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Profile: Thomas Nadelhoffer (Dickinson College)
  1. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Some Problems for Juror Impartiality.
    In this paper, I first review some of the recent empirical work on the biasing effect that moral considerations have on folk ascriptions of intentional action. Then, I use Mark Alicke’s affective model of blame attribution to explain this biasing effect. Finally, I discuss the relevance of this research—both philosophical and psychological—to the problem of the partiality of jury deliberation. After all, if the immorality of an action does affect folk ascriptions of intentionality, and all serious criminal offenses—e.g., murder and (...)
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  2. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jason Shepard, Eddy Nahmias, Chandra Sripada & Lisa Ross (2014). The Free Will Inventory: Measuring Beliefs About Agency and Responsibility. Consciousness and Cognition 25:27-41.
    In this paper, we present the results of the construction and validation of a new psychometric tool for measuring beliefs about free will and related concepts: The Free Will Inventory (FWI). In its final form, FWI is a 29-item instrument with two parts. Part 1 consists of three 5-item subscales designed to measure strength of belief in free will, determinism, and dualism. Part 2 consists of a series of fourteen statements designed to further explore the complex network of people’s associated (...)
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  3. Susan Blackmore, Thomas W. Clark, Mark Hallett, John-Dylan Haynes, Ted Honderich, Neil Levy, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Shaun Nichols, Michael Pauen, Derk Pereboom, Susan Pockett, Maureen Sie, Saul Smilansky, Galen Strawson, Daniela Goya Tocchetto, Manuel Vargas, Benjamin Vilhauer & Bruce Waller (2013). Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books.
     
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  4. Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.) (2013). The Future of Punishment. OUP USA.
    The twelve essays in this volume aim at providing philosophers, neuroscientists, psychologists, and legal theorists with an opportunity to examine the cluster of related issues that will need to be addressed as scholars struggle to come to grips with the picture of human agency being pieced together by researchers in the biosciences.
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  5. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Dena Gromet, Geoffrey Goodwin, Eddy Nahmias, Chandra Sripada & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2013). The Mind, the Brain, and the Law. In Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.), The Future of Punishment. Oup Usa.
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  6. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Saeideh Heshmati, Deanna Kaplan & Shaun Nichols (2013). Folk Retributivism And The Communication Confound. Economics and Philosophy 29 (2):235-261.
    Retributivist accounts of punishment maintain that it is right to punish wrongdoers, even if the punishment has no future benefits. Research in experimental economics indicates that people are willing to pay to punish defectors. A complementary line of work in social psychology suggests that people think that it is right to punish wrongdoers. This work suggests that people are retributivists about punishment. However, all of the extant work contains an important potential confound. The target of the punishment is expected to (...)
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  7. Thomas Nadelhoffer & Daniela Goya Tocchetto (2013). The Potential Dark Side of Believing in Free Will (and Related Concepts). In Gregg Caruso (ed.), Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books.
  8. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Stephanos Bibas, Scott Grafton, Kent Kiehl, Andrew Mansfield, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Michael Gazzaniga (2012). Neuroprediction, Violence, and the Law: Setting the Stage. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 5 (1):67-99.
    In this paper, our goal is to (a) survey some of the legal contexts within which violence risk assessment already plays a prominent role, (b) explore whether developments in neuroscience could potentially be used to improve our ability to predict violence, and (c) discuss whether neuropredictive models of violence create any unique legal or moral problems above and beyond the well worn problems already associated with prediction more generally. In Violence Risk Assessment and the Law , we briefly examine the (...)
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  9. Thomas Nadelhoffer & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2012). Neurolaw and Neuroprediction: Potential Promises and Perils. Philosophy Compass 7 (9):631-642.
    Neuroscience has been proposed for use in the legal system for purposes of mind reading, assessment of responsibility, and prediction of misconduct. Each of these uses has both promises and perils, and each raises issues regarding the admissibility of neuroscientific evidence.
