Manuel Vargas

Professor and Dean's Circle Scholar

Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-6789 Kalmanovitz Hall 160

Biography

Manuel Vargas is Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of San Francisco.

His principal research interests include moral agency, philosophical issues in the law, and Latin American philosophy. He is the author of Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (Oxford, 2013). With John Martin Fischer, Robert Kane, and Derk Pereboom, he co-authored Four Views on Free Will (Blackwell, 2007). With Gideon Yaffe, he is co-editor of Rational and Social Agency: Essays on the Philosophy of Michael Bratman (Oxford, forthcoming).

Vargas was a recipient of the first American Philosophical Association Prize in Latin American Thought, and his research on responsible agency has been recognized with year-long research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the Stanford Humanities Center. He has also been a Visiting Fellow at the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society at Stanford University, and has held visiting appointments at the University of California, Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology.

Vargas was awarded USF's 2012 Distinguished Research Award, a university-wide award given annually to a single faculty member in the university for outstanding research accomplishment. In its inaugural year, he also received USF's College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Scholar Award, for "exceptional scholarly work of great academic value and impact."He has also twice held USF's annual NEH Chair in the Humanities, (2005-6, 2013-2014), been awarded a Davies Professorship (2012), and was a winner (with Saera Khan, psychology) of the Provost Office's Faculty Team Innovation Award 2011.

At the University of San Francisco, Vargas has taught courses for the philosophy and psychology departments, the program in Latin American Studies and the Honors Program in the Humanities, the St. Ignatius Institute, and the School of Law.

Education
Joint-PhD, Philosophy and Humanities, Stanford University
Prior Experience
Assistant (2002); Associate (2006); Full Professor (2010), USF
Visiting Assistant Professor, University of California Berkeley (2005-2006)
Visiting Assistant Professor, California Institute of Technology (2003-2004)
Acting Assistant Professor, Stanford University (2001-2002)
Expertise
Jurisprudence
Phil. of Crim Law
Moral Psychology
Latin American Philosophy
Research Areas
Moral Psychology & Agency
Philosophy of Law
Latin American Philosophy
Publications

Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (Oxford, 2013)

Four Views on Free Will, co-authors Manuel Vargas, John Martin Fischer, Robert Kane, and Derk Pereboom (Blackwell, 2007)

Rational and Social Agency: Essays on the Philosophy of Michael Bratman, co-editors Manuel Vargas and Gideon Yaffe (Oxford, forthcoming)

Awards & Distinctions

American Philosophical Association Prize in Latin American Thought

USF's 2012 Distinguished Research Award

USF's College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Scholar Award

Winner (with Saera Khan, psychology) of the Provost Office's Faculty Team Innovation Award 2011

Books
Rational and Social Agency: The Philosophy of Michael Bratman ( Oxford University Press , 2014) )
Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility ( Oxford University Press , 2013) )
Four Views on Free Will ( Wiley-Blackwell , 2007) (Co-authored with John Martin Fischer, Robert Kane, and Derk Pereboom.)
Law Review and Journal Articles
“Neuroscience and the Exaggerated Death of Responsibility,” 64 The Philosophers' Magazine (2014). SSRN
“American Legal Realism and Practical Guidance,” Reasons and Intentions in Law and Practical Agency (in press). (Co-authored with Professor Joshua P. Davis) SSRN
“If Free Will Doesn't Exist, Neither Does Water,” Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility (2014). SSRN
“Situationism and Moral Responsibility: Free Will in Fragments,” Decomposing the Will (2013). SSRN
“Razian Responsibility,” Jurisprudence (forthcoming). SSRN
Presentations
Presenter, “Presented the topic of negligence and social self-governance.,” William and Mary College, “Phenomena of Unintentional Negligence,” Williamsburg, Va. (September 2014)
Presenter, “Mitigation and Diminished Responsibility,” Central Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association, “Society for the Philosophy of Agency,” Chicago, Ill. (February 2014)
Presenter, “Las Casas, Moral Status, and The Philosophy of Conquest,” Stanford University, “Structured Liberal Education Program,” Stanford, Calif. (January 2014)
Presenter, “What is Social Justice?,” University of San Francisco, “Living the Mission,” San Francisco, Calif. (January 2014)
Commentator, “Implicit Bias, Moods, and Moral Responsibility,” American Philosophical Association Pacific Division, San Francisco, Calif. (March 2013)
Presenter, “Implicit Bias, Philosophy, Latinos?,” Stony Brook University,, “Latino/a Philosopher: A National Symposium,” Stony Brook, N.Y. (March 2013)
Presenter, “Negligence and Social Self-Governance,” University of Arizona Department of Philosophy and Center for the Philosophy of Freedom,, “Workshop on Free Will and Moral Responsibility,” Tucson, Ariz. (February 2013)
Presenter, “What Huck Finn Values,” University of San Francisco Department of Philosophy,, “Faculty Salon Talk,” (September 2012)
Service
American Philosophical Association, National Board of Officers (2011-2014) (2011)
Co-director, USF Task Force for Excellence in Research and Scholarship (2010-2011) (2010)
Director, St. Ignatius Institute, USF (2006-2008) (2006)