• Ph.D. University of Hawaii, 2021
  • M.A. University of Hawaii
  • B.A. University of California, Los Angeles

Research Interests

  • Sanskrit Aesthetics
  • Comparative World Philosophies
  • Asian Philosophies
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Epistemology
  • Emotions


  • Intro to Philosophy
  • Foundations of Ethics


Lisa Widdison is a researcher and specialist in the history of philosophy and philosophical literature on art, nature, metaphysics, emotions and theories of knowledge, East and West. Since her time as an undergraduate, she has studied philosophy and literature in far reaching locales, including, Kerala, India, Cork, Ireland, Los Angeles and Honolulu. She has worked as a Research Assistant in the School of Pacific Asian Studies, and with the Eastern Philosophies of Consciousness Program, at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, under Directors, Vrinda Dalmiya and Arindam Chakrabarti.

Her guided research topics include Feminist Ethics of Care and Philosophies of India. As her thesis focused on Sanskrit aesthetic theories of emotions and western analytic theories of knowledge, Widdison’s dissertation incorporated her cross-cultural research on theories of consciousness into a hybrid account of the concepts of taste and the sublime.

She maintains a strong practice of participating in readings of classical Sanskrit literature with scholars from around the globe in theology, poetry and philosophy. She also maintains an interest in Āyurvedic medicine, Indigenous practices, Hawaiian concepts of ecology and sustainability. She has been a supporter of the Philosophy for Children program (P4C Hawai‘i) and the Philosophy Students Association in Mānoa. In the community, Lisa volunteered at a number of public schools to teach students from diverse backgrounds philosophy for children through literature. She has also volunteered at the East-West Center, Honolulu as a community gardener, addressing issues of sustainability.

Her interest in care for the environment led her to work with environmental activists on reforestation projects, issues of biodiversity, and the propagation of endangered species on Kaua‘i, which she shares in lectures supplemented by a nature photography pastime. Currently, she is writing on the ethics of hospitality: a moral-psychology of wonder as an emotion; metaphysical perspectives and critical issues around the concept of “water,” and the uniquely American aesthetic idea of natural preserves.

Widdison has taught a diverse range of courses, including American Philosophy, and Philosophies of Asia and the Pacific, in the History, Humanities, and International Studies Department at Hawaii Pacific University. As a lecturer at the University of Hawai‘i, West O‘ahu and Mānoa, Widdison also taught Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy, Intermediate Sanskrit, Environmental Philosophy, Deductive Logic, World Philosophies, Ethics, Philosophy of Law, Social and Political Philosophy, and Epistemology.


“The Epistemic Significance of adbhutarasa: Aestheticized Wonder as a Virtue of Inquiry”. DHARM 5, 1–16 (2022).

“Aestheticized Tragedy (karuṇarasa) as an Intellectual Virtue” Journal of Comparative Philosophy, Jan 2022

“The Power of Suggestion: Rasa, Dhvani, and the Ineffable”. DHARM 2, 1–14 (2019).

“The Community Ball” Educational Perspectives: Journal of the College of Education, the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Volume 44 O Numbers 1 and 2

“Emotion Concepts for Virtue Theory: From Aesthetic to Epistemic and Moral” Book Chapter, Traditional Indian Virtue Ethics for Today: An East-West Sharing of Ideas, forthcoming

Back to top