I am a professor of philosophy at Youngstown State University, where I have 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 The moral responsibility system is obsolete and deeply destructive: it blocks deeper understanding and impedes the development of a better system that is now emerging from psychological research, better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 wife, Mary Newell Waller, is a clinical psychologist in private practice. My oldest son, Russell Waller, is a mathematician (Ph. D., Florida State University) at American Express 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 are Nathanael (5) and Josephine (almost 2). 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 partner, Josh Prete , is a screen writer (he graduated from NYU, where Adam also was an undergraduate) as well as head bartender in a restaurant in Santa Cruz, 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.