Thomas Nadelhoffer

Associate Professor

Address: 16 Glebe Street, Room 102
Phone: 843.953.5687
Personal Website:

My name is Thomas Nadelhoffer. I am currently an associate professor in the philosophy department at the College of Charleston (and an affiliate faculty member in psychology and neuroscience). I am an experimental philosopher—that is, a philosopher who uses the tools of psychology and cognitive science to inform my philosophical work. During my career, I have published research with philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, medical doctors, legal scholars, a federal judge, a psychiatrist, and a theologian. I have also published work with undergraduates, graduate students, and post-docs. I not only thoroughly enjoy collaboration, I think it improves my philosophical work.


Ph.D. in Philosophy Florida State University (2002-2005)
M.A. in Philosophy Georgia State University (1996-1999)
B.A. in Philosophy University of Georgia (1992-1996)

Research Interests

My main areas of research include action theory, free will, moral psychology, neuroethics, criminal law, psychopathology, and punishment.


Postdoctoral Training
  1. Postdoctoral Fellow, The MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project, Duke University, Supervisor: Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2010 to 2011)
  2. Postdoctoral Fellow, The MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project, U.C. Santa Barbara, Supervisor: Michael Gazzaniga (2009 to 2010)
Fellowships and Invited Memberships
  1. Research Fellow, Summer School in Social Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics, Duke University (Summer 2019).
  2. Invited Member, The Moral Psychology Research Group (2018 to present)
  3. Research Fellow, Summer Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy, Duke University (Summer 2018)
  4. Honorary Member of the Brain Institute at The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul: Porto Alegre, Brazil (2013 to present).
  5. Research Fellow, Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience, U.C. Santa Barbara (Summer 2009)
External Grants
  1. The John Templeton Foundation: “The Developmental Neuroscience of Empathy: The Role of Self-Other Differentiation,” Principle Investigator Margarita Svetlova. Other team members include Rosa Li, Hannah Read, and Shannon Spaulding, $30,000 (2018-2019).
  2. The John Templeton Foundation: “Humility, Conviction, and Disagreement in Morality,” Co-Principle Investigator with Jen Wright, $245,000. Other team members include Lawrence Ngo and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2013 to 2015).
  3. The John Templeton Foundation: “The Psychology of Free Will,” Co-Principle Investigator with Eddy Nahmias, Jonathan Schooler, and Kathleen Vohs, $295,000 (2011 to 2013).
  4. The MacArthur Foundation: “The Responsibility, Agency, and Determinism Scale,” $7,000 (2010 to 2011).
  5. The MacArthur Foundation: “Neuroprediction and Blame,” with Dena Gromet, $9,000 (2009 to 2011).


Edited Volumes

  1. Vincent, N., Nadelhoffer, T., & Allan McCay. (Forthcoming). Neurointerventions and the law: Regulating human mental capacity. New York: Oxford University Press.
  2. Nadelhoffer, T. (2013). The future of punishment. New York: Oxford University Press.
  3. Nadelhoffer, T., Nahmias, E., & Nichols, S. (2010). Moral psychology: Classical and contemporary readings. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.


