Thomas Nadelhoffer


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

My name is Thomas Nadelhoffer. I am currently a 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

Areas of Specialization:  Moral Psychology, Philosophy of Law, Philosophy of Mind

Areas of Competence:  Free Will, Neuroethics, Philosophy of Psychiatry



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 Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy, Duke University (Summer 2019).
  2. Research Fellow, Summer School in Social Neuroscience and Neuroeconomics, Duke University (Summer 2019).
  3. Invited Member, The Moral Psychology Research Group (2018 to present)
  4. Research Fellow, Summer Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy, Duke University (Summer 2018)
  5. Honorary Member of the Brain Institute at The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul: Porto Alegre, Brazil (2013 to present).
  6. 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. Nadelhoffer, T., & Monroe, A. (Forthcoming). Advances in experimental philosophy of free will and responsibility. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
  2. Vincent, N., Nadelhoffer, T., & McCay, A. (2020). Neurointerventions and the law: Regulating human mental capacity. New York: Oxford University Press.
  3. Nadelhoffer, T. (2013). The future of punishment. New York: Oxford University Press.
  4. Nadelhoffer, T., Nahmias, E., & Nichols, S. (2010). Moral psychology: Classical and contemporary readings. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.


Select Journal Articles

  1. Nadelhoffer, T., Yin, S., & Graves, R. Folk intuitions and the conditional ability to do otherwise. Forthcoming in Philosophical Psychology. [Graves was a Duke University undergraduate]
  2. Nadelhoffer, T., Shepard, J., Crone, D., Everett, J., Earp, B., & Levy, N. (2020) Does encouraging a belief in determinism increase cheating? Reconsidering the value of believing in free will. Cognition, 203, 104342.
  3. Nadelhoffer, T., Rose, D., Buckwalter, W. & Nichols, S. (2020) Natural compatibilism, indeterminism, and intrusive metaphysicsCognitive Science44:8, e12873
  4. 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]
  5. 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.
  6. 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]
  7. 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.
  8. Nadelhoffer, T., Heshmati, S., Kaplan, D., & Nichols, S. (2013) Folk retributivism: In theory and actionEconomics and Philosophy, 29, 235-261.
  9. Nadelhoffer, T., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2012). Neurolaw and neuroprediction: Potential promises and perils. Philosophy Compass, 7(9), 631-642.
  10. 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.
  11. Nadelhoffer, T., & Nahmias, E. (2011). Free will, neuroscience, and the criminal law. Thurgood Marshall Law Review, 36(2), 157-176.
  12. 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]
  13. Nadelhoffer, T., & Feltz, A. (2008). The actor-observer bias and moral intuitions:  Adding fuel to Sinnott-Armstrong’s fireNeuroethics, 1(2), 133-144.
  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. Nadelhoffer, T. (2004). The Butler Problem revisited. Analysis, 64(3), 277-284.

Select Book Chapters

  1. Nadelhoffer, T., Wright, J., Goya-Tocchetto, D., & McGuire, Q. (2020). Folk jurisprudence and neurointervention: An interdisciplinary investigation. In N. Vincent, T. Nadelhoffer, & A. McCay (Eds.), Neurointerventions and the law: Regulating human mental capacity (pp. 193–222). New York: Oxford University Press. [McGuire was a College of Charleston undergraduate]
  2. 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.
  3. 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] 
  4. 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.
  5. Nadelhoffer, T. (2014). Dualism, libertarianism, and scientific skepticism about free will.  In W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Ed.), Moral psychology: Neuroscience, free will, and responsibility (pp. 209–216). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  6. Nadelhoffer, T., & Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2013). Is psychopathy a mental disease? In N. Vincent (Ed.), Legal responsibility and neuroscience (pp. 227–253). New York: Oxford University Press.
  7. 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 (pp. 193–211). New York: Oxford University Press.
  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 (pp. 267–289). New York: Oxford University Press.
  9. Nadelhoffer, T. (2011). The threat of shrinking agency and free will disillusionism.  In L. Nadel & W. Sinnott-Armstrong (Eds.), Conscious will and responsibility (pp. 173–188). New York: Oxford University Press.
  10. 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 (pp. 277–298). Cambridge, MA: MIT University Press.