Academics William Edelglass - Philosophy
Contact William Edelglass; 802-258-9311
William has been a teacher in a variety of settings, including a federal prison in New York, a Tibetan refugee settlement in Nepal, and for many years as a wilderness guide for Outward Bound. Before coming to Marlboro, William taught philosophy at Colby College and at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala, India, where he taught Western philosophy to Tibetan monks and Buddhist philosophy to American college students on a Tibetan studies program. He was attracted to Marlboro by its commitment to preparing students with the skills, methods and background to take responsibility for their own work, and by the vibrant intellectual and artistic community this makes possible.
William's areas of expertise include 20th-century European philosophy—phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, poststructuralism and postmodernism—Buddhist philosophy and environmental philosophy. He is particularly interested in questions of ethics, aesthetics and meaning. William’s courses often engage disciplines outside of philosophy, including art history and the visual and performing arts, Asian studies, religious studies and environmental studies. "Marlboro's interdisciplinary approach is deeply appealing to me," he said. "I value working with students and colleagues who do not feel bound by narrow disciplinary expectations that limit intellectual exploration."
Student Plans and Collaborations
- A study of morality emphasizing the selective mechanisms by which it evolves, including an in-depth analysis of its adaptive function. Carolyn Drumsta '10, environmental studies and biology.
- An interdisciplinary study of environmental management with a focus on collaborative, place-based and adaptive planning, drawing on economics, environmental philosophy and policy studies. Isaac Lawrence '10, economics and philosophy.
- An examination of the conceptual art movement focusing on the subject of artistic intention and the art object, complemented by an exhibition of works on paper. Ariella Miller '10, art history and philosophy.
- An exploration of identity, metaphor, and judgment in modernist literature and philosophy. Michael Mirer ’11, literature and philosophy.
- An exploration of the intertwining of ethics, mindfulness, emotions and education. Jonathan Wood '12, liberal studies/contemplative studies and education.
William has published widely in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, environmental philosophy, and twentieth-century European philosophy. He is co-editor of the journal Environmental Philosophy, and also of Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings (Oxford University Press, 2009), the Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Facing Nature: Levinas and Environmental Thought. William also serves on the executive committee of the International Association of Environmental Philosophy.
- “Buddhist Ethics and Western Moral Philosophy.” Forthcoming in The Blackwell Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, edited by Stephen Emmanuel (London: Blackwell, 2013).
- “Rethinking Responsibility in an Age of Anthropogenic Climate Catastrophe.” In Facing Nature: Levinas and Environmental Thought, edited by William Edelglass, James Hatley and Christian Diehm (Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 2012), 209-228.
- “Philosophy and place-based pedagogies.” In Teaching Philosophy, Andrea Kenkmann (ed.) (London: Continuum, 2009), 69-80.
- “The Bodhisattva Path: Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra.” In Buddhist Philosophy. Eds. William Edelglass and Jay Garfield (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 388-399.
- “Ethics and the subversion of conceptual reification in Levinas and Śāntideva.” In Deconstruction and the Ethical in Asian Thought, Youru Wang (ed.) (New York: Routledge, 2007), 151-61.
- "Levinas on suffering and compassion." Sophia 45(2) (2006): 43-59.
- "Moral pluralism, skillful means and environmental ethics." Environmental Philosophy 3(2) (2006): 8-16.
- "Nub phyogs pa'i tshan rig gi lta grub kyi ngo sprod (An introduction to the philosophy of science)." Trans. Tsondue Tsamphel. Tshan rig dus deb 9 (2006): 41-61.
- "Asymmetry and normativity: Levinas reading Dostoevsky on desire, responsibility and suffering." Analecta Husserliana 85 (2005): 719-36.
Selected Public Presentations
- "'Green Mountains Walking': Reflections on Buddhism, the Body and Place in the Age of Globalization." Green Mountain College, April 2013.
- “Nativism, Place, and the Sacred: Nature and Violence in Heidegger and Levinas.” Invited talk, University of Jena, Jena, Germany, 2012.
- “Emmanuel Levinas,” Seminar for faculty and graduate students, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia, 2012.
- “Ethics and Ontology in Emmanuel Levinas.” Invited talk, Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2012.
- “Responsibility and Climate Change.” Invited talk, University of Indiana Southeast, 2012.
B.A., St. John's College, 1993; M.A., Emory University, 1999, Ph.D., Emory University, 2004; Marlboro College, 2008 -