Participants

Professor and chair of philosophy and a member of the Cognitive Sciences Program at Indiana University, Timothy O'Connor is a philosopher of mind and of religion. Much of his writing centers on two topics: the nature of human action (including the challenges to belief in human freedom and moral responsibility that arise from advances in neuroscience and social and clinical psychology) and concepts of emergence that may have application to complex systems and to the conscious mind in particular. An honors graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he earned an undergraduate degree with distinction in philosophy as well as an M.A. in philosophy, he went on to study at Cornell University, where he was a Susan Linn Sage Fellow and received a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1992. After post-doctoral research at the University of Notre Dame, he joined the Indiana philosophy faculty in 1993 as an assistant professor. Dr. O'Connor spent a year at the University of St. Andrews as a Gifford Research Fellow and was named to his present position in 2005. In addition to research fellowships awarded by Indiana, he also has been the recipient of a fellowship given by the Pew Scholars Program. He has won several awards for teaching excellence. Dr. O'Connor formerly served on the executive committee of the Society of Christian Philosophers and currently serves as a member of the board of advisors of the John Templeton Foundation. The author of some fifty papers published in scholarly journals, he is the editor of Agents, Causes, and Events: Essays on Indeterminism and Free Will (1995) and co-editor (with David Robb) of Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings (2003), (with George F.R. Ellis and Nancey Murphy) Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will (2009), and, most recently, of two volumes published in 2010: (with Constantine Sandis) A Companion to the Philosophy of Action (Wiley-Blackwell) and (with Antonella Corradini) Emergence in Science and Philosophy (Routledge Press). He is also the author of Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will (2000) and Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency (2008), a contemporary cosmological argument for the existence of God as the necessary, transcendent, and personal source of all contingent reality. During an upcoming sabbatical, he plans to work on two new book projects: a scientifically-informed philosophical account of the human person and an account of how established theories in the physical and human sciences and broadly traditional Christian religious belief may be integrated into a harmonious whole that yields significant explanatory power.