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  10. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2011). Neural Lie Detection, Criterial Change, and OrdinaryLanguage. Neuroethics 4 (3):205-213.
    Michael Pardo and Dennis Patterson have recently put forward several provocative and stimulating criticisms that strike at the heart of much work that has been done at the crossroads of neuroscience and the law. My goal in this essay is to argue that their criticisms of the nascent but growing field of neurolaw are ultimately based on questionable assumptions concerning the nature of the ever evolving relationship between scientific discovery and ordinary language. For while the marriage between ordinary language and (...)
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  11. Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (2011). Criminal Law, Philosophy, and Psychology : Working at the Cross-Roads. In Leslie Green & Brian Leiter (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law. Oxford University Press.
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  12. Thomas Nadelhoffer & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2011). Experimental Ethics. In Christian Miller (ed.), Continuum Companion to Ethics. Continuum. 261.
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  13. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Eddy A. Nahmias & Shaun Nichols (eds.) (2010). Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings is the first book to bring together the most significant contemporary and historical works on the topic from both philosophy and psychology. Provides a comprehensive introduction to moral psychology, which is the study of psychological mechanisms and processes underlying ethics and morality Unique in bringing together contemporary texts by philosophers, psychologists and other cognitive scientists with foundational works from both philosophy and psychology Approaches moral psychology from an empirically informed perspective Explores a wide range (...)
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  14. Adam Feltz, Edward T. Cokely & Thomas Nadelhoffer (2009). Natural Compatibilism Versus Natural Incompatibilism: Back to the Drawing Board. Mind and Language 24 (1):1-23.
    In the free will literature, some compatibilists and some incompatibilists claim that their views best capture ordinary intuitions concerning free will and moral responsibility. One goal of researchers working in the field of experimental philosophy has been to probe ordinary intuitions in a controlled and systematic way to help resolve these kinds of intuitional stalemates. We contribute to this debate by presenting new data about folk intuitions concerning freedom and responsibility that correct for some of the shortcomings of previous studies. (...)
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  15. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Trevor Kvaran & Eddy Nahmias (2009). Temperament and Intuition: A Commentary on Feltz and Cokely. Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):351-355.
    In this paper, we examine Adam Feltz and Edward Cokely’s recent claim that “the personality trait extraversion predicts people’s intuitions about the relationship of determinism to free will and moral responsibility”. We will first present some criticisms of their work before briefly examining the results of a recent study of our own. We argue that while Feltz and Cokely have their finger on the pulse of an interesting and important issue, they have not established a robust and stable connection between (...)
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  16. Thomas Nadelhoffer & Tatyana Matveeva (2009). Positive Illusions, Perceived Control and the Free Will Debate. Mind and Language 24 (5):495-522.
    It is a common assumption among both philosophers and psychologists that having accurate beliefs about ourselves and the world around us is always the epistemic gold standard. However, there is gathering data from social psychology that suggest that illusions are quite prevalent in our everyday thinking and that some of these illusions may even be conducive to our overall well being. In this paper, we explore the relevance of these so-called 'positive illusions' to the free will debate. More specifically, we (...)
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  17. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2008). Bad Acts, Blameworthy Agents, and Intentional Actions. In Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe (eds.), Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press. 149.
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  18. Thomas A. Nadelhoffer & Eddy Nahmias (2008). Polling as Pedagogy. Teaching Philosophy 31 (1):39-59.
    First, we briefly familiarize the reader with the nascent field of "experimental philosophy," in which philosophers use empirical methods, rather than armchair speculation, to ascertain laypersons' intuitions about philosophical issues. Second, we discuss how the surveys used by experimental philosophers can serve as valuable pedagogical tools for teaching philosophy-independently of whether one believes surveying laypersons is an illuminating approach to doing philosophy. Giving students surveys that contain questions and thought experiments from philosophical debates gets them to actively engage with the (...)
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  19. Thomas Nadelhoffer & Adam Feltz (2008). The Actor–Observer Bias and Moral Intuitions: Adding Fuel to Sinnott-Armstrong's Fire. Neuroethics 1 (2):133-144.
