Mercedes Valmisa Oviedo

Assistant Professor




Campus Box 0404


Weidensall Hall
Room 314
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


PhD Princeton University, 2017
MA National Taiwan University, 2011
MA Madrid Autonomous University, 2008
BA University of Sevilla, 2005

Mercedes Valmisa has joined the Gettysburg Philosophy faculty in 2018 after completing her Ph.D. at Princeton University (2017) and her M.A. at National Taiwan University (2011). She currently holds the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship, a program to support faculty who enhance curricular diversity.

Combining scholarship in Chinese philosophy, Chinese studies, and the European tradition, Mercedes works at the intersection of metaphysics, social philosophy, and ethics, pursuing questions of agency, autonomy, uncertainty, control, and freedom.

Mercedes' current book project, Adaptive Agency in Early China, explores the issue of inter-human and human-world interactions through the prism of an extraordinary strategy for successful agency envisioned by early Chinese thinkers, which she has termed “adaptive agency” or “adaptation.” 

Her seminars are strongly based on discussion of primary sources, and designed to create critical awareness of the existing diversity in philosophical traditions. She invites her students to problematize and challenge the mainstream Anglo-European approach to philosophy through the perspective of alternative philosophical practices such as those of Asia. 

Mercedes is a native speaker of Spanish, and fluent in English, French, and Mandarin. She can also read Classical Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, and Japanese. She is looking forward to collaborating with students on multilingual research, and to contributing to the College’s Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum program, as well as to establishing connections with the East Asian Studies and Spanish programs.

Mercedes is a member of the American Philosophical Association, the Association of Chinese Philosophers in America, the European Association of Chinese Philosophy, and the Association of Asian Studies.