Allison E. Aitken

Allison E. Aitken

Research Interest

Allison Aitken

Assistant Professor | Columbia University

A.B., Harvard College (2013)

Ph.D., Harvard University (2020)

Allison Aitken joined the department in 2021. Her research centers on non-standard theories of relations and dependence structures in the history of metaphysics, both South Asian as well as early modern European. She is currently working on two projects: the first is a defense of the Madhyamaka Buddhist ontological dependence structure understood as a kind of metaphysical indefinitism; the second is an interpretation of the Lockean person as a relation. Before coming to Columbia, Professor Aitken was a Bersoff Faculty Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at New York University.

Selected Publications

Introduction to Reality: A Tibetan Critical Edition, Annotated English Translation, and Philosophical Introduction to Śrīgupta’s Tattvāvatāravṛtti, Harvard Oriental Series, Harvard University Press, forthcoming.

“No Unity, No Problem: Madhyamaka Metaphysical Indefinitism,” Philosophers’ Imprint, forthcoming

“The Truth about Śrīgupta’s Two Truths: Longchen Rabjampa’s ‘Lower Svātantrikas’ and the Making of a New Philosophical School,” Journal of South Asian Intellectual History, forthcoming.

“Somethings and Nothings: Śrīgupta and Leibniz on Being and Unity,” Philosophy East and West 70, vol. 4 (2020): 1022-1046. (with Jeffrey K. McDonough)

“An Appearance-Reality Distinction in an Unreal World,” for an author-meets-critic symposium on Jan Westerhoff’s The Non-existence of the Real World, with reply from Westerhoff, Analysis, forthcoming.

“Śāntarakṣita: Climbing the Ladder to Ultimate Truth,” in Routledge Handbook of Indian Buddhist Philosophy, Routledge, forthcoming.