    In a series of recent papers, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has used findings in social psychology to put pressure on the claim that our moral beliefs can be non-inferentially justified. More specifically, he has suggested that insofar as our moral intuitions are subject to what psychologists call framing effects, this poses a real problem for moral intuitionism. In this paper, we are going to try to add more fuel to the empirical fire that Sinnott-Armstrong has placed under the feet of the intuitionist. (...)
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  20. Thomas Nadelhoffer & Eddy Nahmias (2008). Polling as Pedagogy: Experimental Philosophy as a Valuable Tool for Teaching Philosophy. Teaching Philosophy 31 (1):39-58.
    First, we briefly familiarize the reader with the emerging field of “experimental philosophy,” in which philosophers use empirical methods, rather than armchair speculation, to ascertain laypersons’ intuitions about philosophical issues. Second, we discuss how the surveys used by experimental philosophers can serve as valuable pedagogical tools for teaching philosophy—independently of whether one believes surveying laypersons is an illuminating approach to doing philosophy. Giving students surveys that contain questions and thought experiments from philosophical debates gets them to actively engage with the (...)
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  21. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2007). Fringe Benefits, Side Effects, and Indifference: A Reply to Feltz. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 27 (1):127-136.
    In a previous paper, I suggested that if an agent is a morally praiseworthy person and one of the consequences of the action she knowingly brings about is morally positive, then this consequence isn’t really a side effect for the agent. Adam Feltz has recently developed a case that purportedly puts pressure on my account of side effects. In the present paper, I am going to argue that Feltz’s purported counter-example fails to undermine my view even if it happens to (...)
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  22. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2007). Folk Intuitions, Slippery Slopes, and Necessary Fictions : An Essay on Saul Smilansky's Free Will Illusionism. In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell Pub. Inc.. 202–213.
    During the past two decades, an interest among philosophers in fictitious and illusory beliefs has sprung up in fields ranging anywhere from mathematics and modality to morality.1 In this paper, we focus primarily on the view that Saul Smilansky has dubbed “free will illusionism”—i.e., the purportedly descriptive claim that most people have illusory beliefs concerning the existence of libertarian free will, coupled with the normative claim that because dispelling these illusory beliefs would produce negative personal and societal consequences, those of (...)
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  23. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Richard Brown, Derek H. Brown & Penny Munn (2007). Reviews. [REVIEW] Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):393 – 411.
  24. Thomas Nadelhoffer & Eddy Nahmias (2007). The Past and Future of Experimental Philosophy. Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):123 – 149.
    Experimental philosophy is the name for a recent movement whose participants use the methods of experimental psychology to probe the way people think about philosophical issues and then examine how the results of such studies bear on traditional philosophical debates. Given both the breadth of the research being carried out by experimental philosophers and the controversial nature of some of their central methodological assumptions, it is of no surprise that their work has recently come under attack. In this paper we (...)
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  25. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2006). Bad Acts, Blameworthy Agents, and Intentional Actions: Some Problems for Juror Impartiality. Philosophical Explorations 9 (2):203 – 219.
    In this paper, I first review some of the recent empirical work on the biasing effect that moral considerations have on folk ascriptions of intentional action. Then, I use Mark Alicke's affective model of blame attribution to explain this biasing effect. Finally, I discuss the relevance of this research - both philosophical and psychological - to the problem of the partiality of jury deliberation. After all, if the immorality of an action does affect folk ascriptions of intentionality, and all serious (...)
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  26. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2006). Desire, Foresight, Intentions, and Intentional Actions: Probing Folk Intuitions. Journal of Cognition and Culture.
    A number of philosophers working under the rubric of “experimental philosophy” have recently begun focusing on analyzing the concepts of ordinary language and investigating the intuitions of laypersons in an empirically informed way.1 In a series of papers these philosophers—who often work in collaboration with psychologists—have presented the results of empirical studies aimed at proving folk intuitions in areas as diverse as ethics, epistemology, free will, and the philosophy of action. In this paper, I contribute to this research program by (...)
