Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor

Presidential Visiting Scholar (Fall 2012)

Tim O'Connor is Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. His research ranges from the metaphysics of free will, to philosophy of mind and philosophy of religion. He has written a number of articles on the problem of understanding just what free will could possibly be, culminating in a book, The Metaphysics of Free Will, Oxford, 2000. He has also written recently on the challenges to belief in human freedom and moral responsibility that come from neuroscience and social and clinical psychology. He has also been working out views concerning properties, causation, the ontology of composite objects and their properties, truthmakers, essence, and modality. Some of these issues are explored in his writings on free will, and he touches on them to varying degrees in the first part of another book, Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency, Blackwell, 2008. In the philosophy of mind, he is concerned with reductionist vs. emergentist views of the mental and the relationship of consciousness and intentionality. He is currently trying to make sense out of an emergentist, property dualist view of conscious animals. In recent years, he co-edited three volumes of new work on some of the above topics. A Companion to the Philosophy of Action, Emergence in Science and Philosophy, and an inter-disciplinary compendium of views on the status of empirical research on the human will, titled Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will. Finally, in the philosophy of religion, he focuses on the metaphysics of theism (especially God's relationship to time, concurrence in 'secondary' causation, and necessary existence), the problem of evil, the cosmological argument from contingency, and the 'fine-tuning' design argument, some of which come up in the second part of Theism and Ultimate Explanation, in addition to several articles. He also thinks about the epistemology of religious belief, and is co-editing a volume of new essays for Oxford Press under the title Religious Faith and Intellectual Virtue.


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