Profiles

Sonam Thakchoe

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Sonam Thakchoe

Sonam Thakchoe

Senior Lecturer, Philosophy

Room 362, Humanities Building, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 1776 (phone)

+61 3 6226 7847 (fax)

Sonam.Thakchoe@utas.edu.au

Dr Sonam Thakchoe is a Senior Philosophy Lecturer in the School of Humanities. He teaches Asian philosophy, coordinates the Asian Philosophy Program and directs the Tasmanian Buddhist Studies in India Exchange Program. His research specialisation is in Indo-Tibetan philosophy, with a particular focus on the Madhyamaka ontology, epistemology and ethics. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Tasmanian in 2003, and Masters in Indo-Tibetan philosophy from Central University of Tibetan Studies in July 1997. Since his appointment he has made substantial contributions to the field of Indo-Tibetan philosophical research with 4 books (3 co-authored) and 20 referred articles, published by some of the leading academic publishers - Oxford University Press, Wisdom Publications, Journal of Indian philosophy, and the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.

Sonam's initiatives in research and teaching activities at UTAS have brought very significant and positive changes in research, teaching and learning culture. UTAS has now embraced the Asian philosophy program as an integral part of the Philosophy's teaching curriculum and its research methods.

Sonam's traditional Indo-Tibetan philosophy qualifications, native fluency in the languages necessary for teaching and research in Asian philosophy as well as a deep immersion into Western philosophy furnish him with a unique ability to bring his research projects and teaching practice into productive dialogue with the West, and so bring important trans-cultural communication and interpretation skills to research methodology and teaching practice at UTAS.

Biography

Sonam received his PhD (2002) from the University of Tasmania as well as the Acharya (MA equivalent) from the Central University of Tibetan Studies. This double qualification is unique in Australia. His traditional Tibetan research experience, and native fluency in the languages necessary for this research are essential to the demand of this type of project. He is also well established in Western philosophy and has the capability to bring his projects into dialogue with the West through his trans-cultural communication and interpretation skills. He is an experienced and productive scholar in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy with a good track record of research, including the preparation of scholarly translations, philosophical study of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, cross-cultural philosophy that brings together Indian, Tibetan and Western philosophy, and research in the Indian epistemology, ethics and logic. He has good experience in long-term scholarly projects, in team research, and on projects that involve collaboration with Western colleagues on translation and interpretation. He is also an experienced postgraduate research supervisor with a good completion record. He brings to this project research management skills, philological skills, philosophical skills and linguistic skills negotiating and crossing the boundaries between Indo-Tibetan and Western philosophical traditions. Sonam is one of very few Australasian scholars, and indeed, the only Tibetan philosopher, with experience in the study of Indo-Tibetan philosophy and in collaboration with Western colleagues.

Sonam is also involved with wide range of ecumenical and socially engaging services with the aims of strengthening the Asian philosophy Programs, and fostering a wider appreciation of Asian thought within the Tasmanian community through the school visits, public talks, and leading group discussion/reading groups. Sonam is also passionate about forging a closer connection between mindfulness-meditation, phenomenology and philosophy.

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeTitle of ThesisUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDComparative Analysis of the Theories of the Two Truths in the Philosophy of Tsongkhapa and GorampaUniversity of TasmaniaAustralia2003
MAIndo-Tibetan Philosophy, History and HermeneuticsCentral University of Higher Tibetan StudiesIndia1997
BAIndo-Tibetan Philosophy, History and Hermeneutics

Central University of Higher Tibetan Studies

India1995

Languages (other than English)

Fluent: Tibetan, English

Working knowledge: Sanskrit, Pali and Hindi

Memberships

Committee associations

  • International Association of Buddhist Studies (IABS)
  • Australasian Association of Buddhist Studies (AABS)
  • Australasian Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy (ASACP)

Other

Sonam is a member of the Cowherds: an international research team consisting academics from University of Tasmania, University of Melbourne, University of Oakland, University of Lausanne (Switzerland), Smith College (USA), Central Michigan University (USA), Central University of Tibetan Studies (India), Oxford University (UK), and Australian National University.

