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Thomas Nadelhoffer

Assistant Professor

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

Greetings!  My name is Thomas Nadelhoffer and I am currently an assistant professor of philosophy at the College of Charleston (where I have been teaching and running an experimental philosophy lab since 2012). Before living and teaching in the heart of the low country in Charleston, SC, I was an assistant professor of philosophy and law and policy at Dickinson College (2006-2012).  I was also a post-doc with The MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project for two years (2009-2011).  The first year was spent with Michael Gazzaniga at The University of California Santa Barbara.  The second year was spent with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and The Kenan Institute at Duke University.


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 free will, moral psychology, neuroethics, and punishment theory.  I recently edited two volumes: (a) Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings with Eddy Nahmias and Shaun Nichols (Wiley-Blackwell 2011), and (b) The Future of Punishment (Oxford University Press 2013).  In addition to my work in philosophy, I am also trying to work more often these days with psychologists to help get at some of the empirical data that inform my research. 

For instance, I have recently been working on a project with Eddy Nahmias, Jonathan Schooler, and Kathleen Vohs that is entitled, "The Psychology of Free Will" ($295,000)  Our project is part of The John Templeton Foundation's Big Questions in Free Will.  We have not only been developing a new scale for measuring folk intuitions and attitudes about free will and related concepts but we have also been exploring how these intuitions and attitudes (or lack thereof) get expressed behaviorally. We are currently winding this two-year project down and starting to write up our results.

Relatedly, beginning this summer, I started working on another two-year project with Trisha Folds-Bennett, Lawrence Ngo, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, and Jen Wright that is entitled, "“Humility, Conviction, and Disagreement in Morality" ($245,000).  Our project is part of The John Templeton Foundation's Intellectual Humility Project.  Our first goal is to develop a new psychometric tool for measuring the various facets of humility. We will then use our new scale to explore how children, adolescents, and adults think about humility and related concepts.  Along the way, we hope to shed some new light on both the nature and limitations of humility.

In addition to my traditional work in philosophy and psychology, I am also active in trying to increase philosophy's footprint online.  So, I have run the experimental philosophy blog since 2004 and I have run the free will blog since 2009.  Moreover, I am also working on a number of new online projects ranging from an online book reading group to a new open-access, online, pluralist journal.  I am trying to make it easier to organize and keep up with all of my projects under the umbrella site Philosophy Commons.

Honors and Awards


  1. The Templeton Foundation Intellectual Humility Project: “Humility, Conviction, and Disagreement in Morality.” Co-Principle Investigator with Jen Wright, $245,000.  Other team members include Trisha Folds-Bennett, Jeremy Frimer, Lawrence Ngo, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2013-2015).
  2. The College of Charleston, First Year Experience Event Grant, $2,000 (Fall 2013).
  3. The Templeton Foundation Big Questions in Free Will Project: “The Psychology of Free Will,” Co-Principle Investigator with Eddy Nahmias, Jonathan Schooler, and Kathleen Vohs, $295,000 (2011-2013).
  4. The MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project: “The Responsibility, Agency, and Determinism Scale,” $7,000 (2010-2011).
  5. The MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project: “Neuroprediction and Blame,” with Dena Gromet, $9,000 (2009-2011)
  6. The Andrew Mellon Foundation: Faculty Development Grant, Dickinson College, $2,000 (Fall 2009)



  1. Nadelhoffer, T., & Wright, J. (2018). “Humility, Free Will Beliefs, and Existential Angst: How We Got from a Preliminary Investigation to a Cautionary Tale.” In G. Caruso (Ed.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press: 269-297.
  2. Nadelhoffer, T., & Wright, J. (2017). “The Twin Hallmarks of Humility.” In C. Miller & W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Eds.), Moral Psychology: Virtues and Vices (Vol.5). MIT Press: 309-342. [Includes commentary by Nancy Snow and June Tangney and our reply]
  3. Nadelhoffer, T. (2013). The Future of Punishment. Oxford University Press.
  4. Nadelhoffer, T., Nahmias, E., & Nichols, S. (2010). Moral Psychology: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Wiley-Blackwell.


