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Alex Watson

Ashoka University

Alex Watson is Professor of Indian Philosophy at Ashoka University, and Ashoka’s Lead Academic for the Global Humanities Initiative. He was formerly Preceptor in Sanskrit in the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University. His DPhil was from Balliol College, University of Oxford. Following that he held research fellowships at Wolfson College, Oxford, at the École française d’Extrême-Orient, Pondicherry, India, at Kyushu University, Japan, and at the University of Vienna.

His research interests include Buddhist Philosophy, other areas of Indian Philosophy (especially Mīmāṃsā, Nyāya and Śaivism), and Sanskrit Literature. He is author of The Self’s Awareness of Itself (2006) and, with Dominic Goodall and S.L.P. Anjaneya Sarma, An Enquiry into the Nature of Liberation (mokṣa) (2014), as well as a number of articles on Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Some of these are in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Indian Philosophy and Philosophy East and West. Others are chapters in books that are suitable as teaching materials: The Routledge History of Indian Philosophy and The Continuum Guide to Indian Metaphysics and Epistemology.

Each semester that he taught at Harvard, Prof. Watson received a University Certificate of Teaching Excellence.

He also trained for three years to become a psychotherapist and has published articles on Freud and on Existential-Phenomenological Psychotherapy, a tradition that seeks its inspiration from philosophers such as Nietzsche and Heidegger.

He is currently working on translations of the Haracaritacintāmaṇi, a 13th century compendium of Saiva mythology, and the Nyāyamañjari, an extraordinarily learned and entertaining example of Classical Indian Philosophy from the 9th century. His hope is that one of the effects of the Global Humanities Initiative will be to expand the canon of great philosophical works to include more and more of the jewels of classical Indian Philosophy.