Office: Department of HUSS, 5th Floor
Phone: +91-11-2658 2658
Email: boruah(AT)

Professor of Philosophy
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

M. Litt. in Philosophy, University of Oxford, U. K. (1979)
Ph. D. in Philosophy, University of Guelph, Canada (1984)
M. A. in Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University, India (1973)
B. A. (Honours) in Philosophy, Dibrugarh University, India (1971).
Areas of Specialization:
Philosophy of Mind; Philosophical Aesthetics; History of Modern Western Philosophy; Ethics and Value Theory; Metaphysics of the Self

Areas of Competence:
Philosophy of Literature; Philosophy of Religion; Metaphysics and Epistemology; Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Supervision of Doctoral Research:

1.‘The Hermeneutics of Self-Understanding: A Communicative-Narrative Symbiosis’, by Anupam Yadav. Degree awarded in 1994. (IIT Kanpur)

2.‘From Rightful Doing to Worthy Living: A Virtue-theoretic Account of Moral Personhood’, by Kumar Neeraj Sachdev. Degree awarded in 1999. (IIT Kanpur)

3.'Exploring the Nature of Consciousness: A Neurophilosophical Perspective’, by Manoj Srivastava. Degree awarded in 2002. (IIT Kanpur)

4.‘Business Ethics: Analysis of Ethical Issues in Advertising within the Framework of Integrative Social Contract Theory’, by Nishigandha Bhuyan. Degree awarded in 2004. (IIT Kanpur)

5.‘Conditions of Freedom: A Study in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right’ by Varadarajan, N. Degree Awarded in 2008. (IIT Kanpur)

6.‘The Concept of Consciousness in Buddhism’, by Anil K Tewari. Thesis submitted in 2009. Degree awarded in 2010. (IIT Kanpur)

7.‘Making Sense of Collective Moral Responsibility: A Non-individualist Approach’, by Bhaskarjit Neog. Thesis submitted in 2010. Degree awarded, 2010. (IIT Kanpur)

8.‘Gene Therapy and Genetic Enhancement: A Study on the Moral Implications of Human Genetic Engineering’, by K J George. Degree awarded in 2011. (IIT Kanpur)

9.‘Corporate Social Responsibility: A Conceptual Study in Business Ethics’, by Nirbhay Mishra. Degree awarded in 2012. (IIT Kanpur)

10.‘Intensional Emotive Constructions, Linguistic Meaning and Cognitive Structures of Emotive Expressions’, by Prakash Mondal. Degree awarded in 2014. (IIT Delhi)

Selected Publications:


Fiction and Emotion: A Study in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Mind (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988).

Social Reality and Tradition: Essays in Modes of Understanding (Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 2006). Co-edited with Ramashanker Misra.

Dharma and Ethics: The Indian Ideal of Human Perfection (New Delhi: Decent Books, 2010). Co-edited with Dinesh C Srivastava

Journal Papers and Book Chapters:


‘Metaphysics Immanent in the Ordinary: Ramchandra Gandhi and Contemporary Indian Philosophy,’ in A Raghuramaraju (ed.), Ramchandra Gandhi: The Man and His Philosophy (New Delhi: Routledge, 2013), pp. 157-168.

‘Collective Agency,’ Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Volume xxviii, No. 3, 2011, pp. 1-32.

‘Forum: The Character of Mind,’ Biolinguistics, Volume 5, No. 3, 2011, pp. 274-283 (co-authored with Wolfram Hinzen and Nirmalangshu Mukherjee).

‘Review of Ambika Datta Sharma and Sanjay Kumar Shukla (eds.), Defense of Metaphysics: India’s Encounter with Logical Positivism,’ Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, vol. XXVIII, No. 2, 2011, pp. 141-150.

‘Virtue Ethics as Virtue Metaphysics’, in Jyotirmoy Sharma and A Raghu Rama Raju (eds.), Grounding Morality: Freedom, Knowledge and the Plurality of Cultures. (New Delhi and London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 110-129. (New Delhi and London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 110-129. ‘What is it like to be a Virtuous Moral Person?’, in D. C. Srivastava and Bijoy H Boruah (eds.), Dharma and Ethics: The Indian Ideal of Human Perfection (New Delhi: Decent Books, 2010), pp. 10-34.

'Dialogue and Dialectic: The Cunning of Philosophical Reason’, Assam University Journal: Humanities and Social Sciences, Volume V, Number I, January 2010, pp. 21-32.

‘Cultural Identity and Global Solidarity’, Indian Journal of Analytic Philosophy, Volume III, Number 1, 2009, pp. 99-110.

‘Two Godheads: The World and the Independent I’, in K. C. Pandey (ed.), Wittgenstein on Ethics and Religion (New Delhi: Rawat Publications, 2008), pp. 23-41.

‘Language, Thought and Consciousness,’ Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Volume XXIV, Number 4, October-December 2007, pp. 91-111.

‘Autonomy and the Virtue of Self-Legislation,’ in Bindu Miri & Heiko Sievers (eds.), Reason, Morality, and Beauty: Essays on the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 118-133.

