Cultural Agency – Prof Manuel Vargas
One’s reasons, values, and sense of what makes a life meaningful are partly a product of one’s particular cultural upbringing. Sometimes the packages of meanings and values afforded to us by our cultural milieus fail to resonate with us. In these cases, how one should live one’s life can seem unclear. Drawing from a neglected strand of existentialist thought, this talk explores some of the challenges that arise from these misalignments in value and life, and it highlights some promising resources for thinking about culturally structured agency.
Manuel R. Vargas is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on the overlap of moral, psychological, and legal issues concerning human agency and freedom. He also writes about Latinx and Latin American philosophy. Previously, he was a Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of San Francisco.
Vargas’s research has been recognized with a variety of national awards, prizes, grants, and fellowships. Most recently Vargas and Sanitago Amaya (Universidad de los Andes) were awarded a $1.2 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for their multi-year international project, “LATAM Free Will, Agency, and Responsibility.”