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Laura W. Ekstrom

Chancellor Professor

Office: James Blair 132
Email: [[lwekst]]
Office Phone: (757) 221-2726
Webpage: {{}}


Laura W. Ekstrom is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A. in Philosophy) and the University of Arizona (M.A., Ph.D. in Philosophy).  

Her book, God, Suffering, and the Value of Free Will, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.  She is also the author of Free Will: A Philosophical Study and the editor of Agency and Responsibility: Essays on the Metaphysics of Freedom.  Her articles on autonomy, moral responsibility, causation, chance, free will, compassion, and suffering have been published in academic journals including Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Synthese, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical StudiesMidwest Studies in Philosophy, and Australasian Journal of Philosophy, as well as in edited collections published by Blackwell, Routledge, Oxford University Press, and Cambridge University Press. 

Professor Ekstrom is the recipient of the William & Mary Alumni Society Fellowship Award for Excellence in Teaching (2001).  She has held the Robert F. and Sara M. Boyd Distinguished Term Associate Professorship (2001-2004), has been selected as a participant in faculty summer seminars led by Peter van Inwagen (1999) and by Alvin Plantinga  (2004), and has won summer stipend awards from the John Templeton Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has also held the Class of 2016 Distinguished Professorship (2013 – 2016).

Her recent publications include “Toward a Plausible Event-Causal Indeterminist Account of Free Will” (Synthese, 2019), “The Practical Life of God” (in Current Controversies in Philosophy of Religion, 2019), “Luck and Libertarianism,” (in The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck, 2019), “Compassion in Medicine” (in The Moral Psychology of Compassion, 2018), and ““Conscious Gestalts, Apposite Responses and Libertarian Freedom” (in Free Will and the Law: New Perspectives, 2019).
Research Interests

Professor Ekstrom's research interests include metaphysics, philosophy of religion, applied ethics, action theory and moral psychology, particularly issues concerning free will, moral responsibility, and autonomy.