‘Pain in the Neck of a Theory of Meaning’, in R.C. Pradhan (ed.), Mind and Language, Vol. 1: A Western Perspective (New Delhi: Decent Books, 2006), pp. 18-44.

‘Inscription as Incantation: Literature as Incarnation of Human Subjectivity’, in Supriya Chaudhury (ed.), Literature and Philosophy: Essaying Connections (Kolkata: Papyrus, 2006), pp. 22-45.

‘Introduction: Objectivity in Social Understanding (Part I); Tradition and Culture (Part II)’, in Bijoy H Boruah & Ramashanker Misra (eds.), Social Reality and Tradition (Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 2006), pp. 11-34.

‘Social Reality and Social Theory’, in Bijoy H Boruah & Ramashanker Misra (eds.), Social Reality and Tradition (Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 2006), pp.137-146.

‘Literature and the Limits of Language’, in Franson Manjali (ed.), Poststructuralism and Cultural Theory: The Linguistic Turn and Beyond (New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 2006), pp. 9-22.

‘Virtue Metaphysics and Consciousness’, in Chong Kim-Chong and Yuli Liu (eds.), Conceptions of Virtue: East and West (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, 2006), pp. 176-197.

‘Computation and Cognition: Looking through the Philosophical Lense’, Directions (The Magazine of IIT Kanpur), Volume 7, Number 3, February 2006, pp. 70-74.

‘Consciousness, Phenomenal Subjectivity and Objective Science’, in T D Singh and Samaresh Bandopadhyaya (eds.), Thoughts on Synthesis of Science and Religion (Calcutta: Bhaktivedanta Press, 2001), pp. 395-404.

‘Atman in Sunyata and the Sunyata of Atman’, Prepublications of South Asia Seminar 2000, University of Texas at Austin, USA. [Internet link:]

‘Comments on the Note entitled ‘The Idea of Human Rights’ by Mrinal Miri’, Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Volume XVII, No. 2, January-April, 2000, pp. 163-165.

‘Person and Value: Sketch for a Theory of Moral Personhood’ in S. K. Mohanty (ed.), Person, Mind and Value (New Delhi: Decent Books, 2000), pp. 1-37.

‘Life as Literature, Literature as Philosophy,’ in A. Raghuramaraju (ed.), Existence, Experience and Ethics (New Delhi: D. K. Printworld, 2000), pp. 157-166.

‘Making Sense of the Text: Context-bound Meaning in Boundless Context,’ Summerhill: IIAS Review, Volume V, No. 2, December 1999.

‘The Original Position and the Concept of a Person’, in P. K. Mahapatra et. el. (eds.), Social Justice: Philosophical Perspectives (New Delhi: D. K. Printworld, 1999), pp. 128-140.

‘The Human Point of View’, The Visva-Bharati Journal of Philosophy, Volume XXXIII, No. I & II, August 1997-February 1999, pp. 50-56.

‘Criticism and the Cunning of Reason’, Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (Journal of the Inter-University Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla), Volume V, No. 1, 1998, pp. 1-16.

'The Availability of Philosophical Ideas: Sketching the State of the Philosophical Art in Contemporary India,' Summerhill: IIAS Review, Shimla, Volume III, No.2, November 1997, pp. 14-15.

'Recalcitrant Quasi-Cartesianism in Recent Philosophy of Mind,' Indian Philosophical Quarterly, Special Number: Rene Descartes, vol. xxiii, no. 1-2, January-April, 1996, pp. 141-149.

'Tragic Reality and the Tragic Transfiguration of Life,' S. Jethmalani & P.C. Kar (eds.), The Burden of Poetic Consciousness, University of Rajasthan Philosophy Series: 2 (Jaipur: University of Rajasthan, 1996), pp. 54-65.

‘The Non-relational Foundation of Moral Reality’, in P. K. Sen and R. R. Verma (eds.), The Philosophy of P. F. Strawson, (New Delhi: Indian Council of Philosophical Research, 1995), pp. 327-345.

‘Pre-epistemology and Groundless Certainty’, in Rekha Jhanji (ed.), Knowledge, Culture and Action (New Delhi: Ajanta Publishers, 1994), pp. 99-111.

'Narrative and Fictionality’, Punjab University Research Bulletiln: Arts, Volume XXXV, No. 1-2, April-October, 1994, pp. 21-32.

‘Freedom in Perspective’, in P. K. Mahapatra et. el. (eds.) Action, Freedom and Responsibility, Utkal Studies in Philosophy, Monograph Series, Volume I, (Bhubaneswar: University of Utkal, 1992), pp. 54-62.

‘Fictional Emotion and Belief’, in Jaidev (ed.), On Literature (Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, 1990), pp. 1-11.

‘Fictional Emotion, Quasi-desire and Background Belief’, Indian Philosophical Quarterly, Volume XVI, No. 4, 1989, pp. 409-417.

‘Seeing in the Mind’s Eye’, Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Volume VI, No. 3, 1989, pp. 119-130.

