Skip to main content Skip to navigation
School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs 56th Potter Lecture – 2019

56th Frank Fraser Potter Lecture in Philosophy

John Martin Fischer.“Near-Death Experiences: A New Interpretation”
by John Martin Fischer

Thursday, April 4, 2019  •  7:00 p.m.
CUE 203 (Center for Undergraduate Education)

>>add to calendar

An expert in free will, moral responsibility, and both metaphysical and ethical issues pertaining to life and death, John Martin Fischer will present the 56th Frank Fraser Potter Lecture in Philosophy at WSU Pullman. Fischer is a University Professor and a distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside.

Free • Everyone welcome!
Don’t miss these related events:

April 4 Foley Talk with Harry Silverstein, WSU philosophy professor emeritus, on “Responsibility and Avoidability: When can the end justify the means?” and John Martin Fischer’s work @ noon in the Foley Speaker’s Room, Bryan Hall 308.

April 5 Potter Forum with John Martin Fischer and Harry Silverstein on “The Frankfurt-Style Cases: Extinguishing the Flickers of Freedom” @ 3:00 p.m., Bryan Hall 305.

About the speaker

John Martin Fischer is the world’s foremost philosopher on free will, moral responsibility, the meaning of life, and the metaphysics of death. He was awarded a $5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation in 2012 to study immortality. His most recent book, Near-Death Experiences: Understanding Visions of the Afterlife, is based on research from The Immortality Project. His approach to responsibility is widely cited by leading scholars of criminal law and has contributed to psychiatric understanding of mental illness.

Fischer also authored The Metaphysics of Free Will: An Essay on Control; with Mark Ravizza, Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility; and My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility. His recent work includes a contribution to Four Views on Free Will (in Blackwell’s Great Debates in Philosophy series) and three collections of essays all published by Oxford University Press: My Way: Essays on Moral ResponsibilityOur Stories: Essays on Life, Death, and Free Will; and Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value.

His undergraduate teaching includes an introductory ethics course, philosophy of law, theories of distributive justice, and philosophy of religion. He has also taught various courses on death and the meaning of life. His graduate teaching has primarily focused on free will, moral responsibility, and the metaphysics of death (and the meaning of life). Fischer has served as president of the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division.

Sample Publications

Books and Collections:

  • Our Stories: Essays on Life, Death, and Free Will, Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Introduction to Philosophy: Classic and Contemporary Readings (with John Perry and Michael Bratman), Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility, Oxford University Press, 2006

Related events:

Harry Silverstein is a leading voice in the philosophy of free will, moral responsibility, and death and immortality. A member of WSU philosophy faculty for many years, he has made valuable contributions to the University’s intellectual and scholastic community. A frequent collaborator and correspondent with Fischer, he has published widely, including articles in the Journal of Philosophy and volumes edited by Fischer.

Washington State University