  1. Santin, T; Vilanova, F; Brandelli Costa, A.; Goya-Tocchetto, D.; Nadelhoffer, T.; & Koller, S. (2017). “Cultural Validation of the Free Will Inventory in Brazil.” Revista Avaliação Psicológica, v.16 (3). (Brazil)
  2. Nadelhoffer, T., Shepard, J., Nahmias, E., Sripada, C., & Ross, L. (2014). “The Free Will Inventory: Measuring Beliefs about Agency and Responsibility.” Consciousness and Cognition, Vol. 25: 27-41.
  3. Nadelhoffer, T. (forthcoming) “The Potential Philosophical and Policy Implications of Neurobiological Accounts of Criminality.” The Journal of Ethics.
  4. Nadelhoffer, T., Heshmati, S., Kaplan, D., & Nichols, S. (2013) “Folk Retributivism: In Theory and Action.”  Economics and Philosophy, Vol. 29: 235-261.*
  5. Nadelhoffer, T., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2012). “Neurolaw and Neuroprediction: Potential Promises and Perils.” Philosophy Compass, 7(9): 631-642.*
  6. Nadelhoffer, T. (2012). “Attempts in Ordinary Language and the Criminal Law: A Commentary.”  Jurisprudence, 3(2): 475-482.
  7. 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.*
  8. Nadelhoffer, T., & Nahmias, E. (2011). “Free Will, Neuroscience, and the Criminal Law.” Thurgood Marshall Law Review, 36(2): 157-176.
  9. Nadelhoffer, T. (2011). “Neural Lie Detection, Criterial Change, and Ordinary Language.” Neuroethics 4(3): 205-213.
  10. Nadelhoffer, T., & Matveeva, T. (2009). “Positive Illusions, Perceived Control, and the Free Will Debate.” Mind & Language, 24: 495-522.*
  11. Feltz, A., Cokely, E., & Nadelhoffer, T. (2009). “Natural Compatibilism vs. Natural Incompatibilism: Back to the Drawing Board.” Mind & Language, 24: 1-23.*
  12. Nadelhoffer, T., Kvaran, T., & Nahmias, E. (2009). “Temperament and Intuition: A Commentary on Feltz and Cokely.” Consciousness and Cognition 18: 351-355.
  13. Nadelhoffer, T., & Feltz, A. (2008). “The Actor-Observer Bias and Moral Intuitions:  Adding Fuel to Sinnott-Armstrong’s Fire.”  Neuroethics 1(2): 133-144.*
  14. Nadelhoffer, T., & Nahmias, E. (2008). “Polling as a Valuable Pedagogical Tool for Teaching Philosophy.” Teaching Philosophy 30(1): 39-58.*
  15. Nadelhoffer, T., & Nahmias, E. (2007). “The Past and Future of Experimental Philosophy.” Philosophical Explorations 10(2): 123-149.*
  16. Nadelhoffer, T., & Feltz, A. (2007). “Folk Intuitions, Slippery Slopes, and Necessary Fictions: An Essay on Smilansky’s Free Will Illusionism.” Midwest Studies in Philosophy 13(1): 202-213.
  17. Nadelhoffer, T. (2007). “Fringe Benefits, Side Effects, and Intentional Actions: A Reply to Feltz.”  The Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 27(1): 801-809.
  18. Nadelhoffer, T. (2006). “On Trying to Save the Simple View.” Mind & Language 21(5): 565-586.*
  19. Nahmias, E., Morris, S., Nadelhoffer, T., & Turner, J. (2006). “Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73(1): 28-53. Reprinted in J. Knobe and S. Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press (2008).*
  20. 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 and S. Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press (2008).*
  21. Nadelhoffer, T. (2006). “Foresight, Moral Considerations, and Intentional Actions.” The Journal of Cognition and Culture 6(1): 133-158.*
  22. 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.*
  23. Nadelhoffer, T. (2005). “Skill, Luck, and Action.” Philosophical Psychology 18(3): 343-354.*
  24. 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 in the Contemporary Debates. Oxford University Press (2013).*
  25. Nadelhoffer, T. (2004). “Blame, Badness, and Intentional Action: A Reply to Knobe and Mendlow.” The Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24: 259-269.
  26. Nadelhoffer, T. (2004). “On Implicit Testability and Philosophical Explanations.” Philosophical Writings No. 27: 3-14.*
  27. Nadelhoffer, T. (2004). “Praise, Side Effects, and Intentional Action.” The Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24: 196-213.*
  28. Nadelhoffer, T. (2004). “The Butler Problem Revisited.” Analysis 64(3): 277-284.*.
  29. 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.*
  30. Nadelhoffer, T. (2018). “A Case for Feminist Self Defense” The Philosopher’s Magazine, 81: 26-32.


