Amber D Carpenter

Humanities (Philosophy)

Associate Professor

Contact No.: +65 6601-3689

Dr Carpenter graduated with a BA in Philosophy at Yale University in 1996. She obtained her PhD in Philosophy from King’s College London in 2001.

Dr. Carpenter specialises in ancient Greek philosophy, and Indian Buddhist philosophy. In both areas, her interest is in ethics broadly construed. She is particularly concerned with the place of reason in a well-lived life – what might reason be that it could be ethically relevant, or even required? Addressing this question opens up lines of inquiry in metaphysics, epistemology and philosophical psychology.

Dr. Carpenter’s work considers the intersections of these areas of philosophical inquiry in particular. In both Greece and India, metaphysics and epistemology mattered. Debates over what substance is, or what cause is, and debates over sources of knowledge or the nature of perception, are parts of wider disputes about the nature and domain of the ethical and of the human good. Some of Dr. Carpenter’s work focuses specifically on Plato, or on particular Buddhist texts. But some of her work also aims to create a conversation between these two philosophical traditions, as for instance,  in ‘Ethics of Substance’.

Dr. Carpenter works with Dr Rachael Wiseman (Durham), on the Integrity Project – – which aims to philosophically map the contours of integrity and its various failures (pretence, hypocrisy, spinelessness, venality) in the contemporary world, and historically. Dr Carpenter and Dr Wiseman work with historians, political theorists, literary and cultural critics, sociologists and anthropologists to create fruitful conversation on the nature of integrity, its value for a person and a society, and the costs of its absence or impossibility.


Metaphysics as Ethics: Indian Buddhist Philosophy, Routledge 2013

‘Ranking Knowledge in Plato’s Philebus‘, in Phronesis (forthcoming)

‘Persons Keeping Their Karma Together’ in The Moon Points Back: Analytic Philosophy and Asian
Thought. Jay Garfield, Graham Priest and Koji Tanaka, eds. New York: Oxford University Press

‘Ethics of Substance’, in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume LXXXVIII (2014)

‘Perfect Knowledge and its Affects’ in Plato’s Philebus (Jirsa and Špinka, eds.) 2014

‘Eating One’s Own: Exploring Conceptual Space for Moral Restraint in Ancient Greece’, in Ethical Perspectives on Animals 1400-1650 (Cecilia Muratori, ed.), SISMEL – Editzioni del Galluzzo 2013

‘Faith Without God in Nāgārjuna’, in Thomism and Asian Cultures (Alfredo P. Co and Paolo A. Bolaños, eds), Manila 2012

‘Judging Strives to be Knowing’, Plato’s Republic: Proceedings of the IXth Symposium Platonicum (Luc Brisson and Noburu Notomi, eds), Academia Verlag 2012-13

‘Pleasure as Genesis’, Ancient Philosophy, 31 (2011): 73-94

‘Can You Seek the Answer to this Question?’ [with Jonardon Ganeri]. Australasian Journal of
Philosophy 88 (2010): 571-594 (The ‘Paradox of Inquiry’ in India)

‘Embodying Intelligence (?): Plants in Plato’s Timaeus’, Phronesis 55 (2010): 281-303

‘What is Peculiar in Aristotle’s and Plato’s Psychologies? What is Common to Them Both?’ in Aristotle and the Stoics Reading Plato, edited by V. Harte, M. M. McCabe, R. Sharples, and A. Shepherd. Published under the auspices of the Institute of Classical Studies, London 2010.

Philosophy and Political Theory