Ashton Wellsbury

Assistant Lecturer
School of Philosophy and Art History
Postgraduate Research Student
Department of Philosophy
 Ashton Wellsbury



Ashton is a third-year PhD candidate, supervised by Dr. Daniel Watts. His research is focused on Søren Kierkegaard's account of "earnestness" (Alvor), and how this concept discloses salient aspects of Kierkegaard's wider thinking. In particular, Ashton is interested in the roles of perception and conceptual mindedness in ethical comportment, the relationship between immediacy and reflection, and the ways in which we engage we engage with ethical possibilities. His thesis seeks to provide a dialogical interpretation of Kierkegaard, which maintains that earnestness consists in a non-reflective sensitivity to second-person appeals. Ashton is currently an Assistant Lecturer for the module Critical Reasoning and Logical Argument (PY114). He has previously taught on Introduction to Philosophy (PY111), assisted with Narrativity, Truth, and Flourishing (PY404), and worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Reading Texts in the History of Philosophy (PY436). Ashton has also worked as a research assistant under Dr. Daragh Murray on the interdisciplinary project "What does Artificial Intelligence Mean for the Future of Democratic Society? Examining the societal impact of AI and whether human rights can respond". As part of this project, he is currently working on a paper exploring the relevance of Kierkegaard's thought on public life in modernity for our conception of human rights.


  • MA in Philosophy University of Essex (2020)

  • BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics University of Essex (2019)

Research and professional activities


Thought, Time, and the Other: "Earnestness" and Ethical Subjectivity in Kierkegaard

Supervisor: Daniel Watts

Research interests


Esp: in relation to phenomenology, earnestness, resignation, and indirect communication.


Esp: Husserl, time & temporality, and alterity.

Philosophy of Mind

Esp: mental representation, and concepts.

Philosophy of Dialogue

Philosophical Pessimism

Philosophy of Horror

Philosophy of Literature



Colchester Campus