by Cheryl Smithem

College of Charleston Philosophy Professors Christian Coseru and Sheridan Hough presented lectures in Taipei City at Taiwan’s, National Chengchi University. Their talks were components of University’s symposium, “Consciousness and Intentionality in Buddhist Philosophy.”

Lectures given by Coseru were “Consciousness and Intentionality: Terminological Preliminaries” on March 8, 2013; “Self-Awareness and the First-Person Stance: Charting the Phenomenology of Svasamvedna” on March 9, and “Who’s Afraid of Naturalism?” Non-eliminative Reductionism and the Enlightened Mind” on March 10.

Coseru is the author of Perceiving Reality: Consciousness, Intentionality and Cognition in Buddhist Philosophy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), which offers a defense of phenomenological naturalism in comparative philosophy of mind; he is currently completing another manuscript on phenomenological and analytic philosophical perspectives on consciousness. He teaches courses in Metaphysics, Indian and Buddhist philosophy, and Philosophy of Mind. Coseru was a recipient of an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

According to Coseru, “The topic of consciousness is one that is heating up discussions around the world.” This is Coseru’s second trip to Taiwan in less then two years. In 2011 he was the keynote speaker at a colloquium that was part of the XVIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies.

Hough’s lecture presented March 6, 2013 was “Would Sartre Have Suffered From Nausea If He Had Understood the Buddhist No-Self Doctrine?” It was a component of the pre-panels to the lecture series. Her paper’s subject was Jean-Paul Sartre’s account of consciousness and intentionality and comparisons with the Buddhist ‘no-self’ doctrine.

Hough was delighted to be included in the symposium at National Chengchi University as a contrast to her colleague Coseru’s presentations. She notes, “This conference is in large measure a symposium about my colleague’s new book, “Perceiving Reality,” and the chair of the philosophy department at the University wanted to include a speaker who approaches these issues from a Continental perspective.”

While in Taiwan, Hough also presented a paper at Academia Sinica on Kierkegaard’s account of the self, and Heidegger’s and Sartre’s debt to that scheme. Hough is currently completing a book whose topic is Kierkegaard’s concept of the self.

Sheridan Hough is the author of Nietzsche’s Noontide Friend: The Self As Metaphoric Double (Penn State Press, 1997), which was nominated for the American Philosophical Association Younger Scholar Book Prize in the fall of 2000; she is currently completing another book manuscript on Kierkegaard’s understanding of the self. Her first novel, Mirror’s Fathom, was published by Mercer University Press in 2012. She teaches courses in 19th and 20th Century Continental philosophy and feminist theory.

This is also the second trip to Taiwan for Hough within the last two years. In 2011 s presented a paper at the XVIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies at Dharma Drum College in New Taipei City.

For more information about Coseru or his work, contact him at or via his website.  For more information about Hough or her work, contact her at or via her website.