Dr. William Wilkerson



Dr. Wilkerson received his B.A. in Humanities from Willamette University in Oregon in 1990, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Purdue University in 1997. He has published over a twenty articles in philosophy of mind, twentieth century European philosophy, and gay and lesbian philosophy in journals including Philosophic al PsychologyContinental Philosophy ReviewJournal of Social PhilosophyJournal of the History of PhilosophyMetaphilosophy and Epoché. He co-edited, with Jeffrey Paris, New Critical Theory: Essays on Liberation; authored a book on sexual identity entitled Ambiguity and Sexuality; and co-edited (with Shannon Mussett) a collection of essays on the work of Simone de Beauvoir called Beauvoir and Western Thought from Plato to Butler. He works primarily in the European philosophical tradition, studying how we find meaning both in the world and in our own lives. He also has research and teaching interests in political philosophy, Marxism, feminist philosophy, and gender studies. When he is not thinking about these things, he enjoys gardening, woodwork, cooking, and reading books that have plots.

Dr. William Wilkerson's Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Philosophy, Purdue University, 1997
  • B.A., Humanities, Willamette University, 1990

Classes Taught


  • Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy
  • Pluralists' Guide to Philosophy

Honors and Awards

  • Liberal Arts Outstanding Faculty Member, 2009-2010
  • Liberal Arts Research Incentive Grant, 2006
  • UAH Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award, 2003
  • Student Government Assoc. Outstanding Liberal Arts Faculty Award, 1999-2000
  • NEH Summer Seminar Participant, St. Louis, Summer 1999
  • UAH Mini-Grant for Research, Summer 1998
  • Andrews Fellowship, Purdue University, 1992-94


  • Simone de Beauvoir Engages the Philosophers: Essays on Beauvoir's Engagement with Western Thought. Co-editor with Shannon Mussett. SUNY Press.
  • Ambiguity and Sexuality: A Theory of Sexual Identity. Palgrave-Macmillan, May 2007. Paper edition, March 2010.
  • New Critical Theory: Essays on Liberation, co-editor with Jeffrey Paris, September 2001. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
  • "Defining Sexual Orientation" for The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings, 6th Edition. Raja Halwani and Nicholas Power, eds. Rowman and Littlefield.
  • "Introduction to Beauvoir's 'Merleau-Ponty and Pseudo-Sartreanism'" for Simone de Beauvoir: Political Writings" edited by Margaret A. Simons and Marybeth Timmerman, forthcoming from University of Illinois Press.
  • "A Different Kind of Universality: Beauvoir and Kant on Ethical Universals" in Simone de Beauvoir Engages the Philosophers: Essays on Beauvoir's Engagement with Western Thought.
  • "Is it a Choice? Sexual Orientation as Interpretation" in Queer Philosophy: Proceedings of the Society for Lesbian and Gay Philosophy 1998-2008, Raja Halwani, Carole Quinn and Andy Wible, editors. Rudopi Press. Abridged version of the paper of the same title that appears in Journal of Social Philosophy.
  • "The Paradox of Time and the Will in Kant, Existentialism and Derrida" in 2009 SPEP Proceedings, Philosophy Today, Fall 2010.
  • "Neo-Liberalism, Bio-Discipline and Cultural Critique, Commentary on Ladelle McWhorter's Feminism, Reprogenetics, and Foucault's Analysis of Neoliberalism" for 2009 Spindel Conference Proceedings in The Southern Journal of Philosophy.
  • "Time and Ambiguity: Reassessing Merleau-Ponty's Criticism of Sartrean Freedom" forthcoming in Journal of the History of Philosophy, April 2010.
  • "In the World but not of the World: The Relation of Freedom to Time in Kant and Sartre," Epoché¸. Fall 2009.
  • "Religious Identity in the Realist Classroom" Identity in Education, edited by Susan Sanchez-Cassal and Amie McDonald, Palgrave-Macmillan, May 2009.
  • "Is it a Choice? Sexual Orientation as Interpretation" Journal of Social Philosophy, December 2008. "What Is Gay and Lesbian Philosophy?" by Gary Jaeger, James Stramel, Richard Nunan, William S. Wilkerson, and Timothy Murphy, with a brief introduction by Raja Halwani. Metaphilosophy, vol. 39, nos. 4-5, October 2008. Sole author of section, "Social Constructionism and Essentialism."
  • "Inhabiting Hope: Contributions to a New Materialist Phenomenology" in New Critical Theory: Essays on Liberation, September 2001.
  • "Introduction: Why a New Critical Theory?" with Jeffrey Paris in New Critical Theory: Essays on Liberation , September 2001.
  • "Simulation, Theory, and the Frame Problem: The Interpretive Moment." Philosophical Psychology, June 2001.
  • "Is There Something You Need to Tell Me? Coming Out and the Ambiguity of Experience" in Reclaiming Identity: Realist Theory and the Predicament of Postmodernism, Paula Moya and Michael Hames-Garcia, eds. University of California Press, 2000.
  • "Knowledge of Self, Knowledge of Others, Error, and the Place of Consciousness." Continental Philosophy Review, January 2000.
  • "From Bodily Motions to Bodily Intentions: The Perception of Bodily Activity" Philosophical Psychology, March 1999.
  • "Real Patterns and Real Problems: Making Dennett Respectable on Patterns and Beliefs" The Southern Journal of Philosophy, December 1997.