Prof. Anton Ford

Prof. Anton Ford

Senior Humboldt Fellow

Period at the center: August 2022 - August 2023, June - August 2024, June - August 2025

Research Project: The Objectification of Agency



After receiving a B.A. from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, Anton Ford joined the philosophy faculty at the University of Chicago in 2007. His primary research and teaching interests are in practical philosophy. Figures of special interest include Anscombe, Aristotle and Marx.

Research Project

The Objectification of Agency

Agents are subjects and objects of thought: subjects, because in order to act they think; objects, because agents are among the things that thinking is about. This raises a question of method in the philosophy of action. Is agency to be theorized in terms of the thinking of which an agent is the subject, or in terms of the thinking of which an agent is the object? Analytic philosophers have pursued the latter course. I call this the objectification of agency. I criticize objectification and develop an alternative.

Selected publications


“The Province of Human Agency”, in: Noûs 52:3 (2018), 697–720.

“The Representation of Action”, in: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements 80 (2017), 217–233.

“On What is Front of Your Nose”, in: Philosophical Topics 44:1 (2016): 141–161.

“Action and Passion”, in: Philosophical Topics 42:1 (2014), 13–42.

“Action and Generality”, in: Essays on Anscombe’s Intention, ed. A. Ford, J. Hornsby, F. Stoutland (Harvard University Press, 2011), 76–104.