My research specialization is classical Chinese philosophy. I’m particularly interested in how early Chinese theories of mind, knowledge, and language intersect with contemporary epistemology, action theory, and ethics. Of late, I've also become interested in the history of Chinese political thought and its philosophical implications.
My recent publications include The Philosophy of the Mozi: The First Consequentialists (Columbia, 2016) and The Essential Mozi (Oxford, forthcoming). I am currently working on a manuscript for the Oxford History of Philosophy series entitled Late Classical Chinese Thought. Other projects at various stages of development include a book on Zhuangzi and ethics, another on language and world in early Chinese thought, and a third on the Daoist concept of wuwei 無為 (non-action), tentatively titled Wu-Wei: Fitting in with Things.
A native of Canada, I grew up in Québec and Massachusetts but have lived in Hong Kong and Taiwan since the 1980s. I hold degrees from Yale University, National Taiwan University, and the University of Hong Kong, where I won the Li Ka Shing Dissertation Prize in 1999. Before embarking on a career in academia, I worked as a technical writer, editor, and translator in Taiwan’s electronics industry and taught English composition at two universities there.
In July 2009 I joined the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong as Associate Professor. Previously I was Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 2001–2009 and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taipei, in 2000.
I have a wide range of philosophical interests but my publications have focused on early Chinese philosophy, particularly philosophy of mind, epistemology, action theory, and the various ways in which these fields intersect with ethics. A summary of my recent research work is here.