Administrative expertise

Sonam is the key person at UTAS responsible for teaching and administrative activities in the Asian philosophy program. He coordinates and teaches all the units on the Asian Philosophy Minor. He is also the coordinator of the Tasmanian Buddhist Studies in India Exchange Program, which is a unique tripartite exchange program between the University of Tasmania (UTAS), Central University of Tibetan Studies (Varanasi, India), Deakin University, and the Five Colleges Consortium of Buddhist Studies (USA). He coordinates and delivers units on Asian philosophy that are innovative, theoretically informed, and have well-prepared and rigorous philosophical contents: they provide students with traditional as well as up-to-date knowledge of the Indian, Chinese and Tibetan philosophical, historical, and cultural practices. Currently he rotates five units on Asian philosophy and co-teaches one first-year philosophy unit.

Teaching

Buddhist philosophy: Madhyamaka, Yogacara, Sautrantika, Vaibhasika, Indo-Tibetan Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, Chinese Philosophy: Philosophical Taoism, Philosophical Zen, Philosophical Confucianism

Teaching expertise

Sonam believes that an excellence in the scholarship of learning and teaching only flourishes through excellent and rigorous research and scholarship in the relevant fields. He is fully engaged in scholarly and research activities appropriate to teaching and learning practice in Asian thought. He has good experience on long-term teaching projects, in team teaching, and on teaching projects that involve collaboration between Eastern and Western colleagues on teaching methodology and pedagogies. He brings to teaching projects teaching management skills, philological skills, philosophical skills and linguistic skills essential for negotiating and crossing the boundaries between Indo-Tibetan, Chinese and Western philosophical traditions

Sonam is responsible for the introduction of the two unique and ground breaking cross-cultural philosophy programs at UTAS: (1) the Asian Philosophy Minor, and (2) the Tasmanian Buddhist Studies in India Exchange Program. He spearheaded in the Philosophy the introduction of a new Minor in Asian that aimed to provide students at the University a nationally distinctive Asian philosophy curriculum.

His contribution to Honours and postgraduate teaching supervision have been substantial. He has been able to attract many promising research students at UTAS specialising in Asian philosophical projects. He has had significant success in changing the teaching culture of Philosophy at UTAS into a much more cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and inclusive environment. He consistently has very high supervisory load with a good completion track records.

Teaching responsibility

Sonam has designed, organized and coordinated these units with a set of well-defined rationales and learning outcomes, which are coherently aligned to generic graduate attributes. He delivers these units with high quality teaching and learning materials to support and engage students in learning. His student-focused pedagogical approach emphasises the need for incorporating learning and teaching strategies and technologies which engage, and support students in productive learning.

Research Appointments

Invited speaker, Oxford University (2014)

View more on Dr Sonam Thakchoe in WARP

Expertise

Since his appointment (2003), he has produced more than 20 publications with four books and refereed articles, published in some of the leading academic publishers - Oxford University Press, Wisdom Publications, Journal of Indian philosophy, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Sonam has a wide range of research expertise in Indian and Tibetan philosophies:

  • Indian philosophy, history and hermeneutics
  • Tibetan philosophy, history and hermeneutics
  • Philosophical study of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist materials
  • Cross-cultural philosophy that brings together Indian, Tibetan and Western philosophy
  • Research in Indo-Tibetan epistemology, ethics, logic, and philosophy of mind

Sonam's research projects aim to further intellectual engagement between Indian, Tibetan and Western philosophers centred on some of the most significant and productive philosophical controversies in Indo-Tibetan intellectual circles. His research advances the interaction of Western and Indo-Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, bringing to attention texts and arguments hitherto not available to the Western philosophical world which demonstrates the fruitfulness of a collaborative approach to cross-cultural scholarship. The Indo-Tibetan philosophical literatures his research brings to light are immediately relevant to current debates in Western philosophy and make substantial contributions to contemporary discussions while enriching interaction between the two traditions.

His research interests include preparation of scholarly translations, philosophical study of Indo-Tibetan philosophical materials, cross-cultural philosophy that brings together Indian, Tibetan and Western philosophy, and research in Indian epistemology, ethics, Buddhist logic, and philosophy of mind.

Research Themes

Sonam' research aligns with the University's research theme of Creativity, Culture and Society and Data, Knowledge and Decisions.

Collaboration

Sonam has good experience on long-term scholarly projects, in team research, and on projects that involve collaboration with Western colleagues on translation and interpretative philosophical works.

