John Martin Fischer

John Martin Fischer (born December 26, 1952) is an American philosopher. He is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside and a leading contributor to the philosophy of free will and moral responsibility.[1]

John Martin Fischer
Born (1952-12-26) 26 December 1952 (age 67)
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Main interests
Philosophy of action, free will, moral philosophy
Notable ideas

Education and careerEdit

Fischer received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1982.[1] He began his teaching career at Yale University, where he taught for almost a decade before joining the faculty at the University of California, Riverside.

In June 2011, Fischer was elected Vice-President of the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association and became President of the Pacific Division in 2013.[1]

Philosophical workEdit

While Fischer's work centers primarily on free will and moral responsibility, where he is particularly noted as a proponent of semi-compatibilism[2] (the idea that regardless of whether free will and determinism are compatible, moral responsibility and determinism are),[3] he also has worked on the metaphysics of death and philosophy of religion and led a multi-year, multi-pronged research project on "immortality," funded in 2012 by the John Templeton Foundation.[4]


  • Moral Responsibility (editor) (Cornell University Press, 1986)
  • God, Foreknowledge and Freedom (editor) (Stanford University Press, 1989)
  • Perspectives on Moral Responsibility (co-editor with Ravizza) (Cornell University Press, 1993)
  • The Metaphysics of Death (editor) (Stanford University Press, 1993)
  • The Metaphysics of Free Will: An Essay on Control (Blackwell, 1994)
  • Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (co-authored with Ravizza) (Cambridge University Press, 1998)
  • My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility (Oxford University Press, 2006)
  • Our Stories: Essays on Life, Death, and Free Will (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Near-Death Experiences: Understanding Visions of the Afterlife (co-authored with Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin) (Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • Death, Immortality, and Meaning in Life. Oxford University Press. 2019. ISBN 9780190921149.

Media appearances and interviewsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "John M. Fischer".
  2. ^ "Semicompatibilism".
  3. ^ Kane, R. (2005) A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will, New York: Oxford UP. ISBN 978-0-19-514970-8
  4. ^ Radio, Southern California Public (20 June 2014). "Researchers ponder life after death in 'Immortality Project'". Southern California Public Radio.

External linksEdit