Neal A. Tognazzini F'09, F'08

Neal A. Tognazzini
Assistant Professor
College of William & Mary

Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipients Fellowships 2009
Philosphy
University of California, Riverside
Freedom, Love, and Truth: An Exploration of Themes from Harry Frankfurt

This book comprises a thorough investigation of the ideas on freedom, love, and truth that philosopher Harry Frankfurt has put forth over the last 40 years. Such an investigation involves two crucial elements: a distillation and reconstruction of Frankfurt’s central insights, as well as an evaluation of how far those insights have taken us and how far we still have to go. Frankfurt has resisted regimenting his views in the form of a monograph; indeed, he seems averse to regimentation as a matter of principle. As a result, however, it is difficult to acquire and maintain a firm grip on his views in order to see how well they are able to accomplish the philosophical work for which they are enlisted. This project aims to remedy this difficulty.

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2008
Doctoral Candidate
Philosophy
University of California, Riverside
The Conceptual Foundations of Moral Responsibility

An important, though often overlooked, part of our moral lives comprises the way we respond to those who have done wrong or right. In particular, we praise and blame both ourselves and others. These practices of praise and blame presuppose that the target of response is truly deserving of such treatment. However, there are powerful arguments for the conclusion that no one deserves anything. This dissertation explores the threat posed by our ordinary practices of praise and blame from these arguments. It argues that the best way to understand the various threats is in terms of how much our lives are subject to luck. It then explores how we as agents may be able to strike a balance between luck with respect to how the world unfolds around us and control with respect to our own actions.