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“Responsibility and the Limits of Conversation" Criminal Law and Philosophy, forthcoming.

The fundamental nature of responsibility itself—that thing our blaming and punishing practices purport to reflect—has recently been the subject of considerable attention by theorists of criminal law and moral theory. Both legal and moral theorists have increasingly found a broadly “communicative” understanding of responsibility to be especially appealing. According to such accounts, we can understand the nature of responsibility and its character by appeal to the idea that responsibility practices are in some fundamental sense expressive, discursive, or communicative. Focusing on Michael McKenna's recent "conversational theory of moral responsibility," the present essay considers a variety of issues in connections with this family of views, including (1) the independence of such accounts from notions of free will and agential capacity, (2) the underlying theory of exemptions and powers required for responsible agency, and (3) whether there are alternative ways of understanding or extending the communicative idea at the core of such accounts. I argue that communicative accounts, and the conversational model in particular, focus our attention on important and under-appreciated elements of our responsibility practices. However, we do well to adopt an even more social conception of responsibility, albeit in the vein of conversational theories.
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“The Runeberg Problem: Theism, Libertarianism, and Motivated Reasoning,” in Libertarianism and Free Will: the Interplay of Religious Belief and Free Will, edited by Kevin Timpe, and Daniel Speak, New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
Libertarianism about free will is the view that we have free will, and that our having it is incompatible with causal determinism. This view  is sometimes held to underpin moral and criminal responsibility, as well as retributive punishment. In its contemporary forms, it is standardly presented as compatible with a broadly scientific picture of the world. This paper argues that there is good reason to think that libertarianism about free will is not a product of disinterested reasoning about the requirements of free will, responsibility, or retributive punishment. Instead, both empirical and conceptual considerations suggest that libertarianism is largely a product of motivated reasoning by theists, i.e., believers in the existence of God. This essay develops the case for that conclusion and considers its consequences.
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(with Joshua P. Davis) "American Legal Realism and Practical Guidance" forthcoming in Reasons and Intentions in Law and Practical Agency, ed. G. Pavlakos, and V. Rodriguez-Blanco. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Our aim is to show how, despite its considerable attractions, Leiter’s brand of Legal Realism cannot fulfill an important practical task for which we reasonably seek to develop a theory of law: providing an account of law as a potential source of guidance. Central to our discussion is the idea that there are diverse interests we might have in a theory of law. For example, one reason to develop an account of law is roughly descriptive. That is, we might seek to explain the nature of legal practices as such from an outsider's perspective and to illuminate how and why law functions as it does. We might even hope that such an account could enable us to predict judgments about cases. A different reason for developing a theory of law might be characterized as prescriptive. Among prescriptive approaches, one view of the function of legal theorizing is to offer guidance to those concerned to adhere to the law. A prescriptive account of that sort would, for example, help a judge decide what ruling the law requires in a given case. While Legal Realism may adequately serve our descriptive interests, it is far less clear that it adequately addresses a reasonable practical interest we can have for a theory of law, i.e., providing guidance for those interested in adhering to the law. We then consider whether this shortcoming is best understood as a serious internal flaw to Legal Realism or whether instead it shows something more general about the limitations of any unified approach to jurisprudence. We suggest the latter.
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"Razian Responsibility" in Jurisprudence (forthcoming)
This essay considers two aspects of Joseph Raz's recent work: (1) his theory of responsibility, arising out his reflections on something he calls "our Being in the World," and (2) the methodological presumptions that guide his account. On the matter of responsibility, his notion of "domains of secure competence" is suggestive but unclear. Natural regimentations of the idea suggest a host of problems in the specification of competence, and whether the notion is to be understood subjectively or third-personally. On the matter of methodology, Raz's approach gives rise to some serious concerns, including (1) whether armchair philosophical reflection is the best way to generate an account, as he aims to, of essential features of experience, and (2) how to square his approach with accounts of responsibility, normativity, and rationality rooted in non-experiential but predictive and explanatorily valuable accounts of these matters.
