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Sabrina Aggleton

Sabrina Aggleton

Graduate Assistant

University Park , PA 16802


  1. M.A., Contemporary Continental Philosophy, Brock University (2010)
  2. M.A., Liberal Arts, St. John’s College Annapolis (2009)
  3. B.A., Philosophy, Stony Brook University (2007)


Sabrina Aggleton is a doctoral candidate in the department of Philosophy and a research assistant for the initiative in ethics and sexual violence at the Rock Ethics Institute. Her primary research interests are 20th century continental philosophy and feminism, with an emphasis on ontological and ethical concerns about embodiment, especially with respect to the problem of sexual violence. Working for the initiative in ethics and sexual violence has given her the opportunity to actively contribute to improving the awareness and understanding of sexual violence in our community. This has brought urgent ethical concerns to her philosophical research. Sabrina continues addressing the problem of sexual violence in her dissertation project in order to develop possibilities of primary prevention and resistance.


Sabrina’s dissertation project, “Interrogating the Limits of Phenomenology: on the Ethics of Embodiment and Sexual Violence,” is grounded in an examination of ontological and ethical concerns about embodiment that press on the limits of phenomenology and cause this methodology to confront its relation to ethics. The question of limits serves as a point of departure in order to delineate the ways in which the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Simone de Beauvoir can contribute to an ethics based in embodiment. This ethics will confront the problem of sexual violence and uncover possibilities for prevention and resistance. This is relevant to recent efforts to address the problem of campus sexual assault, such as the newly passed California legislation regarding affirmative consent. While feminist philosophers such as Ann J. Cahill contribute theories that focus on the experience of sexual violence and the atmosphere of fear that it creates, Sabrina focuses on the need to change cultural attitudes toward and discourses about erotic relations. Understanding consent in terms of an affirmative “yes” opens the door for developing an ethics of erotic generosity.