FASS Award Ceremony 2016

Every year, the Faculty of Arts and Social Science holds the FASS Awards Ceremony to celebrate the academic excellence of the best performing Undergraduate and Graduate students in the past year. This year’s Ceremony was on 20th August 2016 in UTown Auditorium 2, Stephen Riady Center.


Students hailing from our very own Philosophy Department did exceptionally well in In Academic Year 2015/2016. In her opening address, the Dean Professor Brenda Yeoh made special mention of Bernadette Chin. Bernadette was selected to be the valedictorian speaker for the graduating batch of 2016 on account of her truly exceptional achievements and the numerous accolades she collected. She has since enrolled back in the Department’s Masters Programme. 14114996_1240288089317751_6266408341344862717_o


This year, the FASS Awards Ceremony also included the FASS Student Leadership Award (FSLA). The FSLA is a special award given to students who, beyond academic excellence, contributed to the faculty and society. In 2015/16, a group of philosophy majors started a Peer Mentoring Programme to organize essay-clinics for new philosophy students, students from other departments and faculties with an interest in philosophy and the humanities. Their efforts not only fostered stronger ties among the Philosophy majors, it also help reached out to the wider NUS community. For this initiative, they were awarded the FSLA Group Award.


Here is a list of awardees from the Philosophy Department:

Graduate Students Teaching Award

Cai Xian Hui Nicholas

Li Qing Yi

FASS Scholarship in Buddhist Studies

David Premsharan S/O R Mohanadas

Hochstadt Scholarship in the Humanities

Will Zhang Chen

Ian and Peony Ferguson Scholarship

Aloysius Chan Jun Hao

Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal (Overall)/Rachel Meyer Book Prize/Special Book Prize – Philosophy/Daiwa Prize

Bernadette Chin Siew Hui

NTUC Medal/ Philosophy Book Prize

Yap Pei Ling Rachael

FSLA Group Award

Philosophy Peer Mentors

Dean’s Scholar List, Semester 1

Yap Pei Ling Rachael

Dean’s Scholar List, Semester 2

Aloysius Chan Jun Hao

Bernadette Chin Siew Hui

Rei Lim

Marcus Wee Rui Zheng

Muhammad Lutfi Bin Mohamed Shoufi

San Weng Kin

Yap Pei Ling Rachael

Yip Zhen Yuan Brandon

Will Zhang Chen

(Prepared by Jeremy Huang, with input from A/P Loy Hui Chieh)

To all our grad students doing Asian/Chinese philosophy

Call for Applications to the Tan Ean Kiam Chinese Philosophy Graduate Award

To encourage students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Chinese philosophy, the Kongzi Cultural Fund is calling for applicants to their Tan Ean Kiam Chinese Philosophy Graduate Award. The conditions are as follows:

  1. Full time graduate student (MA or PhD) who is pursuing research in Chinese philosophy may apply.
  2. Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents or non-Resident who is a full time graduate student enrolled in one of the local universities (NUS, NTU, SMU) may apply.
  3. Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who are pursuing graduate studies in an overseas university may also apply.
  4. Each award ranges from 4,000-6,000SGD; the size will depend on the number of applicants and other factors. The total fund available per year for the awards is 30,000SGD.
  5. Applicants should submit an English CV, personal statement in both English and Chinese, two recommendation letters, transcripts and other relevant documents proving status as graduate student.
  6. The Kongzi Cultural Fund will be responsible for forming a committee, to see to the selection and interview process; the number of awardees per year may vary according to circumstances.
  7. The awards will be given out each year on the 27th Day of the 8th month in the Chinese calendar (i.e., September or October) at the Annual Birthday Celebration of Confucius hosted by the Nanyang Confucian Association, by representatives of the Kongzi Cultural Fund and Tan Ean Kiam Foundation.

Workshop ‘Epistemology of Disagreement and the Philosophy of Education’ (12 Jan 2016, 1pm -5 .30pm




1:00-2:00pm – Dr Lani Watson (University of Edinburgh): “Educating for Inquisitiveness”

2:00-3:00pm – A/P Axel Gelfert (NUS): “Epistemic Peerhood and the Philosophy of Education”

3:00-3:15pm – Coffee break

3:15-4:15pm: A/P Nikolaj Pedersen (Yonsei University, Seoul): “Non-Rational Action in the Face of Disagreement”

4:15-5:15pm: Dr Eric Kerr (NUS): “Educating Cyborgs: Outsourcing Memory and the Epistemic Aims of Education”

