Anthony Edward Garruzzo
Graduate Student | Ph.D. program in Philosophy
5th Year Ph.D. Student (ABD)
My research interests lie at the intersection of the philosophy of action and social theory. In my work I try to approach philosophical questions about agency from the standpoint of critical theory and the social sciences. In particular, I look to address questions concerning, for example, the sources of an agent’s knowledge of her own actions, the conditions necessary for free action, and the metaphysics of agency by situating these questions in relation to the empirical and conceptual problems of social theory.
In my current project I try to show how different conceptions of agency imply problematic commitments about how much variety and diversity in the forms of human action is possible. For example, to assume that all actions can be interpreted in terms of the rational pursuit of determinate goals and ends is to risk misinterpreting, or even overlooking altogether, any kind of action that is not goal-directed or ‘rational’ in this way. I argue that to understand someone’s actions, it is necessary not just to relate her actions to a general idea of action—like that action is the rational pursuit of ends—but instead to understand the socially and historically specific practices, institutions, and discourses that condition them.
I also have interests in the work of Michel Foucault, feminist theory, the Frankfurt School, ethics, and the philosophy of art. In my spare time I like to write short fiction.