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Alexandra S. Ilieva

Alexandra S. Ilieva

Department: Divinity

Supervisor: Dr. Ankur Barua

College: Lucy Cavendish College

AHRC Subject Area: Religious Studies

Thesis Title: (Provisional) "Exposing Traditions: Using Intercultural Studies to Broaden the Boundaries of Our Thought"


I received my Bachelor's degree from New York University in Philosophy and Psychology. My Bachelor's philosophy thesis was a defence of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason against criticism from Michael N. Forster in his book "Kant and Skepticism". I received my Master's degree from Heidelberg University in Germany, where I focussed on Buddhist Philosophy. My thesis concerned the Buddhist concept of 'not-self', which I argued had no ontological significance in the earlier formulations found in the Pali Canon. In my Phd, my aim is to bring together my educational background. As such I will continue my research in early Buddhist thought and expand my knowledge of Indian philosophy more generally in an attempt to bring these systems of thought into dialogue with Kantian philosophy. My hope is that in so doing we can begin to blur the religious-philosophical boundary in divergent traditions and thus pave the way for a broader, diversified, and more globalised vision of the nature of philosophy, its content, and the tools and methodologies it employs - one that mirrors the increasingly globalised state of the world.

Other Academic Interests

  • Pragmatism, with a focus on Rorty
  • Hermeneutics 
  • Wittgenstein

Key Publications

Ilieva, Alexandra S. "Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto by Bryan W. Van Norden (review)." Philosophy East and West, vol. 68 no. 3, 2018, pp. 1-3.

Ilieva, Alexandra S. "Review of and Response to Mark Siderits’s Interpretation of Not-Self in Buddhism as Philosophy: An Introduction." Interdisziplinäre Zeitschrift für Südasienforschung, no. 2 (2017): 131-48.