Gregg Caruso



Phone: 607.962.9519
Office: Chemung 201N


Dr. Gregg D. Caruso is Associate Professor of Philosophy at CCC and Editor-in-Chief of Science, Religion and Culture (a peer-reviewed scholarly Journal). He received his B.A. in Philosophy from William Paterson University and his M.Phil and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the City University of New York, Graduate Center. He is the author of Free Will and Consciousness: A Determinist Account of the Illusion of Free Will (2012) and the editor of Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility (2013), Science and Religion: 5 Questions (2014), and Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience (forthcoming). In 2012 he was awarded the Regional Board of Trustees Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dr. Caruso's research interests include philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and metaphysics, with a particular interest in consciousness and free will. His most recent work focuses on the problem of free will and the phenomenology of freedom. In particular, he argues that our subjective feeling of freedom, as reflected in the first-person phenomenology of agentive experience, is an illusion created by certain aspects of our consciousness. His broader work engages issues at the intersection of the behavioral, cognitive, and neurosciences. He is especially interested in theoretical accounts of consciousness and what recent developments in the behavioral, cognitive, and neurosciences can tell us about human agency and free will. He is also interested in exploring the implications of free will skepticism for ourselves, society, morality, meaning, and the law. In particular, he is an optimistic skeptic maintaining that, not only can we preserve meaning, morals, and purpose without belief in free will and desert-based moral responsibility, but that we would be better off without such beliefs. Dr. Caruso's other interests include science and religion, ethics, social and political philosophy, and issues related to moral responsibility. 

Additional activities: President of Southwestern Philosophical Society (SWPS), contributor to the blog Flickers of Freedom, Assessing Editor for The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Editorial Advisory Board for Southwest Philosophy Review, member of the Justice Without Retribution Network, and TEDx speaker.


Introduction to Philosophy


As a dedicated teacher and trained philosopher, Dr. Gregg D. Caruso believes teaching philosophy is simple; He strives each and every day to engage, challenge, and inspire active learning and personal growth in his students. Dr. Caruso's personal motto, which he repeatedly tell his students, is that “It is not my job to tell you WHAT to think, rather it is to get you TO think.” The primary goal of philosophy, a goal that he is passionately committed to, is to provide students with the skills necessary to analyze and think critically about life’s most important issues. Dr. Caruso strongly believes that education is the solution to many social problems, and that the critical thinking skills involved in philosophy are general skills that will benefit students in every facet of daily life. This is why he wakes up each morning with one goal in mind; to facilitate learning, and to provide students with the tools necessary to make informed decisions, synthesize ideas, critically evaluate issues, and live meaningful and productive lives.


CCC Regional Board of Trustees Excellence in Teaching Award
Award of Excellence
Awarded by the Faculty Assembly of Corning Community College for "Outstanding Service by a New Faculty Member"
Writing Fellowship, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Graduate Teaching Fellowship, Brooklyn College
  • Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience.  Caruso, Gregg D. and Owen Flanagan (eds.) New York: Oxford University Press (2016). 2016
  • Science and Religion: 5 Questions.  Caruso, Gregg D. (ed.) (2014). New York: Automatic Press/VIP. 2014
  • Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility.  Caruso, Gregg D. (ed.) (2013). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 2013
  • Free Will and Consciousness: A Determinist Account of the Illusion of Free Will.  Caruso, Gregg D. (2012). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 2012
Book Section/ Chapters
  • Free Will Skepticism and Meaning in Life  (co-authored with Derk Pereboom)- Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience, eds. Gregg D. Caruso and Owen Flanagan. New York: Oxford University Press (2016) 2016
  • Neuroexistentialism: An Overview  (co-authored with Owen Flanagan)--Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience, eds. Gregg D. Caruso and Owen Flanagan. New York: Oxford University Press (2016) 2016
  • Free Will Skepticism and Its Implications: An Argument for Optimism  Justice Without Retribution, (ed.) Elizabeth Shaw. 2015
  • Introduction: Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility  Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility, ed. Gregg Caruso, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books (2013). 2013
  • Compatibilism and the Folk Psychology of Free Will  An Anthology of Philosophical Studies, Vol. V, ed. Patricia Hanna, Athens, Greece: ATINER (2011): 215-226. 2011
  • Sensory States, Consciousness, and the Cartesian Assumption  Descartes and Cartesianism, eds. Nathan Smith and Jason Taylor, Cambridge Scholars Press (2005): 177-199. 2005
Journal Articles
  • Free Will Eliminativism: Reference, Error, and Phenomenology  Philosophical Studies (2015). 2015
  • If consciousness is necessary for moral responsibility, then people are less responsible than we think  Journal of Consciousness Studies (2015) 2015
  • Precis of Neil Levy's Consciousness and Moral Responsibility  Journal of Consciousness Studies (2015) 2015
  • Kane is Not Able: A Reply to Vicens' Self-Forming Actions and Conflicts of Intention  Southwest Philosophy Review (2015): 31 (2). 2015
  • Precis of Derk Pereboom's Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life  Science, Religion and Culture (2014): 1 (3): 178-201. 2015
  • (Un)just Deserts: The Dark Side of Moral Responsibility  Southwest Philosophy Review (2014): 30 (1): 27-38. 2015
  • The Folk Psychology of Free Will: An Argument against Compatibilism  Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 26 (2012): 56-89. 2012
  • Consciousness and Free Will: A Critique of the Argument from Introspection  Southwest Philosophy Review 24, 1 (January 2008): 219-231. 2008
  • Realism, Naturalism, and Pragmatism: A Closer Look at the Views of Quine and Devitt  Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 21 (2007): 64-83. 2007
  • A Defense of the Adverbial Theory  Philosophical Writings 10, Spring (1999): 51-65. 1999
  • Necessity, Truth and Existence in Descartes’ Second Meditation  The Carlton University Student Journal of Philosophy 17, 1 (1997). 1997
Book Reviews
  • “A Review of David Cockburn’s An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind”  Metapsychology 6, 26 (2002). 2002
  • A Review of Nicholas Humphrey’s How to Solve the Mind-Body Problem  Philosophical Writings 18, Autumn (2001): 51-53. Reprinted in Metapsychology 5, 46 (2001). 2001