  • For the next three years (2015-2017) he will work collaboratively with a team of international researchers (with Prof. Jay L. Garfield as the Chief Investigators) who has recently been awarded a substantial three-year Tier 2research grant from the Ministry of Education of Singapore to work on project 'Bringing a Classical Tibetan Debate into Conversation with Contemporary Philosophy.' The grant funds the study of the Geluk Sakya debates from the 15th-18th centuries initiated by Daktstant Lotsawa's '18 Great Contradictions in the Thought of Tsongkhapa.'
  • From 2012-2015 he collaborated with a large international research team of ten academics from around the world who specialise in Tibetan, Chinese, and Sanskrit on Indo-Tibetan Epistemology funded by an ARC grant based at the ANU for which John Powers, John Makeham and Jay Garfield are the co-chief investigators. (The title is: Negotiating Modernity: Buddhism between Tibet and China DP110102042).
  • He has published two volumes: Moonshadows: Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2012), and Moonpaths: Ethics in the Context of Conventional Truth(Oxford University Press, 2015) in collaboration with the Cowherds an international research team consisting academics from University of Tasmania, University of Melbourne, University of Oakland, University of Lausanne (Switzerland), Smith College (USA), Central Michigan University (USA), Central University of Tibetan Studies (India), Oxford University (UK), and Australian National University.

Awards

Sonam has been involved in four international collaborative research projects all of which received external funding:

  • He is part of a research team which was awarded an ARC Discovery funded project (entitled: Negotiating Modernity: Buddhism between Tibet and China DP110102042) for which John Powers and Jay L. Garfield were Chief Investigators. The project was successfully brought to its completion (April 2015) with a monograph entitled Dignāga's Investigation of The Percept (Ālambana-Parīkṣā) And Its Philosophical Legacy In India And Tibet which is currently being reviewed by the Oxford University Press (submitted in March 2015)
  • Sonam's first collaborative volume with the Cowherds, Moonshadows: Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2012) was fully funded by the University of Lausanne.
  • Sonam's second collaborative volume with the Cowherds Moonpaths: Ethics in the Context of Conventional Truth(Oxford University Press, 2015)was funded by the Central University of Michigan.
  • Currently he and his team of researchers (with Prof. Jay L. Garfield as the Principle Investigator) have been awarded a three-year funding (US $766,000) from the Ministry of Education of Singapore to work on research project entitled: 'Bringing a Classical Tibetan Debate into Conversation with Contemporary Philosophy.'

Current projects

Sonam's current research focuses on two key projects:

  • For the next three years he will be working on a newly funded collaborative research project 'Bringing a Classical Tibetan Debate into Modern Discourse: Dakstang's 18 Great Contradictions' with John Powers (ANU), Jay L. Garfield (NUS-Yale, Singapore), Douglas Duckworth (Temple University). The project will proceed in three stages. The first part of the investigation will address Daktsang's critique of Tsongkhapa, providing a detailed account of each of the 18 'great contradictions.' The second part of the investigation will be devoted to the study Panchen Chökyi Gyaltsen's reply to Daktsang. The third part of the investigation explores the relevance of this debate both to the history of philosophy in Tibet and to Western epistemology and metaphysics.
  • He is also currently completing another book, Philosophy of the Two Truths In Indian Madhyamaka with Josh Quinn-Watson. This book is an in depth philosophical study of the theories of the two truths within various schools of Indian Madhyamaka thought. The two truths debate has been contested with philological and philosophical strategies of great variety, and the accounts of the two truths that debate has generated in Madhyamaka philosophy are no less various. The Mādhyamikas may be unanimous that the two truths are the centrepiece of the Buddha's teachings, but they are anything but unanimous on the questions of what exactly those two truths are, and how they relate. The debates detailed in this research project, now millennia old, are hardly resolved. This research is intended to study those debates in relation to contemporary discussions on the subject.

Fields of Research

  • Studies in Eastern Religious Traditions (220406)
  • Philosophy of Religion (220315)

Research Objectives

  • Religious Traditions (excl. Structures and Rituals) (950406)
  • Religion and Ethics (950499)
  • Religion and Society (950404)

Publications

Sonam has published 20 publications with 3 books (the fourth is under review) and 16 journal articles, published mostly in some of the leading academic publishers such as Journal of Indian Philosophy, Oxford University.

