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2013 Tennessee Value and Agency "TVA" Conference

The Tennessee Value and Agency conference is an annual event aimed at encouraging philosophical conversation about topics pursued by established research clusters at the University of Tennessee Department of Philosophy.

2013 Conference – November 15-17, 2013
Libertarian Free Will: Problems and Prospects

Sponsored by: UT Office of Research // Haines-Morris Endowment Fund // UT Philosophy Department // UT Humanities Center

If libertarianism about free will and moral responsibility is true, then people sometimes act freely and accountably without being causally determined to do so.  Frequently maligned within the history of philosophy, this view has gained increasingly sympathetic attention among philosophers.  But many stark questions remain, including:

  • How plausible is this view?
  • If our actions are not causally determined, how can we have control over them?
  • Why should we want our actions to be breaks in the deterministic causal chain?

The second annual Tennessee Value and Agency (TVA) conference will feature papers that engage these and similar issues relevant to the assessment of libertarian approaches to freedom and responsibility.

Keynote Speakers

Robert KaneRobert Kane

University Distinguished Teaching Professor
University of Texas at Austin

Michael McKennaMichael McKenna

Keith Lehrer Chair of Philosophy
University of Arizona


Friday, November 15, 2013

  • 1.45-2: Welcome (1210 McClung Tower)
  • 2-2.50:  Garrett Pendergraft (Pepperdine University), "Against the Incompatibilist Requirement"
  • 3-3.50: Justin Capes (East Tennessee State University), "Incompatibilism and the Transfer of Non-Responsibility"
  • 4-4.50: Mirja Perez de Calleja (Florida State University), "Cross-World Luck at the Time of Decision Is a Problem for Compatibilists as Well"
  • 5-6.30: Keynote #1 — Michael McKenna (Keith Lehrer Chair of Philosophy, University of Arizona)
  • 6.30-7: Reception (1210 McClung Tower)
  • 7-9: Dinner/Reception (Bridgeview Grill — faculty only)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

  • 9-10: Breakfast (1210 McClung Tower)
  • 10-10.50: Manuel Vargas (University of San Francisco), "Libertarianism's Sociology: Problems and Prospects"
  • 11-11.50: Chris Franklin (Marymount University), "Libertarianism, Fundamentality, and the Will"
  • 12-12.50: Leigh Vicens (Augustana College), "Indeterminism and Non-reductionism in Libertarian Theories of Freedom"
  • 1-2: Lunch (1210 McClung Tower)
  • 2-2.50: Randolph Clarke (Florida State University), "Powers, Causes, and Free Will"
  • 3-3.50: John Lemos (Coe College), "Self-Forming Acts and the Grounds of Responsibility"
  • 4-4.50:  Brendan Murday (Ithaca College), "Can Self-Forming Actions Ground Ultimate Responsibility?"
  • 5-6.30: Keynote #2 — Robert Kane (University Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas at Austin)
  • 6.30-7: Reception (1210 McClung Tower)
  • 7-9: Dinner (The Crown & Goose — by invitation)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

  • 9-10: Breakfast (1210 McClung Tower)
  • 10-10.50: Audrey Anton (Western Kentucky University), "Agent Causation, Randomness, and Acting for Reasons"
  • 11-11.50: Philip Swenson (University of California-Riverside), "Omissions and the Frankfurt Cases: A Challenge"


The conference will take place in room 1210 of McClung Tower, which is located at 1201 Volunteer Blvd.  It is about 1.5 miles from the Crowne Plaza, which is located at 401 West Summit Hill Dr.

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