I grew up in eastern Kentucky, and I did my undergraduate work in philosophy at Berea College in Kentucky. During that time I also took a year out to complete an undergraduate certificate in Southeast Asian Studies at the Universiti Sains Malaysia on Pulau Pinang in Malaysia where I did research on Islamic law and traditional shadow puppets, wayang kulit. I also worked as a translator and assistant for the World Affairs Council Consortium for International Education across Malaysia. I returned to Berea College and completed my degree. I also spent two years there after graduation as the Assistant Coordinator for the Center for Learning, Teaching, Communication and Research, the student writing lab and faculty development center. During that time I also spent about three months studying traditional bunraku puppetry in rural Japan and doing research on Hindu influences on popular Japanese religion as a special guest of Asia InnerStage. I moved to India in 2006 where I lived and worked for about three years as a cultural consultant and as a founding member and Academic Director of TutorVista.Com, today the world’s largest online tutoring company.
In 2008, I moved to Honolulu, Hawai’i to pursue my graduate studies in Comparative Philosophy. I received a five year, $250,000 Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship to support my graduate studies. I specialize in metaphysics where the metaphysics and ontology of properties, relations and similarity and the normativity of analogical arguments are my main interests. My research areas are contemporary metaphysics, philosophy of language, Indian philosophy, particularly Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika thought, early Buddhist thought, and Islamic philosophy, particularly legal thought.
I completed my masters degree in philosophy at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 2010, and then took a year off of my studies to live with my wife and her family in Cambodia. I returned to the USA in 2012, and am currently a Ph.D. student as well as concurrently completing a graduate certificate in Southeast Asian Studies that may turn into a second masters degree.
I do lots of language studies and translations to support my research in Sanskrit, Pāḷi, Malay-Indonesian, and Khmer (Cambodian). I’ve been award a Critical Language Scholarship from the United States’ Department of State for my studies in Indonesian, and I have been awarded Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships for both the study of Indonesian and Khmer. I am also in the midst of completing a book on violence within Theravāda Buddhist contexts and exploring ethical theories embedded in historical contexts and of course completing my dissertation. My dissertation topic is the metaphysics of similarity and analogical arguments.
I enjoy reading about philosophy, linguistics, religion and history. I enjoy running, rowing, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. I also like watching documentaries, physical comedy, and cartoons. Also also enjoy cooking and feeding people.