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Asta K. Sveinsdottir, Professor    editAsta K. Sveinsdottir

Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir, who publishes as Ásta, is a philosopher interested in the way in which human thought and practices contribute to the nature of reality, both social and non-social.

Her early work concerned abstract theoretical questions related to how human conceptual practices may contribute to what the concepts are about, wherein she offered a conferralist framework for expressing the subject-dependency of properties and then offered a conferralist theory of what makes a property essential to an object.

Their current work is on topics in social ontology at the intersection of metaphysics, social philosophy, and feminist theory. In Categories We Live By Ásta offers a conferralist theory of the construction of social categories (gender, sex, race, disability, etc.) and in more recent work they explore the role of ideology in social construction and the role of social construction in oppression. 

Ásta's book Categories We Live By was published by Oxford University Press in 2018.
The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy, co-edited with Kim Q. Hall, came in 2021.

Office Phone: (919) 660-3050
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Office Hours:

Office: 201D West Duke

Monday 2-3pm and by appointment.

Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2004

Teaching (Fall 2022):

  • PHIL 702S.01, Proseminar in m&e Synopsis
    West Duke 204, M 03:30 PM-06:00 PM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)
  • Ásta,. "Can Conferralism Account for Systemic Racism?." The Southern Journal of Philosophy (January, 2022). [doi]  [abs]
  • Ásta,. "Categories We Live By: Reply to Alcoff, Butler, and Roth." European Journal of Philosophy (January, 2021). [doi]  [abs]
  • Hall, KQ; Ásta,. The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy.  2021. 589 pages pp.  [abs]
  • "Response to Critics." Journal of Social Ontology 5.2 (March, 2020): 273-283. [doi]  [abs]
  • "Précis: Categories We Live By." Journal of Social Ontology 5.2 (March, 2020): 229-233. [doi]  [abs]

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