VENUE: Philosophy Seminar Room, AS3 #05-23

MODERATOR: A/P Axel Gelfert



“Introduction to the unity of structured propositions” by Bjørn Jespersen

This talk addresses the unity of the structured atomic proposition that a is an F. I address both the metaphysical problem of how multiple, heterogeneous parts are unified into one whole that has features none of its parts have, as well as how to decompose the whole back into its parts, and the semantic problem of how propositions are related to truth-conditions. I analyze both an empirical and a non-empirical (e.g. mathematical) variant of the proposition that a is an F; for instance, that Pluto is a planet, and that two is prime. The solutions I offer are developed within a realist procedural semantics (Transparent Intensional Logic), which identifies meanings with procedures for obtaining output objects from input objects. My general approach is broadly Fregean, but makes do without the notion of unsaturated objects. I demonstrate how predication holds the key to the unity of at least atomic propositions. Predication is modelled as an instance of the logical procedure of functional application.


Suggested background readings:

Jespersen, B., ‘Recent work on structured meaning and propositional

Unity’, Philosophy Compass 7 (2012): 620-30.


Jespersen, B., ‘Structured lexical concepts, property modifiers, and Transparent Intensional Logic’, Philosophical Studies 172 (2015): 321-45.

Keller, L., ‘The metaphysics of propositional constituency’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (2013): 655-78.

Philosophy Tutorial
Date: Friday, 18 Sep 2015
Time: 11am – 1pm
Venue: AS3 #05-23
Speaker: Bjørn Jespersen, University of Barcelona
Moderator: Dr. Tang Weng Hong

About the Speaker:

Bjørn Jespersen is currently affiliated with the LOGOS Research Group in Logic, Language and Cognition at the University of Barcelona as a Marie Curie Fellow funded by a European Commission grant. Before that he held research and teaching positions at Delft University of Technology, the Czech Academy of Sciences, and Leiden University.

He obtained his PhD at the Masaryk University in the Czech Republic on a thesis devoted to reference and attitudes in Transparent Intensional Logic. He originally studied philosophy at the University of Aarhus in his native country of Denmark.

He is a co-author of the award-winning book Procedural Semantics for Hyperintensional Logic (Springer, 2010) and has published in excess of fifty papers and book chapters in, for instance, Philosophical Studies, Synthese, Synthese Library, Studia Logica, Journal of Philosophical Logic, and most recently in Thought. He has co-edited a special section of Synthese containing papers on hyperintensionality, and will be co-editing a special issue of Synthese together with Manuel García-Carpintero containing papers on propositional unity, some of which were presented at the recent LOGOS conference on this topic.

His current project is devoted to the unity of structured, fine-grained propositions. He has published a paper on recent work devoted to this topic in Philosophy Compass. His two latest projects were on quantifying-in and modifiers. His general interest is philosophical logic and philosophy of language.

The two presentations that Dr Jespersen is giving at Singapore National University have previously been given at UC Irvine, UNAM, and University of Stockholm.

Second Annual Triangular Graduate Student Conference on Asian Philosophy (Mar 6-8)

Graduate Student Conference 2.1

The Second Annual Triangular Graduate Student Conference on Asian Philosophy (2015) is jointly organized and sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, and Yale-NUS College. Annual Triangular Graduate Student Conference on Asian Philosophy is held on a rotational basis between The National University of Singapore, National Chengchi University, and Kyoto University. The first meeting was in 2014, in National Chengchi University.

Conference Programme

Friday 6 March

2:00-3:30 Yasuo Deguchi (KU): “Nishida’s Contradictory Self-identity Reconstructed” (Keynote)
3:30-3:45 Break
3:45-4:15 Ryo Tanaka (KU): “Two Images of the World: Sellars and Buddhism”
4:15-4:45 Masumi Aoki (KU): “Manshi Kiyosawa: A Case of the Reception of Western Philosophy in Japan”
4:45-5:00 Break
5:00-6:00 Phillippe Major (NUS): “The Tradition of Anti-Traditionalism: Transcendence in Sartre and Nishitani”

