Dr Karyn Lai is Professor of Philosophy in the School of Humanities and Languages. Her primary research is in early Chinese philosophy (especially Confucian and Daoist philosophies). She has investigated the nature of moral life in the Confucian tradition and draws on discussions in the Confucian texts to diversify our conceptions of ethics. More recently, she has been exploring the Daoist texts, particularly the Zhuangzi (4th c. BCE), to understand its what its fascinating stories tell us about mastery, action, knowledge and agency. She is editor of the Chinese Comparative Philosophy section, Philosophy Compass (Wiley-Blackwell), co-editor of the Chinese philosophy section, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and Associate Editor of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
She is interested in supervising postgraduate research projects in Chinese and comparative philosophy, particularly in the areas of ethics (including environmental ethics), wellbeing, and epistemology.