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"If Free Will Doesn't Exist, Then Neither Does Water" in Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility (forthcoming).
In recent years, a number of prominent scientists (e.g., Haggard, Montague, Bargh, Cohen and Greene, Cashmore, etc.) have argued that their particular disciplines, or science in general, shows the non-existence of free will. These claims are frequently demonstrably false or too hasty, given the way any attempt to settle the issue requires substantive commitments about disputed philosophical issues. This essay focuses on three recurring difficulties for scientific free will skeptics. First, despite frequent appeals to determinism in the work of scientists, it is unclear that determinism is more than a theoretical aspiration in many scientific fields. Second, scientific skeptics too quickly dismiss compatibilism as a definitional gambit, rather than a position that has to be addressed before skepticism carries the day. Third, the powers that constitute free will are plausibly high-level, multiply realizable properties that resist straightforward reduction to the properties that figure in many sciences. The upshot is that those who are attracted to scientific skepticism about free will are better served by adopting some form of revisionism about free will.
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"How to Solve the Problem of Free Will"  in The Philosophy of Free Will (2013).
This paper outlines one way of thinking about the problem of free will, some general reasons for dissatisfactions with traditional approaches to solving it, and some considerations in favor of pursuing a broadly revisionist solution to it. If you are looking for a student-friendly introduction to revisionist theorizing about free will, this is probably the thing to look at.
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"Situationism and Moral Responsibility: Free Will in Fragments" in Decomposing the Will (2013)
Many prominent accounts of free will and moral responsibility make use of the idea that agents can be responsive to reasons. Call such theories "Reasons" accounts. This chapter considers the tenability of Reasons accounts in light of situationist social psychology and, to a lesser extent, the automaticity literature. The first half of the chapter argues that Reasons accounts are genuinely threatened by results in contemporary psychology. The second half argues that these threats can largely be met, but that doing so requires abandoning a suite of familiar assumptions and expectations about responsible agency and Reasons accounts in particular. The chapter goes on to advance a new account of responsible agency that accommodates a variety of worries about situationism and automaticity.
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"Why the Luck Problem Isn't" in Philosophical Issues (2012)
The Luck Problem is frequently regarded as one of the most serious difficulties for libertarian accounts of free will. This paper argues that the Luck Problem is either a problem for compatibilists too, or else it is not a problem for either libertarians or compatibilists. I go on to argue that the most promising horn to take is the "no problem for either." The core of the argument is that there is good reason to think at least some compatibilist accounts have a satisfactory answer to the Luck Problem, and that (surprisingly) many libertarian accounts can help themselves to that solution.
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"Revisionist Accounts of Free Will: Origins, Varieties, and Challenges" in The Oxford Handbook on Free Will, 2nd edition (2011).
This paper presents a brand-spankin' new account of what revisionism about free will is, how it is different from compatibilism and incompatibilism, and what it comes to. It departs in important ways from my previous characterizations of revisionism, given in “The Revisionist’s Guide to Responsibility” (2005) and Four Views on Free Will (2007), and it contains (to my mind) numerous improvement over those presentations of the idea of revisionism. It also traces some of the recent history of the development of revisionist accounts, and outlines some ongoing challenges to revisionist accounts.
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"On the Value of Philosophy: The Latin American Case" in Comparative Philosophy Vol 1.1 (2010).
There is very little study of Latin American Philosophy in the English-speaking philosophical world. This can sometimes lead to the impression that there is nothing of philosophical worth in Latin American philosophy or its history. This paper offers some reasons for thinking that this impression is mistaken. In particular, the article argues for three things: (1) an account of cultural resources that is useful for illuminating the fact of cultural differences and the existence of differences in cultural complexity, (2) a framework for understanding the value of philosophy, and (3) the conclusion that there is demonstrable value to Latin American philosophy and its study.
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"Responsibility in a World of Causes" in Philosophic Exchange 40 (2010): 56-78.