Select Journal articles and Commentaries

  1. Nadelhoffer, T. (Forthcoming). Moral responsibility has a past: Has it a future? Journal of Information Ethics.
  2. Nadelhoffer, T. Wright, J., Echols, M., Perini, T., & Venezia, K. (2017). Some varieties of humility worth wanting. The Journal of Moral Philosophy, 14(2), 168-200. [Echols, Perini, and Venezia were College of Charleston undergraduates]
  3. Wright, J., & Nadelhoffer, T., Ross, L., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2017). Be it ever so humble: An updated account and scale for humility. Self and Identity, 17(1), 92-125.
  4. Wright, J.C., Nadelhoffer, T., Perini, T., Langville, A., Echols, M., & Venezia, K. (2017). The psychological significance of humility. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(1), 3-12. [Echols, Perini, and Venezia were College of Charleston undergraduates]
  5. Nadelhoffer, T., Shepard, J., Nahmias, E., Sripada, C., & Ross, L. (2014). The Free Will Inventory: Measuring beliefs about agency and responsibility. Consciousness and Cognition, 25, 27-41.
  6. Nadelhoffer, T., Heshmati, S., Kaplan, D., & Nichols, S. (2013) Folk retributivism: In theory and actionEconomics and Philosophy, 29, 235-261.
  7. Nadelhoffer, T., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2012). Neurolaw and neuroprediction: Potential promises and perils. Philosophy Compass, 7(9), 631-642.
  8. Nadelhoffer, T., Bibas, S., Grafton, S., Kiehl, K., Mansfield, A., Sinnott-Armstrong, W., & Gazzaniga, M. (2012). Neuroprediction, violence, and the law: Setting the stage. Neuroethics, 5, 67-99.
  9. Nadelhoffer, T., & Nahmias, E. (2011). Free will, neuroscience, and the criminal law. Thurgood Marshall Law Review, 36(2), 157-176.
  10. Nadelhoffer, T. (2011). Neural lie detection, criterial change, and ordinary language. Neuroethics, 4(3), 205-213.
  11. Nadelhoffer, T., & Matveeva, T. (2009). Positive illusions, perceived control, and the free will debate. Mind & Language, 24, 495-522. [Matveeva was a Dickinson College undergraduate]
  12. Nadelhoffer, T., & Feltz, A. (2008). The actor-observer bias and moral intuitions:  Adding fuel to Sinnott-Armstrong’s fireNeuroethics, 1(2), 133-144.
  13. Nadelhoffer, T., & Nahmias, E. (2007). The past and future of experimental philosophy. Philosophical Explorations, 10(2), 123-149.
  14. Nadelhoffer, T. (2006). On trying to save the simple view. Mind & Language, 21(5), 565-586.
  15. Nahmias, E., Morris, S., Nadelhoffer, T., & Turner, J. (2006). Is incompatibilism intuitive? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 73(1), 28-53. Reprinted in J. Knobe & S. Nichols (Eds.), Experimental philosophy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press (2008), 81-104.
  16. Nadelhoffer, T. (2006). Bad acts, blameworthy agents, and intentional actions: Some problems for jury impartiality. Philosophical Explorations, 9(2), 203-220. Reprinted in J. Knobe & S. Nichols (Eds.), Experimental philosophy. New York, NY: Oxford University Press (2008), 149-170.
  17. Nahmias, E., Morris, S., Nadelhoffer, T., & Turner, J. (2005). Surveying free will: Folk intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. Philosophical Psychology, 18(5), 561-584.
  18. Nadelhoffer, T. (2005). Skill, luck, and action. Philosophical Psychology, 18(3), 343-354.
  19. Nahmias, E., Morris, S., Nadelhoffer, T., & Turner, J. (2004). The phenomenology of free will. The Journal of Consciousness Studies, 11, 162-179.  Reprinted in P. Russell & O. Deery (Eds.), The philosophy of free will: Essential readings from the contemporary debates. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, (2013), 486-505.
  20. Nadelhoffer, T. (2004). The Butler Problem revisited. Analysis, 64(3), 277-284.

Select Book Chapters

  1. Aharoni, E., Abdullas, S., Allen, C.H., Verkeil, S., & Nadelhoffer, T. (Forthcoming). Ethical implications of neurobiologically informed risk assessment for criminal justice. In F. De Brigard & W. Sinnott-Armstrong, Neuroscience and philosophy. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  2. Nadelhoffer, T., Goya-Tocchetto, D., Wright, J., & McGuire, Q. (Forthcoming). Folk jurisprudence and neurointervention: An interdisciplinary investigation. In N. Vincent, Nadelhoffer, T., & McCay, A. (Eds.), Neurointerventions and the law: Regulating human mental capacity. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. [McGuire was a College of Charleston undergraduate]
  3. Nadelhoffer, T., & Wright, J. (2018). Humility, free will beliefs, and existential angst: From preliminary investigation to cautionary tale. In G. Caruso & Owen Flannagan (Eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, morals, and purpose in the age of neuroscience. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 269-297.
  4. Nadelhoffer, T., & Wright, J. (2017). The twin hallmarks of humility. In C. Miller & W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Eds.), Moral psychology: Virtues and vices (Vol.5). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 309-342.ɸ [Includes commentary by Nancy Snow and June Tangney and our reply] 
  5. Schooler, J., Nadelhoffer, T., Nahmias, E., & Vohs, K. (2014). Measuring and manipulating beliefs and behaviors associated with free will: The good, the bad, and the ugly.  In A. Mele (Ed.), Surrounding free will. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 72-94.
  6. Nadelhoffer, T., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2013). Is psychopathy a mental disease? In N. Vincent (Ed.), Legal responsibility and neuroscience. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 227-253.ɸ
  7. Nadelhoffer, T., & Goya-Tocchetto, D. (2013). The potential dark side of free will: Some preliminary findings. In G. Carusso (Ed.), Exploring the illusion of free will and moral responsibility.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 121-140.
  8. Nadelhoffer, T. (2011). Criminal law, philosophy, and psychology: Working at the cross-roads.”  In L. Green & B. Leiter (Eds.), The Oxford studies in the philosophy of law. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 267-289.ɸ
  9. Nadelhoffer, T. (2011). The threat of shrinking agency and free will disillusionism.  In L. Nadel & W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Eds.), Conscious will and responsibility. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 173-188.
  10. Nadelhoffer, T., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2011). Experimental ethics. In C. Miller (Ed.) Continuum companion to ethics. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group, 261-274.