Alfred Mele

William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor


Ph.D., University of Michigan

Office 288 Dodd Hall
Office Hours See Faculty Directory
Phone (850) 644-0217
Fax (850) 644-3832
Research Interests Action Theory, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, Ancient Greek Philosophy
Curriculum Vitae  

Research Overview

My primary research interests revolve around human behavior.

My first book, Irrationality (1987), is an attempt to resolve the philosophical problems surrounding two forms of irrational behavior: self-deception and behavior that manifests weakness of will.

My second book, Springs of Action (1992), is about the roles played by such things as beliefs, desires, and intentions in producing human actions.

My third book, Autonomous Agents (1995), is an attempt to show that free or autonomous action is a genuine phenomenon (synopsis at

In my fourth book, Self-Deception Unmasked (2001), I return to self-deception, benefitting from recent empirical work that supports the position on self-deception that I defended in Irrationality.

My fifth book, Motivation and Agency (2003), develops a theory of the place of motivation in the lives of intelligent agents.

My sixth book, Free Will and Luck (2006), tackles the major theoretical challenges to the thesis that we sometimes act freely - especially challenges posed by luck and manipulation.

My seventh book, Effective Intentions: The Power of Conscious Will (2009), examines alleged scientific evidence for the thesis that free will is an illusion.

In my eighth book, Backsliding (2012), I return to weakness of will.

My ninth book, A Dialogue on Free Will and Science (2014) is my first book for undergraduates. It assesses influential science-based arguments for the nonexistence of free will, and it does so in the form of a dialogue.

In my tenth book, Free: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free Will (2014), I reach out to a general audience. The book has the same topic as my Dialogue.

In my eleventh book, Aspects of Agency: Decisions, Abilities, Explanations, and Free Will (2017), I return to some theoretical questions about free will and to some background in the philosophy of action.

My twelfth book, Manipulated Agents: A Window to Moral Responsibility (2019), explores what can be learned about the nature of moral responsibility from thought experiments featuring agents who are manipulated in various ways.

In 2010-2013, I directed the Big Questions in Free Will Project, and in 2014-2017, I directed the Philosophy and Science of Self-Control Project. Both multi-million dollar interdisciplinary projects were funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

I enjoy teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in a variety of areas, including philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophy of action, and philosophy of religion.

In 2000, I joined the Philosophy Department at FSU as the William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy.

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