You may remember reading about Dr. Thomas Nadelhoffer, the newest faculty member in the Department of Philosophy, in our “Meet the New Faculty” post here.  Whether you are a philosopher or not, you may want to know a little more about professor Nadelhoffer’s research interests and the many projects he is involved in, especially if you are interested in psychology. He explains:

“My main areas of research include moral psychology, free will, punishment theory, and neurolaw. Lately, I have been especially interested in  the relevance of the gathering data on psychopathy to the philosophy of t-nadelhofferpunishment, and the potential promise and perils of using neuroscience to make better predictions of future dangerousness for the purposes of the law.

“Since 2011, I have also been working on a two-year project with philosopher Eddy Nahmias and psychologists Jonathan Schooler and Kathleen Vohs that is entitled, “The Psychology of Free Will.”  Our project is part of The John Templeton Foundation’s Big Questions in Free Will grant that is being administered by Alfred Mele.  We will be working not only to develop a new scale for measuring folk intuitions and attitudes about free will, dualism, determinism, and responsibility, but we will also be running several studies that explore how these intuitions and attitudes (or lack thereof) get expressed behaviorally.  One of our central goals is to examine how future advances in neuroscience might influence our moral and legal beliefs and practices.”

Professor Nadelhoffer has been exploring these and related issues in his experimental philosophy lab here at the College of Charleston.  This year he has been undertaking various major studies: the way people think about pharmacology and cognitive enhancement, as well as something he likes to call “dark side of free will”. I guess you could call professor Nadelhoffer a “psychosopher”– a term that combines psychology and philosopher. (If you couldn’t tell I totally just made that up and there may even be an official, more intelligent term out there.)

To learn more about Dr. Nadelhoffer, you can visit the philosophy department’s faculty spotlight here or check out his website here.