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  27. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2006). On Trying to Save the Simple View. Mind and Language 21 (5):565-586.
    According to the analysis of intentional action that Michael Bratman has dubbed the 'Simple View', intending to x is necessary for intentionally x-ing. Despite the plausibility of this view, there is gathering empirical evidence that when people are presented with cases involving moral considerations, they are much more likely to judge that the action (or side effect) in question was brought about intentionally than they are to judge that the agent intended to do it. This suggests that at least as (...)
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  28. Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner (2006). Is Incompatibilism Intuitive? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28 - 53.
    Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pretheoretical intuitions, we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is in fact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...)
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  29. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2005). Skill, Luck, Control, and Intentional Action. Philosophical Psychology 18 (3):341 – 352.
    On the surface, it seems intuitively plausible that if an agent luckily manages to perform a desired action (e.g., rolling a six with a fair die or winning the lottery), the performance of which is not the result of any relevant skill on her part, we should not say that she performed the action intentionally. This intuition suggests that our concept of intentional action is sensitive to considerations of skill, luck, and causal control. Indeed, some philosophers have claimed that in (...)
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  30. Eddy A. Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner (2005). Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions About Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561-584.
    Philosophers working in the nascent field of ‘experimental philosophy’ have begun using methods borrowed from psychology to collect data about folk intuitions concerning debates ranging from action theory to ethics to epistemology. In this paper we present the results of our attempts to apply this approach to the free will debate, in which philosophers on opposing sides claim that their view best accounts for and accords with folk intuitions. After discussing the motivation for such research, we describe our methodology of (...)
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  31. Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner 1 (2005). Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions About Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561-584.
  32. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2004). Blame, Badness, and Intentional Action: A Reply to Knobe and Mendlow. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):259-269.
    Florida State University In a series of recent papers both Joshua Knobe (2003a; 2003b; 2004) and I (2004a; 2004b; forthcoming) have published the results of some psychological experiments that show that moral considerations influence folk ascriptions of intentional action in both non-side effect and side effect cases.1 More specifically, our data suggest that people are more likely to judge that a morally negative action or side effect was brought about intentionally than they are to judge that a structurally similar non-moral (...)
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  33. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2004). On Implicit Testability and Philosophical Explanations. In Margaret A. Simons, Marybeth Timmermann & Mary Beth Mader (eds.), Philosophical Writings. University of Illinois Press. 27--3.
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  34. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2004). On Praise, Side Effects, and Folk Ascriptions of Intentionality. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):196-213.
    In everyday discourse, we often draw a distinction between actions that are performed intentionally (e.g. opening your car door) and those that are performed unintentionally (e.g. shutting a car door on your finger). This distinction has interested philosophers working in a number of different areas. Indeed, intentional actions are not only the primary focus of those concerned with understanding and explaining human behavior, but they often occupy center stage in philosophical discussions of free will and moral and legal responsibility as (...)
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  35. Thomas Nadelhoffer (2004). The Butler Problem Revisited. Analysis 64 (3):277–284.
    On the surface, it seems plausible that the goodness or badness of an agent’s actions should be completely irrelevant to the question of whether she performed them intentionally, but there is growing evidence that ascriptions of intentional actions are affected by moral considerations. Joshua Knobe, for instance, has recently published a series of groundbreaking papers (2003a, 2003b, 2004) in which he suggests that people’s judgments concerning the intentionality of an action may sometimes depend on what they think about the action (...)
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  36. Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner (2004). The Phenomenology of Free Will. Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):162-179.
    Philosophers often suggest that their theories of free will are supported by our phenomenology. Just as their theories conflict, their descriptions of the phenomenology of free will often conflict as well. We suggest that this should motivate an effort to study the phenomenology of free will in a more systematic way that goes beyond merely the introspective reports of the philosophers themselves. After presenting three disputes about the phenomenology of free will, we survey the (limited) psychological research on the experiences (...)
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