‘On Emotional Response to Fiction: A Problem in Analytical Aesthetics’, Indian Journal of American Studies, Special Issue on Survey on Theory, Volume XVIII, No. 1, 1988,pp.49-55.

‘Emotion and Belief’, Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Volume V, No. 1, 1987, pp. 1-20.

‘Strawson’s Descriptive Metaphysics’, Indian Philosophical Quarterly, Student Supplement, Volume III, No. 4, 1978, pp. 6-13.

‘Strawson’s Concept of a Person’, Indian Philosophical Quarterly, Student Supplement Volume II, No. 2, 1976, pp. 1-10.

‘First-Personal Self-Reference,’ in Ramesh Chandra Pradhan (ed.) Linguistic Representation: The Road Ahead, Hyderabad Studies in Philosophy Series (New Delhi: D K Printworld, 2012).

‘Fiction and the Art of Verisimilitude’, Shormistha Panja (ed.), Shakespeare and the Art of Lying (New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2013).

‘The Virtue of Moral Agency,’ in Vibha Chaturvedi and Pragati Sahni (eds.), Moral Dilemma (New Delhi: Macmillan India, 2013).

‘Metaphysics of the Ordinary,’ in A Raghu Rama Raju (ed.), Ramchandra Gandhi: The Man and His Ideas (New Delhi, London & New York: Routledge, 2014).

‘The Virtue of Being a Self’, Shail Mayaram (ed.), Swaraj and Samvad: Essays in Honour of Daya Krishna and Ramchandra Gandhi (New Delhi: Sage Publication, 2014).


‘Literature, Human Possibility and the Limits of Language,’ in Vikram Singh Sirola (ed.), Language and Social Construction (Routledge).

Papers Presented in Conferences:

‘Reality and Intelligibility,’ International Conference on The Nature of Reality, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, March 1-3, 2012.

‘Self-Awareness as Self-Acknowledgement,’ International Conference on The Character of Mind, Indian Institute of Advance Study, Shimla, March 18-20, 2011.

‘First-Personal Self-Reference’, National Seminar on Linguistic Representation, Department of Philosophy, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, January 5-7, 2011.

‘Moral Agency without National Identity’, International Seminar on Imagining India: Discourse of the Nation, Department of English, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, December 18-19, 2009.

‘Literature, Human Possibility and the Limits of Language,’ International Conference on Language, Mind and Social Construction, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, February 09-11, 2009.

‘The Virtue of Being a Self’, National Seminar on Philosophy as Samvad and Swaraj: Dialogical Meditations on Daya Krishna and Ramchandra Gandhi, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, April 28-30, 2008.

‘Agency and Nominal Individuality’, Seminar on Ethics in Indian Philosophy, American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division, San Francisco, April 03-08, 2007.

‘Agency without Individuality’, International Seminar on Self-knowledge and Agency, Centre for Philosophy, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, January 9-11, 2007.

‘Intimations of Infinity’, National Seminar on Religion and Science, Samvada, Shri Udasin Karshni Ashram, Ramanreti, Mathura, August 25-27, 2006.

‘Surrender and Sovereignty (of the Self)’, National Seminar on The Role of Faith and Reason in Religion, Samvad, Navasadhna Kendra, Varanasi, March 23-25, 2006.

‘Consciousness, Intentionality and Culture’, invited lecture on Consciousness and Contemporary Culture (series sponsored by ICPR), Christ Church College, Kanpur, October 22, 2005.

‘Language, Mind and Consciousness’, National Colloquium on Language and Mind, Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, March 30-April 02, 2005.

‘Pain in the Neck of a Theory of Meaning’, National Seminar on Language and Mind, Department of Philosophy, University of Hyderabad, October 16-18, 2004.

‘The Atman in Sunyata and the Sunyata of Atman: Reconciling Vedanta with Buddhism’, invited lecture delivered in Centre for Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 12 January, 2001.

‘Solipsism and Subjectivity’, National Seminar on Indian and Western Epistemology, Department of Philosophy, Calcutta University, March 23-24, 2000.

‘Inscription as Incantation: Literature as Incarnation of Human Subjectivity’, National Seminar on Literature and Philosophy, Department of English, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, March, 22-24, 2000.

‘The First Person Perspective: Experience, Agency and Personal Identity’, National Seminar on Consciousness and the Phenomenal Mind, Indian Council of Philosophical Research, Butler Palace, Lucknow, February 22-24, 1999.

‘Between the Subject and the Object: The Structure of Literary Representation’, International Seminar on Concept and Content of Art at the Edge of the Century, The British Council, New Delhi, January 16-18, 1999.

‘Pronoun-ced Uni-persons’, National Seminar on Addressing the Soul: The Metaphysics of Personal Pronouns’, Ecumenical Christian Centre, Bangalore, December 15-17, 1998.

‘Reflections in Philosophical Anthropology’, National Seminar on Philosophy, Anthropology and Tribal Societies, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, June 5-7, 1988.

‘Attitudes, Standpoints and Reality,' National Seminar on The Philosophy of P.F. Strawson, Butler Palace, Lucknow, December 29-31, 1987.