  1. Schooler, J., Nadelhoffer, T., Nahmias, E., & Vohs, K. (forthcoming). “Measuring and Manipulating Beliefs and Behaviors Associated with Free Will: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”  In A. Mele (Ed.), Surrounding Free Will. Oxford University Press.
  2. Nadelhoffer, T. (forthcoming). “Neuroscience, Future Dangerousness, and the Criminal Law.”  In J. Decety & T. Wheatley (Eds.), The Moral Brain: A Multi-disciplinary Perspective.  MIT Press.
  3. Nadelhoffer, T. (2013). “Dualism, Libertarianism, and Scientific Skepticism about Free Will.”  In W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Ed.), Moral Psychology: Neuroscience, Free Will, and Responsibility (Vol. 4). MIT Press: 209-216.
  4. Nadelhoffer, T., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2013). “Is Psychopathy a Mental Disease?” In N. Vincent (Ed.), Legal Responsibility and Neuroscience. Oxford University Press: 227-253.  
  5. 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.  Lexington Books: Chapter 7.
  6. Nadelhoffer, T., Gromet, D., Goodwin, G., Nahmias, E., Sripada, C., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2013). “The Mind, the Brain, and the Criminal Law.” In T. Nadelhoffer (Ed.), The Future of Punishment. Oxford University Press: 193-211.
  7. Nadelhoffer, T. (2011). “Criminal Law, Philosophy, and Psychology: Working at the Cross-roads.”  In L. Green and B. Leiter (Eds.), The Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Law. Oxford University Press: 267-289.*
  8. Nadelhoffer, T. (2011). “The Threat of Shrinking Agency and Free Will Disillusionism.”  In L. Nadel and W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Eds.), Conscious Will and Responsibility. Oxford University Press: 173-188.
  9. Nadelhoffer, T., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2011). “Experimental Ethics.” In C. Miller (Ed.) Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum: 261-274.*
  10. Nadelhoffer, T. (2011). “Experimental Philosophy of Action.” In J. Aguilar, A. Buckareff, & K. Frankish (Eds.), New Waves in the Philosophy of Action. Palgrave-MacMillan: 50-78.*
  11. Nadelhoffer, T. (2011). “Neuroscience, Violence, and the Law.” In M. Herzog-Evans (Ed.), Transnational Criminology Manual (Vol. 2). Hart Publishing: 507-523. 
  12. Nadelhoffer, T. (2010). “The Causal Theory of Action and the Still Puzzling Knobe Effect.”  In J. Aguilar, A. Buckareff, & K. Frankish (Eds.), The Causal Theory of Action. MIT University Press (2010): 277-298.*


  1. Nadelhoffer, T. “Minds, Brains, and Badness: How Neuroscience Affects People’s Views of Wrongdoing.”
  2. Nadelhoffer, T. “Retributivism and the Puzzle of Psychopathy.”
  3. Nadelhoffer, T. “An Argument for Free Will Disillusionism.”