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Ernesto V. Garcia

Assistant Professor

Ernesto Garcia

E427 South College

Ernesto V. Garcia received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, his masters degree from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Prior to teaching at the University of Massachusetts, he was the Alan and Anita Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the Syracuse University Philosophy Department.

His main research interests are in ethics, metaethics, philosophy of action, and political philosophy and in the history of philosophy (especially Hume, Kant, and 19th and 20th century continental). He focuses on contemporary topics such as practical reasons, moral luck, moral worth, and moral responsibility, partiality/impartiality debates, well-being and meaning in life, forgiveness, theories of autonomy, and Rawlsian debates about ideal vs. non-ideal theory.

He has received several academic honors, including being the winner of the North American Kant Society [NAKS] Marcus Herz Student Essay Prize (for the best essay written by a graduate student) for his paper “The Historical Development of Virtue in Kant’s Ethics”; the NAKS Wilfrid Sellars Junior Scholar Essay Prize (for the best essay written by a junior scholar) for his paper “A New Look at Kantian Respect for Persons”; and recently, being selected as the runner-up for the 2021 Royal Institute of Philosophy Essay Prize Competition for his paper, “Rethinking Acts of Conscience: Personal Integrity, Civility, and the Common Good”.

In addition, he has also won various teaching awards, including the UMass Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts (CHFA) Outstanding Teaching Award for 2013-14, being selected as a UMass Lilly Teaching Fellow in 2010-11, and being a finalist for the campus-wide UMass Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA) for 2009-10.


  • “Ethical Naturalism: Problems and Prospects”, co-authored with Louise Antony, forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Moral Realism, edited by David Copp and Paul Bloomsfield (Oxford University Press)
  • “Rethinking Acts of Conscience: Personal Integrity, Civility, and the Common Good”, Philosophy 97 (4): 461-483l, 2022 [Runner-up for the 2021 Royal Institute of Philosophy Essay Prize]
  • “Three Rival Versions of Kantian Constructivism,” Kant Yearbook 14 (1); 23-43, 2022
  • “Intuitions in 21st-Century Ethics: Why Ethical Intuitionism and Reflective Equilibrium Need Each Other,” L’intuizione e le sue forme. Prospettive e problemi dell’intuizionismo, Discipline filosofiche 31 (2): 275-296, 2021
  • “Making Room for Love in Kantian Ethics,” in New Philosophical Essays on Love and Loving, edited by Simon Cushing (Palgrave MacMillan), pp. 25-37, 2021
  • “The Virtue of Authenticity,” in Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 5, edited by Mark Timmons (Oxford University Press), pp. 272-295, 2015
  • “A New Look at Kantian Respect for Persons”, Kant Yearbook 4 (1): 69-90, 2012 [Winner of the North American Kant Society (NAKS) Wilfrid Sellars Essay Prize]
  • “Value Realism and the Internalism/Externalism Debate”, Philosophical Studies 117 (1-2), pp. 231-258, 2004.
  • “A Kantian Theory of Evil”, Monist, Vol. 85, No. 2 (April 2002), pp. 194-209
  • “The Social Nature of Kantian Dignity” in Social Philosophy Today Volume 16: Race, Social Identity and Human Dignity (Philosophy Documentation Center), pp. 127-139, 2002
  • “Kant on Founding Civil Society,” in Kant und die Berliner Auflkarung: Akten des IX.Internationalen Kant-Kongresses, Vol. 4, edited by Volker Gerhardt, Rolf-Peter Horstmann, and Ralph Schumacher (Walter de Gruyter), pp. 116-125, 2001

Book reviews:

  • Review of Charles L. Griswold, Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2008
  • Review of Paul Franks, All or Nothing: Systematicity, Transcendental Arguments, and Skepticism in German Idealism (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005), for Philosophical Review 117 (2): 300-303, 2008
  • Review of Essays on Kant’s Anthropology, edited by Brian Jacobs and Patrick Kain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), for Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2): 240-244, 2006