Manuel R. Vargas

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Welcome!

I publish in roughly three areas: moral psychology, Latin American philosophy and Latinx philosophy, and philosophy of law
I'm particularly interested in the normative significance of moral responsibility and free will, including the moral psychology piece of it that is concerned with the relevance of work in the social and cognitive sciences for our understanding of moral agency. Within Latin American philosophy, I tend to focus on the history of Mexican philosophy and some issues in metaphilosophy. Lately, I've been thinking about those issues in relationship to the newly emerging field of Latinx philosophy. In philosophy of law, I'm primarily interested in questions of methodology in jurisprudence and the philosophical foundations of criminal law.

full cv (pdf)
SSRN page


Books

Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility. Oxford University Press (2013).             
Winner of the APA Book Prize  (2015)
Published reviews of the book:
Ethics   |  Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews   |   Philosophy in Review   |   Philosophical Quarterly  |  Social Theory and Practice  Journal of Moral Philosophy  |  Choice  

Symposium on Building Better Beings, with critical essays by John Doris, Victoria McGeer, and Michael Robinson, in Philosophical Studies 172.10 (2015) pp. 2621-2678.

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).

             • Published reviews of the book:
             
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews   |   Social Ontology   | 

Articles, book chapters, reviews, etc.

"Negligence and Social Self-Governance" in tbd volume, ed. Al Mele
              Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

"Latinx Philosophy" (forthcoming) The Oxford Handbook on Latino Studies, ed. Ilan Stavans.

              Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

"Revisionism" (forthcoming) Routledge Companion to Free Will. Edited by Joseph Campbell, forthcoming.
              Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

"Manipulation, Oppression, and the Deep Self" (forthcoming) Behavioral and Brain Sciences,
              Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

"The Social Constitution of Responsible Agency: Oppression, Politics, and Moral Ecology" (forthcoming) The Social Dimensions of Responsibility. Edited by Marina Oshana, Katrina Hutchinson, and Catriona Mackenzie.
New York: Oxford University Press.
              Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF


"Contested Terms and Philosophical Debates" Philosophical Studies (2017) 174.10: 2499-2510.
              Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

"Implicit Bias, Moral Responsibility, and Moral Ecology" in Oxford Studies on Agency and Responsibility 4. Edited by David Shoemaker. New York: Oxford University Press (2017) 219-247.
              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, 2016.
              Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

"Responsibility and the Limits of Conversation" in Criminal Law and Philosophy 10.2 (2016) 221-240.
              Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

"Précis of Building Better Beings" Philosophical Studies 172:10 (2015) 2621-2623.
 
             Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

"Desert, Responsibility, and Justification: Reply to Doris, McGeer, and Robinson" Philosophical Studies 172:10 (2015) 2659-2678.
 
             Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

Review of Shaun Nichols, Bound: Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. In Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (July 28, 2015).
              Open access at: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

"On Maurice Mandelbaum's "Freedom and Responsibility"" Ethics 125:3 (April 2015), 854-856.
              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 (2015) 267-292.
              Abstract  |  Published version  |  Prepublication PDF

"Razian Responsibility" in Jurisprudence 5.1 (2014) 161-172.
              Abstract  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

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)

"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 

"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   

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

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

"Reasons and Real Selves" in Ideas y Valores: Revista Colombiana de Filosofía 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

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

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

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

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

"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
 
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.

"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   

"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

Review of Unprincipled Virtue by Nomy Arpaly. In Journal of Ethics 8:2 (2004): 201-204.
              Published version (Available via Springerlink.com) | Prepublication PDF
 
"Responsibility and the Aims of Theory: Strawson and Revisionism" Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85:2 (2004): 218-241.
              Abstract  |  Published version

"Biologia y la Filosofia de la Raza en Mexico: Bulnes y Vasconcelos" Construcción de las Identidades Latinoamericanas: Ensayos de Historia Intelectual, ed. by A. Granados and Carlos Marichal. México, D.F.: Colegio de México (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

 

Public philosophy & media

I've also written some philosophy for a wider (i.e., non-specialist) audience. (Shhh— don't tell! Word on the street is that this kind of thing might ruin any reputation I have for being a Serious Scholar™.) One such bit of writing is a piece for the Philosopher's Magazine entitled "Responsibility's Death By Neuroscience Has Been Greatly Exaggerated."

Less serious is the piece “Dead Serious: Evil and the Ontology of the Undead” 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.
Alternately, you can check out some of those thoughts in a presentation, co-presented with Diego Nieto at NerdNiteSF, the week before Halloween. You can witness all the horror of the talk here. 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.

Long ago, I was on Philosophy Talk on March 8, 2009, talking about free will. Check it out here. A brief set of remarks on Latin American philosophy, as part of a panel on Comparative Philosophy organized by Rasmus Winther at UC Santa Cruz, can be found here.

I was on the incomparable moral psychology podcast Very Bad Wizards, talking about Bakersfield and blameworthiness under oppression, in January of 2017.

Interviews

    The APA Blog (2016)

    APA Newsletter on Hispanics/Latinos in Philosophy (2016)

   The UPDirectory (2016)

    Methode (2014)

    Specimen Magazine (2013)

    Philosophy of Action: 5 Questions (2009)

    Radcliffe Quarterly (2009)

    The Florida Student Philosophy Blog (2007)