Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin

EMPLOYMENT Sam Houston State University: Assistant Professor of Philosophy (Fall 2015 - )

Philosophy Program Coordinator (Fall 2018 - )

UC Riverside: Postdoc on the Immortality Project (Fall 2012 - Spring 2015)

EDUCATION PhD: UC Riverside (2012)

MA: Boston College (2007)

BA (w/Honors): Residential College, UM Ann Arbor (2002)

(Major: Creative Writing and Literature)

AOS Ethics, Action, Social Philosophy

AOC Race, Law, Biomedical Ethics, Mind, Logic


Near-Death Experiences: Understanding Visions of the Afterlife(w/ John Martin Fischer), New York: Oxford University Press (2016).


9. “A View of Racism: 2016 and America’s Original Sin,” Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy 13 (March 2018): 53-72.

(Subject of a PEA Soup discussion, with a critical introduction by Tommy J. Curry.)

8. “Unraveling the Knot: On Race, Racism, and Human History,” Think 17 (Autumn 2018): 61-74.

7. “S5 for Aristotelian Actualists” (w/ Michael Nelson), Philosophical Studies 173 (June 2016): 1537-1569.

6. “Deep Reflection: In Defense of Korsgaard’s Orthodox Kantianism,” Res Philosophica 93 (Jan. 2016): 1-25.

5. “Aligning with the Good,” Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy(July 2015): 1-8.

4. “The Platonic Model: Statement, Clarification and Defense,” Philosophical Explorations 18 (Sept. 2015): 378-392.

3. “Immortality and Boredom,” (w/John Martin Fischer) The Journal of Ethics18 (Dec. 2014): 353-372.

2. “The Near-Death Experience Argument Against Physicalism: A Critique,” (w/ John Martin Fischer) Journal of Consciousness Studies21 (Jul./Aug. 2014): 158-183.

1. “In Defense of the Platonic Model: A Reply to Buss,” Ethics124 (Jan. 2014): 342-357.


4. “Understanding Near-Death Experiences: A Response to Mays and Mays’s Review,” Journal of Near-Death Studies 36 (Winter 2017): 100-109.

3. “(Not) Riding into the Sunset: The Significance of Endings,” (w/ John Martin Fischer) in Zachary Goldberg, ed., reflections on responsibility: Essays in Honor of Peter French, Cham: Springer (2017): 201-218.

2. “The Significance of an Afterlife,” in John Davis, ed., Ethics at the End of Life: New Issues and Arguments, New York: Routledge (2017): 47-60.

1. “Immortality,” (w/ John Martin Fischer) special issue of The Journal of Ethics (Dec. 2015): 231-236.


3. “Review of Suzy Killmister, Taking the Measure of Autonomy: A Four-Dimensional Theory of Self-Governance,” Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews(March 2018).

(Subject of a PEA Soup forum, with a reply by Killmister.)

2. “Review of Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna, and Angela Smith, eds., The Nature of Moral Responsibility: New Essays,” Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews(Jan. 2016).

1. “Review of Robert N. Johnson’s Self-Improvement: An Essay in Kantian Ethics,”Journal of Moral Philosophy11 (June 2014): 535-538.


5. Life, Death, and the Self(a blog at Psychology Today)

4. “Science, sincerity, and transformation of near-death experiences” (at the OUP Blog)

3. “What Can We Learn from Near-Death Experiences?,” Interview with Houston Public Media(Oct. 2016; re-aired Oct. 2017)

2. “The Case for Treating Near-Death Experiences Like Acid Trips,” Interview at Religion Dispatches(Aug. 2016)

1. “Beyond the Dark Podcast,” Interview on Radio City Talk (Aug. 2016)


5. “What’s Wrong with Racism” (under review)

4. “Valuing and the True Self” (under review) [previous title: “Platonic Model 2.0”]

3. “How to Live a Never-Ending Novela” (under review)

2. “On the Desirability of Immortality,” for Michael Cholbi and Travis Timmerman, eds., Exploring the Philosophy of Death: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge, 2019) (in progress)

1. Paper on the (im)morality of immortality, for the Texas Ethics Workshop, Feb. 2019 (in progress)


29. TBD, Texas Ethics Workshop, Texas Christian University, February 8, 2019

28. “What’s Wrong with Racism,” University of Minnesota, Duluth, October 18, 2018 (colloquium)

27. “Valuing and the True Self,” Sam Houston State University, September 27, 2018 (colloquium)

26. “Valuing and the True Self,” University of Houston, September 7, 2018 (colloquium)

25. “The Platonic Model 2.0,” Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, University of Colorado, August 10, 2018 (poster)

24. “The Platonic Model 2.0,” Pacific APA, March 30, 2018

23. “A View of Racism: 2016 and America’s Original Sin,” 5thAnnual Philosophers’ Cocoon Philosophy Conference, University of Tampa, October 14, 2017

22. “The Drive to Dominate,” Sam Houston State University, October 11, 2017 (colloquium)

21. “The Platonic Model 2.0,” FLAWS 3, West Virginia University, September 22, 2017

20. Invited panelist for "When the Bell Tolls," a Bookend Event of the 2016 Brooklyn Book Festival, September 17, 2016

19. Author-meets-critic session on Near-Death Experiencesat the 2016 Conference of the International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying, Syracuse University, May 18, 2016

