As John Martin Fischer's stint as the inaugural Featured Author at Flickers of Freedom comes to a close, I just wanted to thank him for doing such an extraordinary job kicking things off. For instance, his four illuminating and stimulating posts generated some very active and helpful comment threads (with 165+ comments total). Minimally, I hope Professor Fischer helped remind us all just how fun blogging about free will can be. Hopefully, his very succesful posts will serve as exemplars for future Featured Authors. I, for one, very much look forward to hosting this new series since I think it will lead to some great discussions about free will and responsibility! So, please join me in thanking Professor Fischer for doing such a great job! For those of you who would like to thank him in person, Professor Fischer will be delivering the Presidential Address at the upcoming Pacific APA. His talk will be entitled, "The Path of Life."
That said, here is the upcoming schedule for the Featured Author series. Hopefully, everyone else is as excited as I am!
Saul Smilansky is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Haifa. His main research interests are the free will problem; normative ethics (with special emphasis on moral paradoxes, meta-normative theory, and the notion of contribution); and the role of illusion and self-deception in our lives. He is presently working on some new paradoxes, and thinking on what all this paradoxicality might mean. He has also begun to work on a bigger project, which concerns the idea of what he calls "crazy ethics," whereby our true (or at least most plausible) moral beliefs might in some ways be "crazy." This project incorporates much of his previous work on free will, moral paradoxes, and illusion. He is the author of Free Will and Illusion (2000) and 10 Moral Paradoxes (2007).
Alfred R. Mele is the William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University and director of the Big Questions in Free Will Project (2010-13). He is the author of Irrationality (1987), Springs of Action (1992), Autonomous Agents (1995), Self-Deception Unmasked (2001), Motivation and Agency (2003), Free Will and Luck (2006), Effective Intentions (2009), and Backsliding (2012). He also is the editor or co-editor of Mental Causation (1993), The Philosophy of Action (1997), The Oxford Handbook of Rationality (2004), Rationality and the Good (2007), and Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? (2010).
Dana Nelkin is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California San Diego. Her research interests range over moral psychology, ethics, the intersection of ethics and the law, biomedical ethics, and psychology. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Philosophical Studies, Analysis, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, and The Philosophical Review. She recently publishedMaking Sense of Freedom and Responsibility (2012).
Derk Pereboom is Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1985, and taught at the University of Vermont before moving to Cornell. He is the author of Living without Free Will (2001), Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism (2011), and a co-author of Four Views on Free Will (with Robert Kane, John Martin Fischer, and Manuel Vargas, 2007). He has published articles on free will, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and history of modern philosophy.
Michael McKenna is Professor and Keith Lehrer Chair in the Department of Philosophy and the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom at University of Arizona. He received his Ph.D. from University of Virginia in 1993 and taught previously at Ithaca College and Florida State University. He is the author of Conversation & Responsibility (OUP, 2012) and has published numerous articles, mostly on the topics of free will and moral responsibility. He is currently doing well and has not been required to speak with a parole officer in the last five years.
Bruce N. Waller is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University. In addition to several textbooks and a variety of journal articles, he has published Freedom Without Responsibility (1990), The Natural Selection of Responsibility (1998), and Against Moral Responsibility (2011). His major interests are examining the implications of contemporary psychological research for questions of ethics, free will, and moral responsibility; developing an account of natural free will that is psychologically and biologically plausible; and beating down the walls of moral responsibility and sowing salt in its fields.
Neil Levy is a Research Associate at the Oxford University Institute for Science and Ethics. Professor Levy specialises in free will and moral responsibility, and empirical approaches to ethics. He has published widely on many topics in philosophy, including bioethics, applied philosophy, continental philosophy and free will. He is the author of 4 books and over 50 articles in refereed journals. His most recent books include Neuroethics (2007) and Hard Luck: How Luck Undermines Free Will and Responsibility (2011).