Graduate Students


PhD Students

So Young MOON

M.A., SungKyunkwan University

So Young holds an M.A. from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea. Her study is mainly in early Confucian philosophy and she wrote my MA thesis on Confucius’ renxue in the Analects. Her current research interests in NUS are early Chinese philosophy, including Confucianism, Daoism, and thoughts of the other schools in the pre-Qin period. Also, she is interested in Comparative Philosophy and Ethics.


M.A., Kent State University

She holds an MA from Kent State University, where her thesis focused on resonating themes in the Confucian and George Herbert Mead’s concepts of self. She hopes to continue research in comparative philosophy looking at the intertwining nature of community and individual in different philosophical contexts. Additionally, she is interested in the methodology of comparative philosophy and the problems associated with distinguishing between eastern and western thought. More broadly, her interests include early Confucian thought, American Pragmatism, Twentieth Century Continental philosophy, and Plato.


M.A., Jilin University, China

Zhang Ming is currently a PhD student in the department of philosophy, with a M.A. of philosophy from Jilin University, China. He has passed his QE and now is on the stage of thesis writing. His research interest is in contemporary political philosophy, especially the topic of distributive justice. The topic of his thesis is "Luck, Responsibility, and Distributive Justice" through which he attempts to defend a resourcist version of luck egalitarianism.

TSAI Miao Kun

M.A. National Taiwan University

The topic of Miao Kun’s MA thesis was on qing 情 in the Chuang-tzu. Since joining NUS, she has broadened her academic interest to include Continental philosophy and contemporary hermeneutics. At this moment she is endeavoring to work out a proposal for her doctoral thesis, which aims to contribute to comparative ethics through investigating the place of ethics and agency in pre-Qin Daoist thought, particularly the thought of Lao-zi and Chuang-tzu. She has the faith that in while in academic life, we reflect, in everydayness, we embrace our own worldhood through wandering at ease.

Mitradutta MOHAPATRA

M.A., University of mumbai

A graduate engineer by education and a sales and marketing professional for over 20 years, I got drawn into philosophy about four years back out of my longstanding interest and passion. In my reasonably long work and personal life, I have always been a keen observer of behavioural dichotomy and inconsistency in human approach in matters of personal and organizational ethics. My academic engagement with philosophy is aimed at seeking answers to some of these real life challenges. I must say that my initial exposure to science and mathematics has always been a blessing in disguise in this pursuit.

I completed a Master’s degree in Philosophy from University of Mumbai in 2011. As a graduate student, I have been trained both on Western and Indian philosophical traditions, with specific emphasis on Immanuel Kant, Twentieth Century Analytical Philosophy and Ethics. I am a great admirer of Kantian ethics. Its idealistic overtone making ‘good will’ and the criterion of ‘universalizability’ as the basic cornerstone of human morality has always appealed to me as an effective answer to ethical dilemmas of the day. The meta-ethical debate of the last century has also been equally fascinating to me. With the above as the background, I now venture into this new academic journey at NUS.

In the modern business world, there has been an increased tendency to enforce the ever-shifting ethical values through the imposition of hard coded compliance laws and corporate governance modules. Is this evolution of business ethics guided by the fundamental principles of justice and trust? To what extent the overarching dimension of business health and profitability eclipses the true ethical character of business? Do the modern corporations hold the sincerity of good will in adopting ethical values that can meet the criterion of universalizability? To what extent are codes of compliance ethics, in their legal framework, able to bypass subjective inclinations and hold the communicative rationality to answer the fundamental question of “what I ought to do?” I intend to deal with these interesting dimensions of contemporary business ethics in my upcoming research project at NUS.

Philippe MAJOR

M.A. National Taiwan University

Philippe 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.



Elena is a PhD student in the Join Program between  NUS and King’s College London. Elena holds an M.A. in Analytic Philosophy from University of Barcelona UB (Spain) and an M.A. in Philosophy from University of Parma (Italy). As an undergraduate, she studied philosophy at the University of Parma and was a visiting student at the Radboud University in Nijmegen (Netherlands). Elena’s main area of research are Ethics and Political Philosophy. She also have a special interest in Relativism.

Theresa HELKE


Theresa Helke joined the department in August 2014. She is the first Philosophy PhD candidate in the NUS/Yale-NUS joint supervision programme. Before, she majored in Logic and minored in Government at Smith College. Professors Jay Garfield and James Henle supervised her honours thesis ('Brown v. Brown: The Limits of Logic in Law and Language'). Professor Chris Mortensen (University of Adelaide) and she co-authored an article which the British Journal of Aesthetics published in 2013 (‘How Many Impossible Images Did Escher Produce?’, (2013) 53 (4): 425-441).

After working at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London and travelling to India, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, she read Law at the University of Cambridge. Now, she is interested in multiculturalism and, within it, feminism, migration, law and linguistics. Professor Jay Garfield, who currently teaches at both NUS and Yale-NUS, is supervising her dissertation.

She is English but grew up in New York City, Geneva and Vienna. Having trained eight years as a circus artist, she enjoys riding her unicycle.



MA Students

CHONG Bao Shen Kenneth

B.A. Hons, NUS

Kenneth is currently pursuing his MA at NUS, where he is receiving some pressure to be a dualist under the supervision of his supervisor. In his free time, Kenneth enjoys playing all sorts of games, which might help explain his interest in Philosophy. He also enjoys writing plays and listening to music.

CAI Xianhui Nicholas


Nick’s primary areas of research are in the areas of Political Philosophy and the history of Political Philosophy. His honors thesis was a Rawlsian defense of Liberal Neutrality, focusing on the notion of Public Reason. His other research interests include Moral Philosophy, German Idealism and ancient Greek Philosophy, especially the connection between Politics, Religion, and Philosophy.


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 thesis sought to explain normativity of obligation from Darwall’s second-person standpoint. She has worked on moral dilemma, 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 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


Qingyi 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.

LOO Wei Ling Jane


Jane holds a B.Sc. Chemistry and B.A. (Hons) Philosophy from the National University of Singapore. Her masters’ thesis focuses on consciousness and personal identity over time. She is also interested in applied ethics, and the philosophy of space and time. When not reading Philosophy, she is on her yoga mat, or slave to her beagle.

NG Han Wei Melvin



KOH Hui Li


Hui Li’s background is in political science. She was drawn to the normative questions surrounding justice and the good, and is now pursuing them in philosophy. She is interested in ethics, political philosophy and the insights that one can gleam on these subjects through the study and comparison of different philosophical traditions.

LIM Hui Hui Jade


Jade’s main areas of research are in ethics and political philosophy. Her interests also extend to feminism, environmental ethics and race.

TAY Qing Lun


Qing Lun is pursuing his MA in NUS, where he is currently engaged in research on modal metaphysics.