18. “Human Agency and Values,” Sam Houston State University, March 5, 2015

17. “Human Agency and Values,” DePauw University, February 18, 2015

16. Invited contributor to “The History of Mortality: Interdisciplinary Perspectives,” the University of California Humanities Research Institute, January 23, 2015

15. “Human Agency and Values,” University of Redlands, October 1, 2014 (colloquium)

14. “How Not to Argue about Self-Governance,” University of San Francisco, Aug. 2013

13. “Two Interpretations of Contractualist Moral Agency” Pacific APA, March 2013

12. “Self-Governance, Moral Responsibility and Weakness of Will: In Defense of the Platonic Model” Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, University of Colorado, Aug. 2011

11. “Self-Governance and Moral Responsibility,” Moral Responsibility: Analytic Approaches, Substantive Accounts and Case Studies, Ghent, Belgium, Oct. 2010

10. “Might Intentions Be Reasons?” NYU/Columbia Graduate Student Philosophy Conference, Columbia University, April 2010

9. “A Dilemma for Setiya’s Virtue Theory of Reasons” Action, Agency, and Explanation, University of Toronto, May 2009

8. “Two Worries about Current Methodology in Empirical Moral Psychology” Ohio State University Philosophy Graduate Conference, Ohio State University, May 2008

7. “Disambiguating All-Things-Considered-‘Ought’ Statements,” Society for Student Philosophers, Pacific APA, March, 2008

6. “Disambiguating All-Things-Considered-‘Ought’ Statements,” FSU Graduate Student Philosophy Conference, Florida State University, Sept. 2007

5. “Agent-Based Virtues: Fundamental Moral Concepts and the Human Agent,” Boston College Philosopher’s Forum, Boston College, February, 2007

4. “Practical Moral Luck and Future Success,” Hawaii International Conference on the Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, Hawaii, Jan. 2007

3. “Agent-Based Virtues: Fundamental Moral Concepts and the Human Agent,” REALIA Summer Conference, Burlington, Vermont, Aug. 2006

2. “Who is Coco Bryce?: A Case Study in Personal Identity,” Gateway Graduate Philosophy Conference, University of Missouri, St. Louis, May 2006

1. “Counter-Intuitionist: A Defense of Classical Quantifier Exchange,” Kent State University May 4thGraduate Student Philosophy Conference, Kent State University, March 2006


7. “Comments on Marius Pascale’s ‘Morbid, Morose, and Moral,” 5thAnnual Philosophers’ Cocoon Philosophy Conference, University of Tampa, October 15, 2017

6. “Comments on Buehler’s ‘Attention, and Agential Control of Bodily Action’” Pacific APA, April 2014

5. “Comments on Buehler’s ‘Attention, and Agential Control of Bodily Action’” Pacific APA, April 2014

4. “Comments on Davis and Rantanen,” California Polytechnic University, Pomona, Mini-Conference on Radial Life Extension, March 2014

3. “Comments on Robinson’s ‘The Limits of “Limited-Blockage” Frankfurt-Style Cases’” Pacific APA, April 2012

2. “Comments on Eason’s ‘The Ownership Condition of Guidance Control: Responding to Empirical Challenges” Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress, University of Colorado, Aug. 2010

1. “Comments on Coffey’s ‘The Mere Means Principle and the Expressive Nature of Treating: How Parfit Got it Wrong,” FSU Graduate Student Philosophy Conference, Florida State University, Sept. 2007


Nominee for the University Excellence in Teaching Award (SHSU 2018)

Outstanding Teaching Assistant (UCR Spring 2012)

Dissertation Year Fellowship (UCR Fall 2011 - Winter 2012)

Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Finalist (2011)

Travel Grant (UCR 2011, 2010)

Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship (UCR Fall 2007 - Spring 2008)

Robertson Award (excellence in creative writing) (UM Residential College 2003)

University Honors (UM 2002)



European Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Explorations, Disputatio, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Res Philosophica, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies, Mind, Philosophia, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Law and Philosophy, Consciousness and Cognition, Southern Journal of Philosophy, Journal of the American Philosophical Association, Theoria, Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy


American Philosophical Association

Society for Philosophy of Agency

International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying

Abstract Evaluator for the 2018 IAPDD Conference

Session Chair at the Pacific APA(April 2011; April 2010)


Writing in the Disciplines pedagogical workshop (May 2016)

Background materials for the Immortality Project (

Author of Companion Sitematerials for S. M. Cahn’s Exploring Philosophy(4thEd.)

Research Assistant for development of Oxford Scholarship Onlineabstracts for Gary Watson’s Agency and Answerability

Index for Manuel Vargas’ Building Better Beings


SHSU, Department of Psychology & Philosophy

Philosophy of Crime and Justice (x2)

Contemporary Moral Issues (x8)

Death and Dying (x10)

Introduction to Philosophy (x9)

Honors Seminar: Frankenstein (co-taught)

UCR, Department of Philosophy

Biomedical Ethics


Ethics and the Meaning of Life

Philosophy of Law (x2)

Introduction to Logic

Ethics Seminar: Contemporary Virtue Ethics