There is a familiar chain of reasoning that goes something like this: if everything is caused, no one is free, and thus, no one can be morally responsible. Reasoning like this has made scientific explanations of human behavior (e.g., biology, psychology, and neuroscience) threatening to familiar ideas of responsibility, blameworthiness, and merit. Rather than directly attacking the chain of reasoning that gives rise to these worries, I explore an alternative approach, one that begins by considering the "use" of moral responsibility. What role does the concept play for us? What structure, if any, would an ideal set of practices and attitudes about moral responsibility have to it? I outline a new account of responsibility and consider what it might mean for traditional worries about causal, scientific explanations of human behavior. 
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"Reasons and Real Selves" in Ideas y Valores: Revista Colombiana de Filosofía (2009).
Most accounts of responsibility begin from either of two prominent points of departure: the idea that an agent must have some characterological or expressive connection to the action, or alternately, the idea that an agent must be in some sense responsive to reasons. Indeed, we might even understand much of the past couple of decades of philosophical work on moral responsibility as concerned with investigating which of these two approaches offers the most viable account of moral responsibility. Here, I wish to revisit an idea basic to all of this work. That is, I consider whether there is even a fundamental distinction between these approaches. I will argue that the relationship between these two approaches to moral responsibility is much more complicated than is ordinarily assumed. I shall argue that there are reasons to think that one of these views may ultimately collapse into the other, and if not, that there is nevertheless reason to think one of these views has misidentified the features of agency relevant to moral responsibility. The view that follows is one that we might call the primacy of reasons. In the second half of the article I consider whether recent experimental work speaks in favor of the alternative to the primacy of reasons. Its proponents argue that it does. I argue that it does not. 
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"The Revisionist Turn: A Brief History of Work on Free Will" in New Waves in Philosophy of Action Ed. by Aguilar, Buckareff, Frakish (2011), 143-172.
Over the past 40 years there have been a number of important changes in the literature on free will. This article discusses some of those changes, their significance, and their connection to broader issues in philosophy. Among the central topics of this account are: (1) the rise of "responsibility-centrism," (2) the role of intuitions and disagreements concerning methodology, and (3) confusions introduced by shifting terminology. The article concludes by considering the place of moderate revisionism in the context of these changes, including its distinctiveness as an alternative to other existing accounts of free will and moral responsbility. 
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"Revisionism about Free Will: A Statement and Defense" in Philosophical Studies 144.1 (2009): 45-62.
This article summarizes the moderate revisionist position I put forth in Four Views on Free Will and responds to objections to it from Robert Kane, John Martin Fischer, Derk Pereboom, and Michael McKenna. Among the principle topics of the article are (1) motivations for revisionism, what it is, and how it is different from compatibilism and hard incompatibilism, (2) an objection to the distinctiveness of semicompatibilism against conventional forms of compatibilism, and (3) whether moderate revisionism is committed to realism about moral responsibility.
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"Review Essay: Taking the Highway on Skepticism, Luck, and the Value of Responsibility" in Journal of Moral Philosophy 6.2 (2009), 249-265.
I consider some themes and issues arising in recent work on moral responsibility, focusing on three recent books —Carlos Moya's Moral Responsibility, Al Mele's Free Will and Luck, and John Martin Fischer's My Way.  I argue that these texts collectively suggest some difficulties with the way in which many issues are currently framed in the free will debates, including disputes about what constitutes compatibilism and incompatibilism and the relevance of intuitions and ordinary language for describing the metaphysics of free will and moral responsibility. I also argue that each of the accounts raise more particular puzzles: it is unclear to what extent Moya’s account is properly an account of free will; Mele’s account raises questions about the significance of luck for compatibilist theories; and Fischer’s account of the value of responsibility as self-expression raises questions about the normative significance of moral responsibility.
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"Answers to Five Questions" in Philosophy of Action: 5 Question
s, ed. by Aguilar and Buckareff (2009)
I reply to five questions about my work in philosophy of agency.
