Manuel Vargas
On this page: Papers on Ethics & Metaphysics | Papers on Latin American Philosophy 
Elsewhere on this site: Home | Courses | Quotes | Abstracts

Welcome!

Most of my scholarship has been in one of three areas: contemporary Anglo-American philosophy of agency, Latin American philosophy, and philosophy of law. 
By the philosophy of agency, I mean a field that encompasses topics such as moral responsibility, practical reason, and moral psychology as well as free will and the philosophy of action, understood in its narrower, traditional sense. My main interests in philosophy of agency include moral responsibility, free will, and questions about the relevance of scientific work for philosophical accounts of agency. Within Latin American philosophy, I am especially interested in the history of late 19th and early 20th century Mexican social philosophy (especially discourse around race and identity), but I dabble widely. In philosophy of law, I'm primarily interested in questions of methodology in jurisprudence and the philosophical foundations of criminal law.


full cv here (pdf)                     SSRN page here

Ethics & Metaphysics

Books

Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility. Oxford University Press (2013).

            ¥ Published reviews of the book:
              Ethics   |
  Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews   |   Philosophy in Review   |   Philosophical Quarterly   |

Four Views on Free Will.
Blackwell (2007). Co-authored with John Martin Fischer, Robert Kane, and Derk Pereboom.

¥ Published reviews of the book:
  Philosophical Review
  | Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews  
|  Social Theory & Practice (pdf)  |  Metaphilosophy  Metapsychology  |  Critica (pdf)  | The Heythrop Journal

          ¥ Symposium on Four Views on Free Will, published in Philosophical Studies 144.1 (2009) pp. 3-62 (available at Springerlink.com).


Edited volumes

Vargas, M. and Yaffe, G., eds. Rational and Social Agency: The Philosophy of Michael Bratman. Oxford University Press (2014).


Articles, book chapters, and similarly mid-lengthed bits of writing

"Responsibility and the Limits of Conversation" in Criminal Law and Philosophy, forthcoming.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"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.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

Vargas, M. and Davis, J.P. "American Legal Realism and Practical Guidance" in Reasons and Intentions in Law and Practical Agency. Edited by G. Pavlakos and V. Rodriguez-Blanco (in press).
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Razian Responsibility" in Jurisprudence 5.1 (2014) 161-172.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"If Free Will Doesn't Exist, Then Neither Does Water" in Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Edited by Gregg Caruso. Lanham, MA: Lexington (2013) 177-202.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"How to Solve the Problem of Free Will" in The Philosophy of Free Will: Selected Contemporary Readings. Edited by Paul Russell and Oisin Deery. New York: Oxford University Press (2013) 325-350.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Situationism and Responsibility: Free Will in Fragments" in Decomposing the Will. Edited by Till Vierkant, Julian Kiverstein, and Andy Clark. New York: Oxford University Press (2013) 400-416.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Why the Luck Problem Isn't" in Philosophical Issues 22: Action Theory (2012) 491-36.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Revisionist Accounts of Free Will: Origins, Varieties, and Challenges" in Oxford Handbook on Free Will. 2nd Edition. Edited by Robert Kane. New York: Oxford University Press (2011) 457-484.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"The Revisionist Turn: A Brief History of Recent Work on Free Will" in New Waves in Philosophy of Action. Ed. J. Aguilar, A. Buckareff, K. Frankish. New York: Palgrave Macmillan (2011) 143-172.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF 

"Responsibility in a World of Causes" in Philosophic Exchange 40 (2010) 56-78.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Reasons and Real Selves" in Ideas y Valores: Revista Colombiana de Filosof’a 58.141 (2009) 67-84.
              Abstract  | Published version (Open access pdf) | Prepublication PDF

"Revisionism about Free Will: A Statement and Defense" Philosophical Studies 144.1 (2009) 45-62.
              Abstract  | Published version (available at Springerlink.com) | Prepublication PDF

"Taking The Highway on Luck, Skepticism, and the Value of Responsibility" Journal of Moral Philosophy Vol. 6.2 (2009) 249-265.
              Abstract  | Published version (available through IgentaConnect) | Prepublication PDF

"Moral Influence, Moral Responsibility" in Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Edited by Nick Trakakis and Daniel Cohen. Cambridge Scholars Press (2008) 90-122.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Libertarianism & Skepticism about Free Will: Some Arguments Against Both" Philosophical Topics 32:1&2 (2004) 403-26. (Actual year of publication: 2006).
    Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Philosophy and the Folk: On Some Implications of Experimental Work for Philosophical Debates on Free Will" The Journal of Cognition and Culture 6: 1 & 2, (2006) 249-264.
              Abstract | Published version (available through Igenta) | Prepublication PDF

"On the Importance of History for Responsible Agency" Philosophical Studies 127:3 (2006) 351-382.
              Abstract | Published version (available at Springerlink.com) | Prepublication PDF
 
"Practical Reason, Instrumental Irrationality, and Time" Philosophical Studies 126:2 (2005) 241-252.
              Abstract | Published version (available at Springerlink.com) | Prepublication PDF
 
"The Revisionist's Guide to Responsibility" Philosophical Studies 125:3 (2005) 399-429.
              Abstract | Published version (available at Springerlink.com) | Prepublication PDF

"The Trouble with Tracing" in Howard Wettstein and John Martin Fischer, eds. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29:1 (2005) 460-475 .
              Abstract | Published version

"Compatibilism Evolves? Some Varieties of Dennett Worth Wanting" in Metaphilosophy 36, no. 4 (2005) 460-75.