  • Two articles he published in the influential Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: 'The Theory of the Two Truths In India,' Edward N. Zalta (ed), Stanford, Winter 2011, pp. 1-45 (2011) and 'The Theory of the two Truths in Tibet' Edward N. Zalta (ed), Stanford, Winter 2011, pp. 1-25 (2011) have been translated into Chinese to make them available to a Chinese audience.
  • His first single authored book, The Two Truths Debate: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa on the Middle Way (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2007), was nominated for the Best First Book Prize by the American Academy of Religion.
  • The second book, Moonshadows: Conventional Truth in Buddhist Philosophy (Oxford University Press 2012), is coauthored with an international team of scholars in Philosophy and Buddhist Studies collectively named 'The Cowherds.' A review published in Philosophy East and West (62.3 [2012]: 428-429) described the book as 'Collaboratively written by some of the world's foremost experts in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.'
  • The third book is Moonpaths: Ethics in the Context of Conventional Truth (Oxford University Press, 2014) is also written in collaboration with the Cowherds.
  • The fourth book Dignāga's Investigation of The Percept (Ālambana-Parīkṣā) And Its Philosophical Legacy In India And Tibet is written in collaboration with John Powers, Jay L. Garfield and Douglas Duckworth. The book is currently being reviewed by the Oxford University Press (submitted in March 2015).
  • He regularly reviews articles for Sophia: Sophia International Journal of Philosophy and Traditions.

Total publications

32

Highlighted publications

(3 outputs)
YearTypeCitationAltmetrics
2007BookThakchoe S, 'The Two Truths Debate: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa on the Middle Way', Wisdom Publications, Boston, pp. 272. ISBN 9780861715015 (2007) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

2004Journal ArticleThakchoe S, 'How many truths? Are there two truths or one in the Tibetan Prasangika Madhyamika?', Contemporary Buddhism, 5, (2) pp. 121-141. ISSN 1463-9947 (2004) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2003Journal ArticleThakchoe S, ''The Relationship between the two truths'; a comparative analysis of two Tibetan Accounts', Contemporary Buddhism, 4, (2) pp. 111-126. ISSN 1463-9947 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/1463994032000162947 [eCite] [Details]

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Journal Article

(11 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Thakchoe S, 'Candrakīrti on deflated episodic memory: Response to Endel Tulving's challenge', Australasian Philosophical Review, 1, (4) pp. 432-438. ISSN 2474-0500 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/24740500.2017.1411150 [eCite] [Details]

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2014Thakchoe S, 'Tibetan Reflections on the Value of Truth in Cross-Cultural Philosophy', Confluence: Online Journal of World Philosophies, 1 pp. 186-204. ISSN 2199-0360 (2014) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2013Thakchoe Sonam, 'Prāsaṅgika epistemology: A reply to Stag tsang's charge against Tsongkhapa's uses of Pramāṇa in Candrakīrti's philosophy', Journal of Indian Philosophy, 41, (5) pp. 535-561. ISSN 1573-0395 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10781-013-9186-3 [eCite] [Details]

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2012Thakchoe Sonam, 'Candrakīrti's theory of perception: A case for non-foundationalist epistemology in Madhyamaka', Acta Orientalia Vilnensia, 11, (1) pp. 93-124. ISSN 1648-2662 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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2012Thakchoe Sonam, 'Prasangika's semantic nominalism: reality is linguistic concept', Journal of Indian Philosophy, 40, (4) pp. 427-452. ISSN 0022-1791 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10781-012-9160-5 [eCite] [Details]

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2008Thakchoe S, 'Gorampa on the Objects of Negation: Arguments for Negating Conventional Truths', Contemporary Buddhism, 9, (2) pp. 265-280. ISSN 1463-9947 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14639940802556594 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 1

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2007Thakchoe S, 'Status of Conventional Truth in Tsong khapa's Madhyamika philosophy', Contemporary Buddhism, 8, (1) pp. 31-47. ISSN 1463-9947 (2007) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14639940701295070 [eCite] [Details]

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2007Thakchoe S, 'Philosophy of Vipassana Meditation: Appreciating the Rational Basis of the Insightful Meditation', Journal of Rare Buddhist Texts Research Unit, 43, (1) pp. 63-100. ISSN 1980-9947 (2007) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2005Thakchoe S, 'Transcendental knowledge in Tibetan Madhyamika Epistemology', Contemporary Buddhism, 6, (2) pp. 131-152. ISSN 1463-9947 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14639940500435638 [eCite] [Details]