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"Real Philosophy, Metaphilosophy, Metametaphilosophy: On the Plight of Latin American Philosophy" in CR: The New Centennial Review, Vol. 7.3 (2007): 51-78
This is an essay on philosophical methodology, the disciplinary prejudices of the Anglophone philosophical world, and how these things interact with some aspects of the content and form of Latin American philosophy to preclude the latter's integration with mainstream Anglophone philosophical work. Among the topics discussed of interest to analytic philosophers: metaphilosophy, the status hierarchy of philosophical subfields, experimental philosophy, and patterns of openness and exclusion in philosophy. Among the topics of interest to philosophers interested in Latin American philosophy and comparative philosophy: the nature of disputes about the existence of Latin American philosophy, the significance of this genre of writing, how contributions to it can proceed, and why metaphilosophical concerns in Latin America are problematic for the prospects for integration with the Anglophone philosophical world.
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"Moral Influence, Moral Responsibility" in Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility, ed. by Trakkis and  Cohen. (2008): 90-122.
The traditional consequentialist model of responsibility holds that praise and blame are forward-looking attempts to influence agents in socially desirable ways. On this account praise and blame derive their justification from their efficacy at facilitating desirable outcomes. The consensus⎯ and it is virtually unanimous among philosophers of free will and moral responsibility⎯ is that moral influence theories have little to offer in the way of an adequate theory of moral responsibility. In this paper, I aim to identify an important insight that rests at the core of traditional moral influence theories, and to develop that insight in a way that sidesteps the traditional objections directed against these accounts. The insight I aim to make use of is roughly this: the justification of our praising and blaming practices derive, at least in part, from their effects on creatures like us. The appeal of this justificatory strategy is that, if it works, it provides a way to justify our responsibility-characteristic practices in a way not dependent on traditional debates about the metaphysics of free will and responsible agency.
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"The Trouble with Tracing" in Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29.1 (2005): 269-291.
Many prominent theories of moral responsibility rely on the notion of “tracing,” the idea that responsibility for an outcome can be located in (i.e., “traced back to”) some prior moment of control, perhaps significantly antecedent to the proximate sources of a considered action. In this article, I show how there is a problem for theories that rely on tracing. The problem is connected to the knowledge condition on moral responsibility. Many prima facie good candidate cases for tracing analyses appear to violate the knowledge condition on moral responsibility. So, either we need to dispense with tracing approaches or we must refine our understanding of the knowledge condition or we are responsible less frequently than we suppose.
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"Philosophy and the Folk: On Some Implications of Experimental Work for Philosophical Debates about Free Will" Jnl of Cogn & Cult 6.1-2 (2006): 239-254.

I discuss experimental work by Nichols, and Nichols and Knobe, with respect to the philosophical problems of free will and moral responsibility. I mention some methodological concerns about the work, but focus principally on the philosophical implications of the work. The experimental results seem to show that in particular, concrete cases we are more willing to attribute responsibility than in cases described abstractly or in general terms. I argue that their results suggest a deep problem for traditional accounts of compatibilism, and that they may cast some light on the literature surrounding Frankfurt cases. I also suggest a way in which mature philosophical convictions about free will may reflect a contingent process of refining and defending either of two competing strands of intuitions, and suggest that this may partly explain the persistence of philosophical debates about free will.
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"On the Importance of History for Responsible Agency" in Philosophical Studies (2006)
In this article I propose a resolution to the history issue for responsible agency, given a moderate revisionist approach to responsibility. Roughly, moderate revisionism is the view that a plausible and normatively adequate theory of responsibility will require principled departures from commonsense thinking. The history issue is whether morally responsible agency — that is, whether an agent is an apt target of our responsibility-characteristic practices and attitudes— is an essentially historical notion. Some have maintained that responsible agents must have particular sorts of histories, others have argued that no such history is required. Resolution of this contentious issue is connected to a wide range of concerns, including the significance and culpability of different forms of manipulation, the plausibility of important incompatibilist criticisms of compatibilism, and of course, a satisfactory account of moral responsibility. As it turns out, history matters sometimes, but less frequently than we might think.
