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Philosopher, Buddhism scholar Jay Garfield to deliver Justice and Asia lecture

Philosopher and Buddhism scholar Jay Garfield of Smith College will deliver the third annual Justice and Asia Distinguished Lecture…
Jay Garfield Square

Philosopher and Buddhism scholar Jay Garfield of Smith College will deliver the third annual Justice and Asia Distinguished Lecture for the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies at the University of Notre Dame on Thursday, April 13, 2023. 


The free event is cosponsored by Notre Dame’s Department of Philosophy. Mike Zhao, an assistant professor of philosophy and a Liu Institute faculty fellow, will moderate.

Garfield’s lecture, “Buddhism and Nonviolence in the Contemporary World,” will be held at 4 p.m. in 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls at Notre Dame. A reception will follow.

“Professor Garfield is a perfect fit for our Justice and Asia Distinguished Lecture,” said Michel Hockx, director of the Liu Institute. “His work on Asian philosophical traditions brings diversity to our thinking about questions that are core to Notre Dame’s values, especially the question of justice. His prolific writings epitomize what it means to do research from a global perspective.”

Mike Zhao

For the Justice and Asia keynote, Garfield will present a Buddhist analysis of nonviolence in a way that is relevant to contemporary life. He will first explain how violence manifests in the contemporary world. He will then present a Buddhist analysis of violence and its causes. Finally, he will examine how a Buddhist ethical framework determines our responsibilities as agents in the context of that violence and a path to its eradication.  

Garfield, the Doris Silbert Professor in the Humanities and professor of philosophy, logic and Buddhist studies, chairs the Department of Philosophy and directs the Buddhist Studies Program and Tibetan Studies in India Program at Smith College. He is a visiting professor of Buddhist philosophy at Harvard Divinity School, professor of philosophy at Melbourne University, and adjunct professor of philosophy at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies. has identified him as one of the 50 most influential philosophers in the world over the past decade.

His research addresses topics in the foundations of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind, metaphysics, the history of modern Indian philosophy, and topics in ethics, epistemology and the philosophy of logic, and topics in Buddhist philosophy, particularly Indo-Tibetan Madhyamaka and Yogācāra. He is the author of more than 30 books, including his most recent titles, “Losing Ourselves: Learning to Live without a Self” and “Knowing Illusion: Bringing a Tibetan Debate into Contemporary Discourse.” and “Buddhist Ethics: A Philosophical Exploration.”

A proponent of greater diversity in philosophy studies, Garfield is the co-author of the 2016 New York Times opinion piece “If Philosophy Won’t Diversify, Let’s Call It What It Really Is” that calls for a multicultural approach to philosophy in academia.

The Liu Institute’s Justice and Asia Distinguished Lecture invites top scholars who examine the theme of justice in relation to Asia and with awareness of Asian cultures and traditions. The series is part of the Liu Institute’s organizing theme of “Justice and Asia” that examines and supports thematic work from a range of perspectives, projects, disciplines, and collaborations. 

The Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, promotes awareness, understanding and knowledge of Asia through administering a supplementary major and minor in Asian studies, supporting student and faculty scholarship, organizing public events, and facilitating interaction and exchanges with partners in Asia. The Institute was established by a gift from the RM Liu Foundation that supports the philanthropic activities of Robert and Mimi Liu and their children, Emily and Justin, both Notre Dame graduates. 

Originally published by Liu Institute at on January 13, 2023.

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