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2004Thakchoe S, 'How many truths? Are there two truths or one in the Tibetan Prasangika Madhyamika?', Contemporary Buddhism, 5, (2) pp. 121-141. ISSN 1463-9947 (2004) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2003Thakchoe S, ''The Relationship between the two truths'; a comparative analysis of two Tibetan Accounts', Contemporary Buddhism, 4, (2) pp. 111-126. ISSN 1463-9947 (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/1463994032000162947 [eCite] [Details]

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Book

(4 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Duckworth D, Eckel MD, Garfield JL, Powers J, Thabkhas Y, et al., 'Dignaga's 'Investigation of the Percept' : a philosophical legacy in India and Tibet', Oxford University Press, United States, pp. 353. ISBN 9780190623708 (2016) [Edited Book]

[eCite] [Details]

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2015Thakchoe S, Garfield J, Jenkins S, Priest G, Sideritis M, et al., 'Moonpath: Ethics and Emptiness', Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 272. ISBN 9780190260507 (2015) [Edited Book]

[eCite] [Details]

2011Dreyfus G, Finnigan B, Garfield JL, Newland G, Priest G, et al., 'Moonshadows: conventional truth in Buddhist philosophy', Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 251. ISBN 978-0-19-975143-3 (2011) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

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2007Thakchoe S, 'The Two Truths Debate: Tsongkhapa and Gorampa on the Middle Way', Wisdom Publications, Boston, pp. 272. ISBN 9780861715015 (2007) [Authored Research Book]

[eCite] [Details]

Chapter in Book

(14 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Thakchoe S, 'Svātantrika Madhyamaka metaphysics: Bhāvaviveka's conception of reality', History of Indian Philosophy, Routledge, Purushottama Bilimoria (ed), New York, NY, pp. 343-350. ISBN 9780415309769 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

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2018Thakchoe S, 'The two truths in Madhyamaka: Jnānagarbha', History of Indian Philosophy, Routledge, Purushottama Bilimoria (ed), New York, NY, pp. 351-359. ISBN 9780415309769 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

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2016Duckworth D, Eckel MD, Garfield JL, Powers J, Thakchoe S, 'Autocommentary to Investigation of the Percept (Alambana-parik~a-vrtti)', Dignaga's 'Investigation of the Percept' : a philosophical legacy in India and Tibet, Oxford University Press, D Duckworth, MD Eckel, JL Garfield, J Powers, Y Thabkhas, and S Thakchoe (ed), United States, pp. 40-47. ISBN 9780190623708 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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2016Duckworth D, Eckel MD, Garfield JL, Powers J, Thakchoe S, 'Subcommentary on Investigation of the Percept ( Alambana-parik~a-μka)', Dignaga's 'Investigation of the Percept' : a philosophical legacy in India and Tibet, Oxford University Press, D Duckworth, MD Eckel, JL Garfield, J Powers, Y Thabkhas, and S Thakchoe (ed), United States, pp. 78-104. ISBN 9780190623708 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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2016Duckworth D, Eckel MD, Garfield JL, Powers J, Thakchoe S, 'Beautiful String of Pearls: A commentary on investigation of the Percept (dMigs pa brtag pa'i 'grel pa mu tig 'phreng mdzes)', Dignaga's 'Investigation of the Percept' : a philosophical legacy in India and Tibet, Oxford University Press, D Duckworth, MD Eckel, JL Garfield, J Powers, Y Thabkhas, and S Thakchoe (ed), United States, pp. 131-168. ISBN 9780190623708 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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2016Duckworth D, Garfield JL, Powers J, Thakchoe S, 'Ornament for Dignaga's Thought in Investigation of the Percept (dMigs pa brtag pa'i 'grel pa phyogs glang dgongs rgyan)', Dignaga's 'Investigation of the Percept' : a philosophical legacy in India and Tibet, Oxford University Press, D Duckworth, MD Eckel, JL Garfield, J Powers, Y Thabkhas, and S Thakchoe (ed), United States, pp. 112-117. ISBN 9780190623708 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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2016Duckworth D, Garfield JL, Powers J, Thakchoe S, 'Summary of the Essence: A Commentary on investigation of the Percept', Dignaga's 'Investigation of the Percept' : a philosophical legacy in India and Tibet, Oxford University Press, D Duckworth, MD Eckel, JL Garfield, J Powers, Y Thabkhas, and S Thakchoe (ed), United States, pp. 175-213. ISBN 9780190623708 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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2016Goodman C, Thakchoe S, 'The Many Voices of Buddhist Ethics', Moonpath: Ethics and Emptiness, Oxford University Press, The Cowherds (ed), New York, pp. 7-20. ISBN 9780190260507 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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2016Powers J, Thakchoe S, 'Introduction to Summary of the Essence: A commentary on Investigation of the Percept', Dignaga's 'Investigation of the Percept' : a philosophical legacy in India and Tibet, Oxford University Press, D Duckworth, MD Eckel, JL Garfield, J Powers, Y Thabkhas, and S Thakchoe (ed), United States, pp. 169-174. ISBN 9780190623708 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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2016Thakchoe S, 'The Prāsaṅgika Ethics of Momentary Disintegration (Vināśa Bhāva): Causally Effective Karmic Moments', Moonpath: Ethics and Emptiness, Oxford University Press, The Cowherds (ed), New York, pp. 159-182. ISBN 9780190260507 (2016) [Research Book Chapter]

