I want to thank Thomas Nadelhoffer for this opportunity, it's a great honor to be the featured author this month here at Flickers of Freedom. This blog along with its previous incarnation has been the most important venue for my philosophical development over the years, the place I've always gone to work out my constantly changing ideas about free will and moral responsibility. Because we have such a supportive community at the senior level, I was never afraid to float arguments or raise questions that were just taking shape in my confused mind. Some of them turned out to be just as stupid or misguided as I feared. But others became the basis of my published work. I don't think I have a single publication on this topic that wasn't floated and hashed out on Flickers or Garden first.
In that spirit, while I hope that the big guns will tear into me as usual, I'd like to urge the younger philosophers to join the conversation as well. Don't worry about how well-formed your ideas are. You can't say anything sillier or more ill-advised than I have on multiple occasions and will probably continue to do in these very posts. Feel free to post drunk too.
Here's the plan as I see it now. Sunday or Monday I'll begin with a little desert puzzle that comes from Euripides' Electra, one of the endlessly fascinating Greek dramas we teach in our Great Books course here at U of H. I follow that up in a few days with my most inflammatory post this month (I think): a dialogue that accuses all of us being a bunch of philosophical busybodies. I'll then offer a series of two or three posts on the methodology behind the criminologist Michael Moore's defense of retributivism. Finally, if I have time, I'll do a Manuel-style sociological post that should leave everyone mad at me and grateful that it's Joe Campbell's turn. Looking forward to it!