Alfred Mele

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Alfred Remen Mele (born May 22, 1951) is an American philosopher. He has been the William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University since 2000. He specializes in irrationality, akrasia, intentionality and philosophy of action.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Mele attended Wayne State University, and received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Michigan in 1979.[citation needed] He took a position at Davidson College in 1979 as a visiting professor, which led to a tenured position at Davidson, where he remained for 21 years until accepting his position with Florida State.[citation needed]

Free will and autonomy[edit]

Mele explores the concepts of autonomy or self-rule and the concept of self-control. as they relate to terms like "free will."[1]

Without committing himself to the idea that human autonomy is compatible with determinism or incompatible (a position held by both libertarians and incompatibilists), Mele provides arguments in support of autonomous agents for both positions. He is, as he says, "officially agnostic about the truth of compatibilism" and describes his position as "agnostic autonomism." [2]

Mele proposed a two-stage model of "Modest Libertarianism" that follows Daniel Dennett's 1978 "Valerian" model for decision making. Like Dennett, Mele requires that the indeterminism should come early in the overall process. He describes the latter - decision - part of the process as compatibilist (effectively determinist).[3][4]

Bibliography (partial)[edit]

Books (as author)[edit]

  • A Dialogue on Free Will and Science. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Effective Intentions. Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Free Will and Luck. Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Motivation and Agency. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Self-Deception Unmasked. Princeton University Press, 2001.
  • Autonomous Agents: From Self-Control to Autonomy. Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Springs of Action: Understanding Intentional Behavior. Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Irrationality: An Essay on Akrasia, Self-Deception, and Self-Control. Oxford University Press, 1987.

Books (as editor)[edit]

  • Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? — (Oxford University Press, 2010; R. Baumeister, A. Mele, and K. Vohs, eds.)
  • Rationality and the Good — (Oxford University Press, 2007; M. Timmons, J. Greco, and A. Mele, eds.)
  • The Oxford Handbook of Rationality — (Oxford University Press, 2004; A. Mele and P. Rawling, eds.)
  • The Philosophy of Action — (Oxford University Press, Oxford Readings in Philosophy, 1997; A. Mele, ed.)
  • Mental Causation — (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993; J. Heil and A. Mele, eds.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Autonomous Agents, Oxford (2001) p.3
  2. ^ Information Philosopher page on Mele
  3. ^ Autonomous Agents, Oxford (2001) p.211
  4. ^ Free Will and Luck, Oxford (2006), p.9


External links[edit]