Ashton Wellsbury

Assistant Lecturer
School of Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies
Postgraduate Research Student
School of Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies
 Ashton Wellsbury



Ashton is a final-year PhD candidate, supervised by Dr. Daniel Watts. His research is focused on Søren Kierkegaard's idea of 'earnestness' (Danish: 'Alvor'). In particular, Ashton is interested in how 'earnestness' captures a particular kind of ethical self-understanding. Articulating a phenomenology of earnest ethical thought, Ashton's thesis argues for an interpretation of Kierkegaard which prioritizes the role of second-personal relations in structuring our ethical self-understanding. Beyond Kierkegaard, Ashton is interested in existential and phenomenological accounts of possibility, the relationship between perception and cognition in philosophy of mind, and philosophical pessimism. Ashton is currently an Assistant Lecturer for the module Introduction to Philosophy (PY111). He has previously taught on Critical Reasoning and Logical Argument (PY114), Nietzsche (PY432), and Introduction to Philosophy (PY111). He has assisted with Narrativity, Truth, and Flourishing (PY404), Death, God, and the Meaning of Life (PY113), and Philosophy Dissertation (PY426). Ashton has also assisted with Philosophy: Fundamental Questions, Major Thinkers (IA121) and Becoming Enlightened Citizens: Foundations in Politics and Government (IA118) in the Essex Pathways Department.


  • MA in Philosophy University of Essex (2020)

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

Research and professional activities


Good Thinking: Earnestness and the Second-person in Kierkegaard's Account of Ethical Self-understanding

Supervisor: Daniel Watts

Research interests



Philosophy of Mind

Philosophy of Dialogue

Philosophical Pessimism

Philosophy of Horror



Colchester Campus