclusion and globalisation, and investigate the imp


A Buddhist debate and its contemporary relevance

This project focuses on one of the most important philosophical debates in Tibetan intellectual history and its implications for contemporary global philosophy.

This project engages with one of the central debates in Tibetan philosophy concerning truth, realism and epistemic justification. It explores the implications of this debate for subsequent Tibetan thought and for contemporary Western analytic philosophy. The project will issue in new scholarly analyses of previously unstudied texts and will demonstrate the fecundity of a traditional method of collaborative cross-cultural philosophy today in which Tibetan and Western scholars work together to develop joint analyses. It will also demonstrate that the metaphysical and epistemological ideas and arguments developed in these debates can contribute to Western philosophy.


Project team

Professor John Powers (Deakin University; Chief Investigator (CI))


Dr Sonam Thakchoe (University of Tasmania; CI)

Professor Jay Garfield (Smith College and Harvard University; Principal Investigator (PI))

Professor Tashi Tsering (Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies; PI)

Professor Jose Cabezon (University of California, Santa Barbara; PI)

Dr Douglas Duckworth (Temple University; PI)

Dr Thomas Doctor (Rangjung Yeshe Institute; Research Assistant)

Mr Jed Forman (University of California, Santa Barbara; PI)

Project funding

This project is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP 160100947) of $420,000.

The project also received $782,000 from the Singapore Ministry of Education, which funded its first year of operation.

project OUTPUTS

By December 2018, the team has held four meetings (in Singapore, Sarnath, India, and Australia) and has completed about 80% of the work on the two books that will be the main outputs for the project.

A panel discussing our work is planned for the next American Academy of Religion conference in the US.