Associate Professor


  • Website:
  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Associate Professor
    • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Concentration:

    • Chinese philosophy
    • comparative philosophy
    • political philosophy
  • Department:

    • Philosophy
  • Education:

    • University of Utah, PhD (Philosophy)
    • University of Michigan, MA (Asian Languages & Cultures - Chinese)
    • University of California, San Diego, MA (Philosophy)
    • Pomona College, BA (PPE)


I’m a philosopher interested in the social and political realms and my research focuses primarily on the early Chinese tradition, especially Confucian and Legalist views on the relationship between morality and politics. Although I find these thinkers fascinating in their own right, I also try to show that the ideas of these early Chinese thinkers can illuminate many contemporary philosophical debates and contribute meaningfully to discussions in contemporary political philosophy and ethics.

Before moving to CSU, I spent quite a few years in Hong Kong, most recently as an Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University and earlier at City University. I have also taught at Yonsei University’s Underwood International College in Seoul, South Korea and at Santa Clara University in California, and spent a sabbatical as a Visiting Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.


Recent Publications:

  • “The Dao of Han Fei.” In Justin Tiwald, ed., Oxford Handbook of Chinese Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
  • “Early Chinese Political Realists: From Shen Buhai to Han Fei.” In Selusi Ambrogio and David Rogacz, eds. Chinese Philosophy and Its Thinkers: From Ancient Times to the Present Day. London: Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming.
  • “Morality vs. Impartial Standards in the Shenzi Fragments” In Yuri Pines, ed. Dao Companion to China’s fa Traditions: The Philosophy of Governance by Impartial Standards. New York: Springer, forthcoming.
  • “Human Motivations in the fa Traditions.” In Yuri Pines, ed. Dao Companion to China’s fa Traditions: The Philosophy of Governance by Impartial Standards. New York: Springer, forthcoming.
  • “Normativity of War and Peace: Thoughts from the Han Feizi.” In Sumner B. Twiss, Ping-cheung Lo, and Benedict Chan, eds. Warfare Ethics in Comparative Perspective: China and the West. London: Routledge, 2024, 113-125.
  • “Han Feizi” (selections) in Philip J. Ivanhoe and Bryan W. Van Norden, eds. Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. 3rd Ed. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2023, 323-381.
  • “Fanaticism in Classical Chinese Philosophy.” In Paul Katsafanas, ed. Fanaticism and the History of Philosophy. London: Routledge, 2023, 51-64.
  • “Developing Political Realism: Some Thoughts from Classical China.” In Amber L. Griffioen and Marius Backmann, eds., Pluralizing Philosophy’s Past: New Reflections in the History of Philosophy. New York: Palgrave, 2023, 63-76.
  • Adventures in Chinese Realism: Classic Philosophy Applied to Contemporary Issues. Edited with Henrique Schneider. SUNY Press, 2022.
    • “Han Fei and Ethics in the Corporate Realm.” In Adventures in Chinese Realism, 45-59.
    • “Amoral Desert? Han Fei’s Theory of Punishment.” In Adventures in Chinese Realism, 195-210.
  • The Shenzi Fragments: A Philosophical Analysis and Translation. Columbia University Press, 2016.

First Generation Story

I grew up on a small farm in rural Ohio, raised by a grandmother who, while she never had the opportunity to go to college, did have shelves upon shelves of all sorts of books. Much of my childhood was spent with my nose in these books, a habit that continues to this day.