I recently retired as professor of philosophy at Youngstown State University, where I taught for 29 years; my Ph. D. is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My primary interests are in free will and moral responsibility, ethics, and critical thinking; and I am particularly interested in the use of contemporary research -- in psychology, biology, sociology, criminology, and law -- to examine relevant philosophical issues. Over the past couple of decades I have struggled to destroy the moral responsibility system, drive a stake through its heart, and bury it at a crossroads. The moral responsibility system is obsolete and deeply destructive: it blocks deeper understanding and impedes the development of a better system that is now emerging from psychological research, better personnel policies, and enlightened approaches to criminology. However, the demise of the moral responsibility system does not imply the loss of free will; to the contrary, contemporary research in psychology and biology elucidates a natural free will that waxes as moral responsibility wanes. My most recent books are Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and the Desire to Be a God (2020) and a Routledge Handbook edited with Farah Focquaert and Elizabeth Shaw, The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Science of Punishment (2021). I'm currently working on a book on philosophy and neoliberalism, writing a couple of articles, and playing catch with our toy poodle, Maggie.
My wife, Mary Newell Waller, is a clinical psychologist in private practice. My oldest son, Russell Waller, is a mathematician (Ph. D., Florida State University) in NYC. His wife, Robyn Repko Waller (Ph. D., Florida State University), is an assistant professor of philosophy at Iona College in New Rochelle. Their children -- my amazing grandchildren -- are Nathanael and Josephine. My youngest son, Adam Waller (Ph. D. in music theory from Eastman and M. S. in computer science from University of Rochester), is a manager at Apple. His husband, Josh Prete , graduated from NYU, where Adam also was an undergraduate, and is now an extraordinarily talented mixologist at a restaurant in San Diego, where they live. Maggie the poodle is in charge of security at home and at my wife's office, where she also works as a therapy dog.