Saturday 7 March

9:30-11:00 Loy Hui Chieh (NUS): “A Divine-Will Conception of Ethical Foundations in the Mozi” (Keynote)
11:00-11:15 Break
11:15-12:15 Ellie Wang (NCCU), “On Xunzi’s View of the Transformation of Human Nature”
12:15-1:15 Lunch Buffet at FASS
1:15-2:15 Maiko Yamamori (KU): “A Mathematical Interpretation of I Ching”
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-330 Taro Okamura and Kazuhira Watanabe (KU): “On the Notion of Self: Hume and Asian Thought”
3:30-3:45 Break
3:45-4:15 Daryl Ooi Shen (NUS): “Some Dance to Remember – Zhuangzi and the Problem of Suffering”
4:15-4:45 Lee Wilson (NUS): “Diluvian Discourses: Zhiyan and Therapeutic Scepticism in the Zhuangzi”
4:45-5:45 Mary Riley (NUS): “The Role of Ming and Ethics in the Zhuangzi”
8:00- Party at Jay’s and Blaine’s place

Sunday 8 March

9:30-11:00 Lin Chen-Kuo (NCCU): “Perceiving thathatā as ālambana: On Chinese Yogācāra interpretations of Dignāga’s Investigation of the Percept” (Keynote)
11:00-11:15 Break
11:45-12:15 Wu Chih-YIng (NCCU): “How are Empty Words Used for Negation in Nāgārjunaa’s Vigrahavyāvartanī?”
12:15-2:00 Lunch (not provided)
2:00-3:00 Lin Fang-Min (NCCU): “Language in the Realm of Ultimate Truth: On Bhāviveka’s Theory of the Two Truths in the Treatise on the Jewel in the Hand”
2:30-2:45 Break
2:45-3:45 Hu Zhi-Chang (NCCU): “Saṃghabhadra’s Theory of Self-Cognition in the Abdhidharma-nyāyānusāra-śāstra”
3:45-4:45 Maikel Schmaeling (NUS) “Developing a moral taste–Rasa and Katharsis between Ethics & Aesthetics”
4:45-5:00 Closing Remarks

Graduate Student Conference Call for Paper

659px-Shiba_Kokan_A_meeting_of_Japan_China_and_the_West_late_18th_centuryThe second annual NUS-National Chengchi University (Taiwan)-Kyoto University Triangular Graduate Student Conference on Asian philosophy will be hosted here at NUS 6-8 March. This is a friendly, informal conference where students of these three universities share ideas and work in progress. The conference will commence with keynote addresses by Profs Loy Hui Chieh, Lin Chen-Kuo of Chenching National University and Yasuo Deguchi of Kyoto University.

Students are invited to submit proposals for either short (20 minute) talks or full (50 minute) talks for this conference. It is a great opportunity to share ideas and to meet fellow students from around Asia. Please send a title and abstract to Jay Garfield (jay.garfield-at-yale-nus.edu.sg) and Michael Pelczar (phimwp-at-nus.edu.sg) by 14 February.

Philippe MAJOR

M.A. National Taiwan University Email: a0109695-at-nus.edu.sg; Degree: PhD

photoPhilippe holds a Master’s degree in History from National Taiwan University. His Master’s thesis consisted of a study of the consciousness of time of New Culture Movement (1915-1927) intellectuals such as Liang Shuming and Chen Duxiu, as well as the redefinition of modernity which was inherent in their views of time. His PhD dissertation will focus on how modern Confucian thinkers, whom inherited a tradition rooted in the idea that individual development is informed by, and achieved through, a given socio-historical context, reacted to a modern definition of the self which is to a great extent atomistic, being alienated from both community and tradition.


Email: a0109362-at-nus.edu.sg; Degree: MA

2013-10-13 16.42.07 - 复制She is interested in topics in Anglo-American philosophy, including Philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and metaethics. She has been mainly working on contemporary moral philosophy. Her bachelor’s thesis sought to explain normativity of obligation from Darwall’s second-person standpoint. She has worked on moral dilemmas, distinguishing moral dilemmas we are faced with in our moral life and genuine moral dilemmas, and tries to solve the problem of incompatibility of moral dilemma and deontic logical principles. Currently she is writing on supererogation. She denies anti-supererogationism, arguing against the position that “all morally good action is obligatory”. However, she does not stand totally in either side of qualified supererogationism and unqualified supererogationism, but tries to state that items of obligation and supererogation are not unchangeable.

LI Qingyi

B.Soc.Sci Hons, NUSEmail: li.qingyi-at-nus.edu.sg; Degree: MA

1524874_10152167642118854_1419935554_nQingyi is working towards his M.A. in Philosophy and his area of interest is in political philosophy. His dissertation project examines the moral foundations of political philosophy, more specifically liberal neutrality. Other topics of interest in political philosophy include: liberal theory, methodological concerns in political philosophy, distributive justice and global justice. His interests also extend to moral philosophy.