Research Categories


Main Research Areas at NTU:

  • Chinese Philosophy
  • Ethics (Moral Philosophy)
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Social Philosophy and Political Philosophy


The word "philosophy" comes from the Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means "love of wisdom." As a discipline, philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, mind, reason, knowledge, truth, beauty, values, and the meaning of life. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of inquiry by its critical, generally systematic, approach and its reliance on rational argument. While other fields study particular kinds of things, philosophy asks how it all fits together and aims at developing a systematic worldview.

Chinese Philosophy studies philosophical traditions with Chinese roots, such as Confucianism, Daoism, Mohism, and Buddhism. These philosophies are concerned with fundamental issues related to human existence, such as virtue, freedom, reason, knowledge, love, harmony, and the good life. Investigations of these subjects are for both their historical and modern significance. In contemporary times, research in Chinese philosophy is often conducted in a comparative perspective with Western philosophy (“comparative philosophy”).

Ethics (Moral Philosophy) is the philosophical study of morality. Central questions in ethics include the following: What is morality? What considerations make an action morally right or wrong? What is a good life? Research in ethics spans three subfields: meta-ethics (the study of the meaning and justification of moral beliefs), moral psychology (the study of the psychological causes underlying moral thought and action), and normative ethics (the study of morally appropriate decision-making).

Philosophy of Science is concerned with the nature of scientific investigation and knowledge. It examines the foundations, assumptions, and methods of scientific practice as well as the consequences that scientific investigation has, or ought to have, for our beliefs about the world and our way of organizing society. Some of its areas of study include scientific explanation, scientific inference, confirmation of scientific theories, scientific realism and anti-realism, the distinction between science and non-science, the nature of observation, scientific reduction, causation, scientific laws, philosophy of physics, philosophy of biology, philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of the social sciences, and science ethics.

Social Philosophy and Political Philosophy are closely related areas of philosophical inquiry. Social philosophy studies issues related to social justice. It asks question such as, What are the characteristics of a just society? What is social fairness? Is gender equality essential to a good society? Political philosophy focuses mainly on issues related to the role and legitimacy of government. Its topics include liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of legal code by authority.

