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Emily McRae

Assistant Professor
Speakers Coordinator

Photo: Emily McRae

Office: Humanities 525
Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:45-10:45 and by appointment

  • B.S. (Union College '03)
  • M.A. (University of Wisconsin '08)
  • Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin '11)


I specialize in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, ethics, moral psychology, and feminism. Much of my work is devoted to issues regarding the emotions, morality and contemplative practices such as meditation. I am curious about questions such as: How do we cultivate our emotions and transform our emotional dispositions? Can we choose our emotions? How does the process of cultivating and transforming emotions, especially through meditation practices, figure into one's moral development? How can Buddhist contemplative and ethical practices contribute to understanding and overcoming unjust social institutions such as racism and patriarchy?

I also enjoy reading and writing about ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, particularly Stoicism, and ancient Chinese philosophy. I am a student of Tibetan language and enjoy reading Tibetan Buddhist texts and listening to Tibetan Buddhist teachers whenever I can.

Recent Publications:

“Equanimity and the Moral Virtue of Open-mindedness,” American Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming, issue TBA)

“Buddhist Therapies of the Emotions and the Psychology of Moral Improvement,” History of Philosophy Quarterly 32:3, April 2015 (forthcoming), 30 pp. 

“Detachment in Buddhist Ethics: Apatheia, Ataraxia and Equanimity,” 25 pp. (for edited volume on the comparative history of philosophy, tentatively entitled With or Without Self: Personal and Impersonal Ethics in Western and Asian Thought, edited by Dr. Gordon Davis, forthcoming, under editorial review)

“Metabolizing Anger: A Tantric Buddhist Solution to the Problem of Moral Anger,” Philosophy East and West 65:3, July 2015 (forthcoming), 28pp.

“Equanimity and the Challenge of Ugliness in Interpersonal Relationships” 22 pp. (for the anthology Contemporary Perspective on Buddhist Ethics, edited by Owen Flanagan, Jake Davis and Christopher Kelly; forthcoming, under editorial review)

“Equanimity and Intimacy: A Buddhist-feminist Approach to the Elimination of Bias,” Sophia: An International Journal of Philosophy of Religion 53:3, 2013: pp. 447-462.

“Emotion, Ethics and Choice: Lessons from Tsongkhapa,” Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 22 pp. Volume 19, 2012.

“A Passionate Buddhist Life,” Journal of Religious Ethics 40:1, 2012: p. 99-121.

“The Cultivation of Moral Feelings and Mengzi’s Method of Extension,” Philosophy East and West 62:1, October 2011: 587-608.