Annual Lecture of the British Society for the History of Philosophy

‘For Your Eyes Only: The Problem of Solipsism in Ancient Indian Philosophy.’

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by Jan Westerhoff (Lady Margaret Hall)

To attend this online event, please contact Mogens Laerke


The British Society of the History of Philosophy's Annual Lecture 2020 will be given by Jan Westerhoff, Fellow and Tutor in Theology and Religion at Lady Margaret Hall, and Professor of Buddhist Philosophy at Oxford University. He will speak to us on the topic: "For Your Eyes Only: The Problem of Solipsism in Ancient Indian Philosophy." Dr. Jessica Frazier (Trinity College, Oxford) will join us for the discussion.

The event will take place at the Maison Française d’Oxford (MFO) on 4 November 2020, 5-7pm. The audience can join the event online via Teams. Please contact the society secretary Dr. Mogens Lærke for a link on

Westerhoff read Philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge and holds doctorates in Philosophy (Cambridge) and Oriental Studies (SOAS). Before coming to Oxford, he taught the Philosophy of Mathematics for the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford, and was a Reader in Philosophy at the University of Durham.

Originally trained as a philosopher and orientialist, his research focuses on philosophical aspects of the religious traditions of ancient India. Much of his work concentrates on Buddhist thought (especially Madhyamaka) as preserved in Sanskrit and Tibetan sources, and he also has a lively interest in Classical Indian philosophy (particularly Nyāya). His research on Buddhist philosophy covers both theoretical (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language) and normative aspects (ethics); he is also interested in the investigation of Buddhist meditative practice from the perspective of cognitive science and the philosophy of mind.



He is the author of Nāgārjuna's Madhyamaka. A Philosophical Introduction (Oxford UP, 2009), The Dispeller of Disputes. Nagarjuna's Vigrahavyavartani (OUP, 2010), The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy (Oxford UP, 2018), and The Non-Existence of the Real World (Oxford UP, 2020).