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"The Revisionist's Guide to Responsibility" in Philosophical Studies 127.3 (2005): 351-382.
[NB: I now take the account of revisionism in this paper to be superseded by the account offered in "Revisionist Accounts of Free Will: Origins, Varieties, and Challenges"]
Revisionism in the theory of moral responsibility is the idea that some aspect of responsibility practices, attitudes, or concept is in need of revision. While the increased frequency of revisionist language in the literature on free will and moral responsibility is striking, what discussion there has been of revisionism about responsibility and free will tends to be critical. In this paper, I argue that at least one species of revisionism, moderate revisionism, is considerably more sophisticated and defensible than critics have realized. I go on to argue for the advantages of moderate revisionist theories over standard compatibilist and incompatibilist theories. 
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"Practical Reason, Instrumental Irrationality, and Time" in Philosophical Studies 126.2 (2005): 241-252.

Standard models of practical rationality face a puzzle that has gone unnoticed: given a modest assumption about the nature of deliberation, we are apparently frequently briefly irrational. I explain the problem, consider what is wrong with several possible solutions, and propose an account that does not generate the objectionable result.
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"Eurocentrism and the Philosophy of Liberation"  APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues  4, no. 2 (2005): 8-17.

Proponents of the philosophy of liberation generally counsel that various forms of liberation in at least the Americas requires that we should fight Eurocentrism and resist the ontology and conceptual framework of Europe. However, most of the work done in this tradition relies heavily on the terminology and theoretical apparatus of various strands of European philosophy. The apparent disconnect between the aims and methods (or if you like, the theory and practice) has given rise to a criticism I call The Eurocentrism Problem. I argue that the Eurocentrism Problem has not received an adequate reply, and that it reflects a number of underlying flaws in the philosophical program of the philosophy of liberation. These problems can largely be avoided if we significantly recast the philosophy of liberation, eliminating its reliance on the conceptual foundations provided by Levinas, Heidegger, and so on.
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"Compatibilism Evolves? Some Varieties of Dennett Worth Wanting" in Metaphilosophy 36, no. 4 (2005): 460-75.

I examine the extent to which Dennett's account in Freedom Evolves might be construed as a revisionist about free will, and whether we should instead understand him as a more traditional kind of compatibilist. I argue that despite some strands of his work that suggest otherwise, Dennett's view is properly is, to its detriment, intended as a form of non-revisionist compatibilism. I also consider his views about philosophical work on free agency and its relationship to scientific inquiry, and I argue that extant philosophical work is more relevant to scientific inquiry that Dennett's remarks may suggest.
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"Responsibility and the Aims of Theory: Strawson and Revisionism" in
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85, no. 2 (2004): 218-41.

Strawsonian approaches to responsibility, including more recent accounts such as Dennett's and Wallace's, face a number of important objections. However, Strawsonian theories can be recast along revisionist lines so as to avoid many of these problems. In this paper, I explain the revisionist approach to moral responsibility, discuss the concessions it makes to incompatibilism (including the point that compatibilists may not fully capture our commonsense understanding of responsibility), why it provides a fruitful recasting of Strawsonian approaches, and how it offers an alternative to the pattern of dialectical stalemates exhibited by standard approaches to free will and determinism.
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"
Libertarianism and Skepticism about Free Will: Some Arguments Against Both"in Philosophical Topics 31.1-2 (2004): 403-426.

In this paper I criticize libertarianism and skepticism about free will. The criticism of libertarianism takes some steps towards filling in an argument that is often mentioned but seldom developed in any detail, the argument that libertarianism is a scientifically implausible view. I say "take some steps" because I think the considerations I muster (at most) favor a less ambitious relative of that argument. The less ambitious claim I hope to motivate is that there is little reason to believe that extant libertarian accounts satisfy a standard of naturalistic plausibility, even if they do satisfy a standard of naturalistic compatibility. The argument against skepticism about free will tries to show (1) perhaps the most prominent form of skeptical argument against the existence of free will does not work, and (2) there is a good general argument against skepticism about free will.
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