John Martin Fischer is Distinguished Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of California, Riverside, where he has held a University of California Presidential Chair (2006-10). He has written widely on such topics as free will, moral responsibility, ethical puzzles and principles, the meaning of life, the metaphysics (and ethics) of death, and immortality. Fischer has published over one hundred and twenty-five articles in such journals as Philosophical Review, Journal of Philosophy, Nous, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Mind, Philosophical Studies, Philosophical Quarterly, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, and Journal of Ethics. He is the author (or co-author) of three books: The Metaphysics of Free Will: An Essay on Control (Blackwell 1994); with Mark Ravizza, Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (Cambridge University Press 1998); and with Kane, Pereboom, and Vargas, Four Views on Free Will (Blackwell 2007); also, he is the author of three collections of essays all published by Oxford University Press: My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility (2006); Our Stories: Essays on Life, Death, and Free Will (2008); and Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value (2012). Additionally, he is co-editor (with John Perry and Michael Bratman) of Oxford University Press’s Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, and (with John Perry) he is co-editor of Oxford University Press’s series of introductory books, Fundamentals of Philosophy. Among other books he has edited are Moral Responsibility (Cornell University Press 1986); with Mark Ravizza, Perspectives on Moral Responsibility (Cornell University Press (1993); God, Foreknowledge, and Freedom (Stanford University Press 1989); and The Metaphysics of Death (Stanford University Press 1994).
He has served as Director of the University Honors Program at the University of California, Riverside for eight years and Chair of the Department of Philosophy for five years (2007-12). At UC Riverside he has won the Center for Ideas and Society Distinguished Achievement Award, the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Distinguished Research Award, the Graduate Division Dissertation Advisor and Mentoring Award, and the Academic Senate Faculty Research Lecturer Award.
As of July 1, 2012, Fischer is the President of the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division.
Dr. Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California, Riverside in June 2012. His main areas of research are ethics and the philosophy of action. He is currently developing work from his dissertation focusing on identifying different conceptions of what is fundamental to human agency and how they factor into debates in moral theory about the correct account of right and wrong and debates in agency theory about the correct accounts of self-governance and moral responsibility. He is also developing an account of self-governed action as grounded in one’s evaluative commitments. He is particularly interested in showing that the account can make sense of weak-willed actions and the importance of the emotions. He has recently taught Ethics and the Meaning of Life and the Philosophy of Law.
Graduate Research Assistant
Heinrik Hellwig is a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at UC-Riverside. His main area of research is Philosophy of Law. Currently he is writing a dissertation in which he critically examines the legal concept of “proximate cause” and attempts to explain the normative justifications for restricting the scope of consequences for which an actor may be held legally responsible. He also has a strong interest in Political Philosophy. He regularly teaches the course Introduction to the Study of Law and Society – a course in which students learn about the role of criminal and tort law in society and the common-law requirements for liability in each area of the law – and the Senior Seminar in Law and Society – a capstone course about toxic torts, i.e., claims for personal injuries in which plaintiffs allege that toxic substances had harmed them. For many years, Heinrik has maintained an interest in questions of immortality and paranormal phenomena partly as a consequence of growing up listening to the radio show Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell. Heinrik holds a B.A. in Philosophy from John Carroll University and a M.A. in Philosophy from Texas A&M University.
Jason Gray (2012-2013) holds bachelor’s degrees in history and philosophy from the University of Alabama. He graduated from Georgia State University with an M.A. in philosophy before matriculating at the University of California, Riverside. Jason is currently finishing a dissertation in which he is trying to lay the foundation for a comprehensive theory of addiction that integrates phenomenology, psychology and biology. He also has interests in free will, ethics, the philosophy of law, and metaphysics. He has also written papers examining the nature of a living person’s relationship to post-mortem events (e.g. Can events occurring post-mortem wrong or harm the living person? Can an Epicurean about death rationally justify concern for ceremonial disposition of their mortal remains?).
Jayne Gales has over 13 years experience at the University of California-Riverside, the last 5 years in the Department of Philosophy as Administrative Manager and Financial/Administrative Officer. She received her Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from California Baptist University, after receiving her AA in accounting.