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2015Thakchoe S, 'Reification and Nihilism: The Three Nature Theory and Its Implications', Madhyamaka and Yogacara: Allies or Rivals?, Oxford University Press, Garfield JL and Westerhoff, J (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 72-110. ISBN 9780190231293 (2015) [Research Book Chapter]

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2011Garfield JL, Thakchoe S, 'Identifying the Object of Negation and the Status of Conventional Truth: Why the dGag Bya Matters So Much to Tibetan Madhyamikas', Moonshadows: conventional truth in Buddhist philosophy, Oxford University Press, The Cowherds (ed), New York, pp. 73-87. ISBN 978-0-19-975143-3 (2011) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

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2011Thakchoe S, 'Prāsaṅgika Epistemology in Context', Moonshadows: conventional truth in Buddhist philosophy, Oxford University Press, The Cowherds (ed), New York, pp. 39-55. ISBN 978-0-19-975143-3 (2011) [Research Book Chapter]

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2002Thakchoe S, 'Vices and Virtues: A Buddhist Perspective', Vices and Virtues, Pyrrho Press, I Sawford (ed), Hobart, pp. 77-102. ISBN 1 86295 038 5 (2002) [Other Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Entry

(2 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2011Thakchoe S, 'The Theory of Two Truths in Tibet', Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta (ed), Stanford, Winter 2011, pp. 1-25 (2011) [Entry]

[eCite] [Details]

2011Thakchoe S, 'The Theory of Two Truths in India', Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta (ed), Stanford, Winter 2011, pp. 1-45 (2011) [Entry]

[eCite] [Details]

Other Public Output

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2010Thakchoe S, 'The Place of Ethics in Buddhism', ABC Religion and Ethics - Opinion, ABC, Sydney, 0827, 2010 (2010) [Newspaper Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Sonam and his research team concluded 3-year search project entitled 'Negotiating Modernity: Buddhism in Tibet and China' funded by an ARC grant (DP110102042 $540,000)  based at the ANU for which John Powers, John Makeham and Jay Garfield are the co-chief investigators. The team has translated and analysed an important epistemological text, the Alaṃbanāparikṣā by Dignāga, along with all of its Indian, Tibetan and Chinese commentaries. This project involved a team of ten academics from around the world who specialise in Tibetan, Chinese, and Sanskrit.Sonam and a team of international researcher (with Prof. Jay L. Garfield as the Chief Investigators) has recently been awarded 3-year (2015-2017) funding (US $766,000) from Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund (Tier 2), University of Singapore to work on project 'Bringing a Classical Tibetan Debate into Conversation with Contemporary Philosophy.' The grant funds the study of the Geluk Sakya debates from the 15th-18th centuries initiated by Daktstant Lotsawa's '18 Great Contradictions in the Thought of Tsongkhapa.'