    (Part of a symposium on Daniel Dennett's Freedom Evolves.)
              Abstract | Published version
 
"Responsibility and the Aims of Theory: Strawson and Revisionism" Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85:2 (2004): 218-241.
              Abstract | Published version
 

Replies, reviews, and shortish bits of writing

"On Maurice Mandelbaum's "Freedom and Responsibility"" Ethics forthcoming.
              Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Reconsidering Scientific Threats to Free Will" in Moral Psychology, Vol. 4: Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Edited by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (2014) 417-425.
              Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Social Explanations and the Free Will Problem" in Moral Psychology, Vol. 4: Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Edited by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (2014) 403-411.
              Published version | Prepublication PDF

Review of John Martin Fischer, Our Stories. In Ethics 120:3 (April 2010) 600-604.
              
Published version | Prepublication PDF

Review of Alfred Mele, Effective Intentions: The Power of the Conscious Will. In Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (September 19, 2009).
              Open access: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

"Answers to Five Questions" in Philosophy of Action: Five Questions. Edited by Jesœs Aguilar and Andrei Buckareff. Automatic/VIP Press (2009) 273-282.
              Abstract  | Published version | Prepublication PDF

Vargas, M and Nichols, S. "Psychopaths and Moral Knowledge" Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, Vol. 14.2 (2007), 157-162.
              Abstract  | Published version (available through Project MUSE) | Prepublication PDF

Nichols, S. and Vargas, M. "How to Be Fair to Psychopaths" Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, Vol. 14.2 (2007), 153-155.
              Abstract  | Published version (available through Project MUSE) | Prepublication PDF

Review of Personal Autonomy: New Essays on Personal Autonomy and its Role in Contemporary Moral Philosophy, edited by James Stacey Taylor. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (August 21, 2006).
              
Open access: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

Review of Unprincipled Virtue by Nomy Arpaly. In Journal of Ethics 8:2 (2004): 201-204.
              Published version (Available via Springerlink.com) | Prepublication PDF
  

Latin American Philosophy

Gracia, J. and Vargas, M. "Latin American Philosophy" The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2013/entries/latin-american-philosophy/>
              
Published version (Open access)

"On the Value of Philosophy: The Latin American Case" Comparative Philosophy Vol. 1, no. 1 (2010) 33-52.
               Abstract  | Published version (Open access pdf)Prepublication PDF   

"Real Philosophy, Metaphilosophy, Metametaphilosophy" CR: The New Centennial Review Vol. 7.3 (2007) 51-78.
               Abstract  |  Published version (also available at Project Muse)

"Eurocentrism and the Philosophy of Liberation" APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues Vol. 4, no. 2 (2005) 8-17.
     Winner of the 2004 APA Prize in Latin American Thought
               Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF   

"Introduccion" (with Carlos Marichal) in Francisco Bulnes, El triste porvenir de la naciones hispanoamericanas. Mexico, D.F.: Instituto Mora (forthcoming).
              Published version | Prepublication PDF

"Biologia y la Filosofia de la Raza en Mexico: Bulnes y Vasconcelos" Construcci—n de las Identidades Latinoamericanas: Ensayos de Historia Intelectual, ed. by A. Granados and Carlos Marichal. MŽxico, D.F.: Colegio de MŽxico (2004).
    (Note: this essay is in Spanish and it largely re-works material originally in "Lessons from the Philosophy of Race in Mexico.")
              Published version | Prepublication PDF
 
Review of Contemporary Philosophy: Volume 8: Philosophy of Latin America, ed. by of G. Floistad, in Philosophy in Review 24, no. 4 (2004).
              Published version | Prepublication PDF
 
"Lessons from the Philosophy of Race in Mexico" Philosophy Today, vol. 44, SPEP Supplement 2000 vol. 26, pp. 18-29.
              Published version | Prepublication PDF
 
Review of The Identity of Liberation in Latin American Thought by Mario Saenz in APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues. 00:1, Fall 2000, pp.73-4.
              Published version | Prepublication PDF
 
"Crossing the Borders of Philosophy: Some Thoughts on the 14th Interamerican Congress" APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues. 99: 2, Spring 2000, pp. 217-219.
              Published version | Prepublication PDF

 

Other things

I've also written some philosophy for a more popular audience. (ShhhÑ don't tell! Word on the street is that this kind of thing might ruin any reputation I have for being a Serious Scholarª.) One is a piece for the Philosopher's Magazine entitled "Responsibility's Death By Neuroscience Has Been Greatly Exaggerated." Less serious is the piece ÒDead Serious: Evil and the Ontology of the UndeadÓ The Undead and Philosophy, edited by Richard Greene & K. Silem Mohammad, Peru, IL: Open Court Press (2006). [Now in a second edition (2010)! With a new and evil-ish-er cover & title!] A pre-publication draft can be found here. But really, you should go and buy this landmark collection of philosophy, and give a copy to every kid at Halloween. A further bit of popular-ish philosophical writing is "Are Psychopathic Serial Killers Evil? Are They Blameworthy for What They Do?" in Serial Killers and Philosophy, ed. Sarah Waller (Blackwell, 2010). A prepublication draft can be found here.

I was on Philosophy Talk on March 8, 2009. Check it out here.

Besides the interview in Philosophy of Action: 5 Questions (2009) listed above, you can also find other interviews with me here (Methode, 2014), here (Specimen Magazine 2013) here (Radcliffe Quarterly 2009), here (FSPB 2007), and here (Divisadero 2012).