NameResearch Interests
Asst Prof Andres Carlos LucoMy research interests fall mainly into meta-ethics, moral psychology, and social & political philosophy. I am interested in such topics as the rationality of moral action; the psychology of moral motivation; the evolution of morality; social norms; theories of well-being; distributive justice; and human rights.
Asst Prof Andrew T. ForcehimesMetaethics Normative Ethics Political Philosophy
Prof Chan Kam Leung AlanChinese Philosophy and Religion; Hermeneutics and Critical Theory; Comparative Philosophy and Religion
Asst Prof Chiang Hui Ling MichelleModernism Theatre of the A​bsurd Beckett Studies Horror Studies Philosophy of Time and Mind
Asst Prof Christopher HolmanMy current research interests are in the history of political thought (particularly early-modern and modern), contemporary political theory, critical theory, democratic theory, political anthropology, and psychoanalysis and politics.
Asst Prof Christopher Peter TriggThe American Puritans The Radical Enlightenment Transcendentalism Political Theology Religion in American Literature
Asst Prof Chuang ChristinaEthics, History of Ethics, Moral Psychology, Indian Philosophy
Assoc Prof Chul HeoChul's scholarly interests focus on the study of production culture and aesthetics of film and television with a critical cultural studies approach. In particular, he is interested in critical and aesthetic implications of the look and sound of film and television, e.g. production design and sound design. To understand production culture of film and television, he pays attention to people who make creative decisions to deal with production conventions, creative rights, constraints and possibility in their institutional contexts, and the imagined audience in production process. Research areas - Aesthetics and Culture of Film and Television Production - Production Style and Code; Audience-making in Production; History of Presentation Techniques in Film and Television - Cultural Politics of Sound Design and Production Design - Sound and the Public Sphere; Occupational history of production designers - Digital technology and Filmmaking - The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Production - Asian Cinema and Television - Production Culture of South East Asian Cinema and Korean Cinema & Television - Documentary - History, Theory, and Aesthetics; Asian and Asian American Documentary Films Current Projects - "One day": a fictional feature film. An adopted Korean American girl, who is rebellious, meets an elderly musician who lives in a town that will disappear soon in the name of redevelopment in Seoul. - "The Road to Bhutan": a fictional feature film. A Singaporean TV producer is assigned to go to the Kingdom of Bhutan for a documentary program. She meets two Koreans joining her trip together leading to unpack their personal stories. - "Production Culture in Southeast Asian Cinema": This book project examines the cultural practices and belief systems of production workers in the Southeast Asian film industry. - "Technical 'know-how's in the production of emotion: critical readings of film and television production manuals from 1950s to the present": a journal article on production convention. Selected Creative Works - The Return (2017, 96 min., 4K HD), Director/Writer. Narrative feature. (in Korean w/English-French subtitles) - Mira Story (2014/2015, 84 min., HD), Director/Writer/Producer. Documentary feature. (in Korean w/English subtitles) - Ari Ari the Korean Cinema (2011/2012, 83 min., HDV), Director/Writer/Producer. Documentary feature. (in Korean w/English subtitles) - Grief Over the Sewol Ferry Disaster (2015, 14 min., HD). Producer/Director/Editor. (in Korean w/English subtitles) - The Secret of Hanji Craft (2014/2015, 10 min., HD), Producer/Director. (in Korean w/English-French subtitles) - Kismet (2013, 30 min., HD), Producer/Director. (in Korean w/Turkish subtitles) - Constancy and Change in Korean Craft Arts (2013, 60 min., HD), Producer/Director. (in Korean w/English subtitles) - The Job (2006, SD). Producer. thirteen 30-min. episodes for TVK-24, Comcast cable in Southern California. (In English) - Between Two Worlds (1996/1998, 30 min., SD), Director/Writer/Producer. (In English) Selected Journal Articles - Kim, E., & Heo, C. (2014). The study on the aesthetic possibility of history documentary and thick text-focusing on the analysis of "Cheonggyecheon Medley." History Studies, 27, 257-286. (in Korean) - Han, W., & Heo, C. (2012). Constitution and disruption of identities: Between feminist and idol since the early 2000s. Culture & Society, 12, 105-145. (in Korean) - Oh, W. H. & Heo, C. (2010). An aesthetic analysis on the rising television style of video journalists. Journal of Media Economics & Culture, 8(4), 103-143. (in Korean) - Heo, C., & Kim, J. S. (2010). On sound research: The role of ambient sound in the poetics of film and television. Communication Theory, 6(1), 191-228. (in Korean) - Heo, C. & Kim, J. (2010). Can you hear documentary? - A critical approach on the production convention of documentary sound in Korea. Media & Society, 18(2), 82-128. (in Korean)
Assoc Prof Daniel Keith JerniganModern and Contemporary British Literature; Modern and Postmodern Drama; Narrative Theory; Playwriting
Assoc Prof Hallam StevensMy research focuses on the intersection between information technology and biotechnology. My first book is an historical and ethnographic account of the changes wrought to biological practice and biological knowledge by the introduction of the computer. Especially in highly computerized fields such as genomics, the computer has changed how biologists work, how biologists collaborate, and how biologists make knowledge. I am currently pursuing two ongoing research projects. The first is an attempt to develop new methods of studying scientific practice by deploying tools from performance studies. In collaboration with a performance studies scholar, I am examining spaces of biomedical work in East Asia in an effort to deepen our understanding of how such spaces fit into the economic, social, and political context of the cities in which they sit. Sites under examination include Biopolis in Singapore and BGI in Shenzhen. The second project examines the emergence of "big data." This apparently new field is quite suddenly having an immense impact on politics, the economy, and many aspects of our social world. What is really new about big data? What kinds of changes may it bring? Who will benefit? Historians of technology, in particular, are well equipped to ask and answer such important questions about this emerging phenomenon. In addition to these projects, I have just completed a general audience book that examines that provides a broad overview of the social, political, and economic effects of biotechnology. The book will be published under the title "Biotechnology & Society" in 2016 (University of Chicago Press). I am interested in supervising PhD students on topics related to the history of the life sciences, the history of information technology, and science and technology studies.