Funding Summary

Number of grants

3

Total funding

$437,777

Projects

Mentoring for Professional Practice: A Creativity Based Approach (2018)$13,777
Description
Graduate teachers and social workers face many challenges in their first year of practice: managing new professional environments, assuming new responsibilities, and meeting accountability standards and performance expectations (Zukas 2011) often with little systemic workplace support (Ingvarson 2014). These issues have been shown to contribute to high levels of stress and burnout (Nobel & Mcfarlane 2007; Smullens 2015), and early career attrition (House of Representatives Standing Committee in Education and Vocational Training 2007), with up to one third of teachers in OECD countries leaving within the first five years of professional practice (Ewing & Manuel 2005). In the face of such demands, opportunities to sustain creativity, curiosity, resilience and a sense of presence in the day-to-day relational practices required of teachers and social workers are limited, with a reported mismatch between early career professionals idealistic motivations and everyday experience (Abbott-Chapman 2005; Day & Gu 2010). This project will form a new interdisciplinary team to improve new teachers and social workers experiences of crossing, transitioning, [and] translating (Johnson et al 2014) their first year of professional practice. We aim to pilot a creative strengths-based mentoring approach that enables new teachers and social workers to develop their personal and social resiliency, agency, and professional identity while enacting the values and understandings that underlie mandated professional standards.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($13,777)
Scheme
Grant - CALE Hothouse Alignment Scheme
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Hunter M; MacDonald AJ; Baltra-Ulloa AJ; McLeod K; Thakchoe S; Wise CJE
Year
2018
A Buddhist Debate and Its Contemporary Relevance (2016 - 2018)$414,000
Description
This project will engage with one of the central debates in the Tibetan philosophy concerning truth, realism and epistemic justification. It will explore the implications of this debate for subsequent Tibetan thought and for contemporary Western analytic philosophy.
Funding
Australian Research Council ($414,000)
Scheme
Grant-Discovery Projects
Administered By
Deakin University
Research Team
Powers J; Thakchoe S
Period
2016 - 2018
Grant Reference
DP160100947
An Investigation of Taktsang's Presentation of Eighteen Great Contradictions in Tsongkhapa's Philosophy and Panchen Lobsang Chokyi Gyaltsen's Response (2008)$10,000
Funding
University of Tasmania ($10,000)
Scheme
Grant-Institutional Research Scheme
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Thakchoe S
Year
2008

Research Supervision

Sonam attracted many promising research students at UTAS specialising on Asian philosophical projects. He has had significant success in changing the research culture of the postgraduate community of Philosophy at UTAS into a much more cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and inclusive environment. Sonam has successfully supervised seven PhD theses. He welcomes expressions of interest from new MA or PhD students.

Topics that are ripe for a good PhD thesis and Sonam is most happy to work with are:

  • Madhyamaka: any topics on Madhyamaka philosophy: ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology
  • Yogācāra: topics on Buddhist Idealism and Phenomenology
  • Sautrāntika: topics on Buddhist Logic and Epistemology
  • Vaibhāṣika: topics on Buddhist cosmology, psychology and philosophy of mind
  • Mīmāṁsā / Nyāya: topics on Indian logic and epistemology
  • Vaiśeṣika: topics on Indian metaphysics
  • Taoism: topics on Philosophical Taoism
  • Zen: Topics on Philosophical Zen

Current

1

Completed

9

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDBuddhist Meditation Techniques as Both the Subject of, and as a Method for, Phenomenological Enquiry into the Nature and Structure of Consciousness2018

Completed

DegreeTitleCompleted
PhDThe Iconography of Contemporary Tibetan Art: Deconstruction, reconstruction and iconoclasm
Candidate: Angela Mary Ryan
2017
PhDExperience and Morality: Buddhist ethics as moral phenomenology
Candidate: Daniel Timothy Aitken
2016
PhDGender and the Soteriology Debate in Buddhism: Is a Female Buddha Possible in Non-Esoteric Buddhism?
Candidate: Karma Sonam Palmo
2013
PhDNourishing the Dhamma: Vegetarianism and Animal Nonviolence in Theravada Buddhism with a special focus on Sinhala Buddhism
Candidate: James John Stewart
2012
PhDNothing Transcended: An Examination of the Metaphysical Implications of Interdependence
Candidate: Justin Mark Shimeld
2012
PhDA Theopoetic Reflection on Thomas Traherne, Meister Eckhart and Mother Julian of Norwich
Candidate: James Arthur Charlton
2011
PhDCreated Motion in Maximus the Confessor: A Dynamicist Reading
Candidate: Cullan Nicholas Joyce
2010
MastersThe Philosophy of Comparative Philosophy
Candidate: Benjamin G Cook
2008
MastersA Calculus of Consequences and Compassion: A Comparative Analysis of Mahayana Buddhist Ethics and Classical Utilitarian Ethics
Candidate: Dorjee Choephel
2006