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Garrett Pendergraft Faculty Profile

Garrett Pendergraft

Blanche E. Seaver Professor of Philosophy
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Philosophy Program Coordinator
Religion and Philosophy Division, Seaver College
CAC 113


Garrett Pendergraft earned a BS in Computer Science at the University of Southern California and enjoyed a (short) career in visual effects before returning to school to study philosophy. He earned an MA from Biola University, an MA from the University of Missouri, and a PhD from the University of California, Riverside. Most of his research focuses on the metaphysics of agency, and he is particularly interested in arguing that we can have free will, and be morally responsible, even in the face of various apparent threats to our agency: causal determinism, divine foreknowledge, and situationism in psychology. In the classroom, he enjoys experimenting with new teaching methods and strategies, such as mastery learning. He has served in leadership positions in both the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division) and the Society of Christian Philosophers (Mountain-Pacific Region), and he is currently the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Calvary Christian School in Pacific Palisades. Most of his spare time is spent hanging out with his wife and some combination of his three kids.


  • PhD, University of California, Riverside, 2010
  • MA, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2007
  • BS (Computer Science), University of Southern California, 2001
  • "Controversy Over Gender Differences and Free Speech at Google," SAGE Business Cases (SAGE Publications, 2019).
  • "Freedom of the Will (Doctrine)," in Harry S. Stout (ed.), The Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia (Eerdmans, 2017).
  • "Against Deliberation Restrictions," Religious Studies 50 (2014).
  • "No (New) Troubles with Ockhamism" (with D. Justin Coates), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion V (2014).
  • "Does the Consequence Argument Beg the Question?" (with John Martin Fischer), Philosophical Studies 166 (2013).
  • "The Explanatory Power of Local Miracle Compatibilism," Philosophical Studies 156 (2011).
  • "In Defense of a Causal Requirement on Explanation," in P. M. Illari, F. Russo, and J. Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences (Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • "Nelson Pike's Contribution to the Philosophy of Religion," Philosophia 39 (2011).
  • Seaver Fellow in Humanities & Teacher Education, Pepperdine University (2014–2015 academic year, 2012–2013 academic year)
  • Essay Prize: The Science, Philosophy, and Theology of Immortality Project; University of California, Riverside (2015)
  • "Epistemic Free Riding," presented at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Apr 2018.
  • "The Austerity Argument for Compatibilism," presented at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Savannah, GA (Jan 2018). [Canceled due to inclement weather on the East Coast.]
  • "Epistemic Evil," presented to the Talbot Philosophical Society, Talbot School of Theology, Oct 2016.
  • "An Aristotelian Version of Pascal's Wager," presented at the Pacific Division Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, University of San Diego, Mar 2016.
  • "The Promises and Perils of the Internet of Things," presented at IMPACT15 (the annual meeting of the Internet Marketing Association), Las Vegas, Sep 2015.
  • "Using Randomness to Rehabilitate the Augustinian Solution to the Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge," presented at the 2014 Randomness and Foreknowledge Conference, Dallas TX, Oct 2014.
  • "The Illusory Appeal of Incompatibilism," presented at the 2013 Tennessee Value & Agency Conference, University of Tennessee, Nov 2013.
  • "Consumer Privacy in the Age of Big Data," presented at IMPACT13 (the annual meeting of the Internet Marketing Association), Las Vegas, Sep 2013.
  • "Against the Incompatibilist Requirement," presented at "Reference, Conceptual Change, and Free Will," University of San Francisco, Aug 2013.
  • "Comments on Leigh Vicens's 'Common-Sense Freedom and the Soul Hypothesis'," presented at the Society of Christian Philosophers (Western Division Meeting), Mar 2013.
  • "Ockhamism: Hard and Soft Facts," presented at the Christian Scholars Conference, Pepperdine University, June 2011.
  • "Comments on Alida Liberman's 'The Domain Relativity of Norms of Strength of Will'," presented at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Apr 2011.
  • "No (New) Troubles with Ockhamism," presented at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Mar 2010.
  • Dean's Research Grant, Seaver College Research Council, Pepperdine University (Spring 2018, Spring 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2013, Spring 2012)
  • Academic Year Undergraduate Research Initiative, Pepperdine University (Fall 2015, Spring 2014, Spring 2012, Fall 2011)
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program, Pepperdine University (Summer 2014, Summer 2013, Summer 2011)
  • Technology and Learning Grant: Pepperdine University Grants for Faculty Innovation in Technology and Learning (Feb 2012)


  • Philosophy of Action
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Metaphysics


  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Logic
  • Western Civilization (1815–present)
  • Business Ethics
  • Metaphysics
  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility (senior capstone seminar)