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William Hasselberger is completing his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Virginia. His research draws together ethics and theories of the mind, cognition, and action. His dissertation, titled “The Ideals of Agency,” challenges reductionist and individualistic conceptions of human agency and intelligence in philosophy and the social sciences. Such views distort the lived experience of agency and obscure core ethical ideals such as autonomy (governing oneself) and authenticity (truth to oneself). He develops an alternative view of human agency according to which a human agent is essentially embodied and embedded within meaningful environmental and social structures. Such a view, he argues, can help us to better understand possibilities for human flourishing in our contemporary environment—that is, in culturally pluralistic, technology-driven societies that lack shared and unproblematic moral frameworks.
William was born in Ankara, Turkey, and has lived in various parts of Europe and the United States. He received his B.A. (with honors) from the University of Miami, Florida, and received his M.A. from the University of Virginia. He has received various teaching awards and fellowships and has been a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows.