Derk Pereboom
Professor of Philosophy, Cornell University


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Sage School of Philosophy
218 Goldwin Smith Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-3201

Office: 323 Goldwin Smith Hall
(607) 255-6825

E-mail address: dp346@cornell.edu


B.A., 1978: Calvin College
M.A., 1979: University of California, Los Angeles, Philosophy
Ph.D., 1985: University of California, Los Angeles, Philosophy


Assistant Professor, University of Vermont, 1985-91
Associate Professor, University of Vermont, 1991-97
Professor, University of Vermont, 1997-2007
Professor, Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University, 2007-


Free will and moral responsibility
Philosophy of mind
17th and 18th century philosophy, especially Kant
Philosophy of religion




Living without Free Will
, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Précis, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2013): 715-27

Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life
, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.


Four Views on Free Will, co-authored with Robert Kane, John Martin Fischer, and Manual Vargas, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2007.
Reprinted as Cuatro Perspectivos sobre Libertad, translated into Spanish by Inés Echavarría, Gabriela Polit, and Ricardo Restrepo, Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2013.

Free Will: A Contemporary Introduction
, co-authored with Michael McKenna, London: Routledge, 2016.


Existentialism: Basic Writings, co-edited with Charles Guignon, an anthology, with introductions, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1995; second (expanded) edition, 2001.

Free Will, an anthology, with introduction, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, first edition, 1997; second (expanded) edition, 2009.

The Rationalists
, an anthology, with introduction, New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999.

Basic Desert, Reactive Attitudes, and Free Will
, co-edited with Maureen Sie, an anthology, with introduction, London: Routledge, 2015.  


"Kant on Intentionality," Synthèse 77, 1988, pp. 321-52.

"Kant on Justification in Transcendental Philosophy,"
Synthèse 85, 1990, pp. 25-54.

"Mathematical Expressibility, Perceptual Relativity, and Secondary Qualities," Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 22, 1991, pp. 63-88.

"Why a Scientific Realist Cannot Be a Functionalist," Synthèse 88, 1991, pp. 341-358.

“Kant’s Amphiboly,” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 73, 1991, pp. 50-70.

"Is Kant's Transcendental Philosophy Inconsistent?"
History of Philosophy Quarterly 8, 1991, pp. 357-72

with Hilary Kornblith, "The Metaphysics of Irreducibility," Philosophical Studies 63, 1991, pp. 125-45.

"Bats, Brain Scientists, and the Limitations of Introspection,"
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54, 1994, pp. 315-29.

"Stoic Psychotherapy in Descartes and Spinoza," Faith and Philosophy 11, 1994, pp. 592-625.

"Determinism Al Dente," Noûs 29, 1995, pp. 21-45.

"Self-Understanding in Kant's Transcendental Deduction," Synthèse 103, 1995, pp. 1-42.

"Conceptual Structure and the Individuation of Content," Philosophical Perspectives 9, 1995, pp. 401-26.

"Kant on God, Evil, and Teleology," Faith and Philosophy 13, 1996, pp. 508-33.

"Alternative Possibilities and Causal Histories,"
Philosophical Perspectives 14, 2000, pp. 119-37

"Robust Nonreductive Materialism," Journal of Philosophy 99, 2002, pp. 499-531.
"Source Incompatibilism and Alternative Possibilities," in Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities, M. McKenna and D. Widerker, eds., Ashgate, 2003, pp. 185-99.

"The Problem of Evil," in The Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Religion, William E. Mann, ed., Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2004, pp. 148-70.

"Is Our Conception of Agent-Causation Coherent?" Philosophical Topics 32, 2004, pp. 275-86.

"Free Will, Evil, and Divine Providence," in God and the Ethics of Belief, A. Chignell and A. Dole, eds., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 77-98.

"Defending Hard Incompatibilism," Midwest Studies 29, 2005, pp. 228-47.

"Reasons Responsiveness, Alternative Possibilities, and Manipulation Arguments Against Compatibilism; Reflections on J. Fischer’s My Way," Philosophical Books 47, 2006, pp. 198-212.

"Kant on Transcendental Freedom," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73, 2006, pp. 537-67. jstor

"On Mele’s Free Will and Luck," Philosophical Explorations 10, 2007, pp. 163-72.

"A Hard-Line Reply to the Multiple-Case Manipulation Argument,"
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77, 2008, pp. 160-70.

"A Compatibilist Account of the Epistemic Conditions on Rational Deliberation,” Journal of Ethics 12, 2008, pp. 287-307.

"Defending Hard Incompatibilism Again," in Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility, N. Trakakis and D. Cohen, eds., Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008, pp. 1-33.

"Consciousness and Introspective Inaccuracy," in Appearance, Reality, and the Good: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert M. Adams, L. M. Jorgensen and S. Newlands, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 156-87.

"Hard Incompatibilism and its Rivals," Philosophical Studies 144, 2009, pp. 21-33.

"Further Thoughts about a Frankfurt-Style Argument,” Philosophical Explorations 12, 2009, pp. 109-18.

"Free Will, Love and Anger," Ideas y Valores 141, 2009, pp. 5-25.

"Kant’s Transcendental Arguments," in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta, ed.,
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-transcendental/, 2009, revised 2013.

"Structuralism, Anti-Structuralism, and Objectivity," Philosophic Exchange 40, 2009-10, pp. 45-59.

with Andrew Chignell, "Kant’s Theory of Causation and its Eighteenth Century German Background," review essay on Eric Watkins, Kant and the Metaphysics of Causality, and Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason: Background and Source Materials, Philosophical Review 119, 2010, pp. 565-91.

"Early Modern Philosophical Theology," (revised version), in A Companion to the Philosophy of Religion, second edition, P. Quinn, P. Draper and C, Taliaferro, eds., Oxford: Blackwell, 2010, pp. 114-23.

"Free Will Skepticism and Meaning in Life," in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will, Robert Kane, ed., second edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 407-24.

"Theological Determinism and Divine Providence," in Molinism: The Contemporary Debate, Ken Perszyk, ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 261-79.

"Frankfurt Examples, Derivative Responsibility, and the Timing Objection,"
Philosophical Issues 22 (2012), pp. 298-315.

"The Disappearing Agent Objection to Event-Causal Libertarianism," Philosophical Studies (2012).

"Optimistic Skepticism about Free Will," in The Philosophy of Free Will: Selected Contemporary Readings, Paul Russell and Oisin Deery, eds., New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 421-49. 

"Free Will Skepticism, Blame, and Obligation," in Blame: its Nature and Norms, Neal Tognazzini and D. Justin Coates, eds., New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 189-206.

"Free Will," in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics, Roger Crisp, ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 609-37.

"Précis of Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism" and “Replies to Daniel Stoljar, Robert Adams, and Lynne Baker," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2013), pp. 715-27; 753-64.

"A Defense without Free Will," in The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil, D. Howard-Snyder and J. McBrayer, eds., Oxford: Blackwell, 2013, pp. 441-55

"Free Will Skepticism and Criminal Punishment," in The Future of Punishment, Thomas Nadelhoffer, ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 49-78.

"Russellian Monism and Absolutely Intrinsic Properties," in Current Controversies in Philosophy of Mind, Uriah Kriegel, ed., London: Routledge, 2013, pp. 40-69.

"The Dialectic of Selfhood and the Significance of Free Will," in Libertarian Free Will: Essays for Robert Kane, David Palmer, ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 161-75.

with Gunnar Björnsson,
"Free Will Skepticism and Bypassing," in Moral Psychology, v. 4, W. Sinnott-Armstrong, ed., Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2014.

"Replies to John Fischer and Dana Nelkin," to their reviews of Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life," Science, Religion, and Culture 1 (2014), pp. 218-25.

"The Material Constitution of Phenomenal Consciousness," in The Constitution of Phenomenal Consciousness: Toward a Science and Theory, Steven Miller, ed., Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2015, pp. 418-32.

"The Phenomenology of Agency and Deterministic Agent Causation," in Horizons of Authenticity in Phenomenology, Existentialism, and Moral Psychology: Essays in Honor of Charles Guignon, Megan Altman and Hans Gruenig, eds., New York: Springer, 2015, pp. 277-94.

"Consciousness, Physicalism, and Absolutely Intrinsic Properties," in Russellian Monism, T. Alter and Y.  Nagawasa, eds., New York, Oxford University Press, pp, 300-23, 2015, pp. 300-23.

"Transcendental Arguments," in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, John Hawthorne, Herman Cappelen and Tamar Szabó Gendler, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

“Libertarianism and Theological Determinism,” in Free Will and Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns, Daniel Speak and Kevin Timpe, eds., Oxford University Press, 112-31.

“A Notion of Moral Responsibility Immune to the Threat from Causal Determination,” The Nature of Moral Responsibility, Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna and Angela Smith, eds., Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 281-96.  

with Gunnar Björnsson,
“Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will,” in The Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy, Wesley Buckwalter and Justin Sytsma, eds., Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2016, pp. 142-57.

with Andrew Chignell, “Natural Theology and Natural Religion” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta, ed., 2015  URL=


“Omissions and Different Senses of Responsibility,” in Agency and Moral Responsibility, Andrei Buckareff, Carlos Moya, and Sergi Rosell, New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016, pp. 179-91.

“Theological Determinism and the Relationship with God,” in Free Will and Classical Theism, Hugh J. McCann, ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 201-19.

"Illusionism and Anti-Functionalism about Phenomenal Consciousness," Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (2016), pp. 172-85.

“Responsibility, Regret, and Protest,”
Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, David Shoemaker, ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.


“A Defense of Free Will Skepticism: Replies to Victor Tadros, Saul Smilansky, Michael McKenna, and Alfred Mele on Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life,” Criminal Law and Philosophy, forthcoming, 2017. This paper features my most recent views on treatment of criminals, the manipulation argument against compatibilism, and the disappearing agent argument against event-causal libertarianism.


of Robert Kane, The Significance of Free Will, Ethics 111, 2000, p. 426.

of Randolph Clarke, Libertarian Accounts of Free Will, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74, 2007, pp. 269-72.

of John Martin Fischer, My Way, Ethics 117, 2007, pp. 754-57.

of William Rowe, Can God Be Free?, Philosophical Review 118, 2009, pp. 121-22.

of Ishtiyaque Haji, Reason’s Debt to Freedom, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, March 2013.

of Steven Horst, Laws, Mind, and Free Will, Metascience, March 2014 (link to penultimate draft), DOI: 10.1007/s11016-014-9877-8 (link to Metascience).

with Leigh Vicens, of Kevin Timpe, Free Will in Philosophical Theology, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, April 2015.


To the Susan Linn Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University:

Standing Committee for Faculty Recruitment, 2007-  ; Chair 2007-13
Search Committee (co-chair), 2007-08
Editor, Philosophical Review, Spring 2008
Acting Chair, Sage School of Philosophy, 2008-09
Graduate Student Admissions Committee, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11
Editor-in-Chief, Philosophical Review, Spring 2010
Director of Graduate Studies, 2010-11
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Fall 2011
Editor, Philosophical Review, 2012-13
Stanford H. Taylor '50 Chair, Sage School of Philosophy, 2013-