Project Director

O'Dea, Gregory

Department Examiner

Wroth, Roy


Dept. of Humanities


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Agency is realized in the act of speaking, an act which is always contingent on a collaborative process that transforms all parties involved. We think and act with one another and our concepts, there is no act of speech prior to encounter. In this paper I explore different ways which language shapes our thinking and play with those structures to use them as models for realizing agency. This exploration became personal insofar as exploring ways of thinking transformed my own sense of agency in the speech act. The completion of this paper is thus essential to its conclusion.


Though I have learned to wield many words, I have none which match the gratitude I have for my mentor and thesis director, Roy Wroth. I began this project with only the faintest idea of what it was I wanted to write about, and articulating that idea became as much a part of the work as it was necessary to complete it. From the early stages of my thrashing in the dark to the final chapters of this project Roy has given me the space to have conversations I didn’t know were possible, and challenged me to let my voice shine through each page. Many times during this project I doubted its worth or my ability to complete it. I am so grateful for the ceaseless support of my partner, friends, and family, who never stopped believing in me or respecting the time I committed to my studies. This experience has been an empowering one, and I have learned more than just how to write about philosophy. Personal communication has always been a weak spot for me, not so much because I lacked the words but because I was afraid to use them fully; one of my hopes on the heels of this project is that I will use my voice to strengthen the bonds I have with those around me and offer encouragement of my own.


B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.




Agent (Philosophy); Phenomenology; Voice


agency; speech act; voice; metaphor; precarity; phenomenology;


Metaphysics | Rhetoric

Document Type



ii, 31 leaves