Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics

External Address: 
Duke University Box 90432, 203B West Duke Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708-0743
Phone: 
919.660.3172

Overview

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. He has secondary appointments in the Law School and the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, and he is core faculty in the Duke Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, and the Duke Center for Interdisciplinary Decision Sciences. He serves as Resource Faculty in the Philosophy Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Partner Investigator at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, and Research Scientist with The Mind Research Network in New Mexico. He has visited at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, the Macquarie Research Center for Agency, Values, and Ethics in Australia, and the National Institutes of Health in Washington. He has received fellowships from the Harvard Program in Ethics and the Professions, the Princeton Center for Human Values, the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University, and the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has served as co-chair of the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association, co-director of the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Project, and co-PI of the project on the Neuroscience and Philosophy of Free Will and Moral Responsibility at Chapman University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and his doctorate from Yale University. He has published widely on ethics (theoretical and applied as well as meta-ethics), empirical moral psychology and neuroscience, philosophy of law, epistemology, philosophy of religion, and informal logic. Most recently, he is the author of  Think Again: How to Reason and Argue, Morality Without God?and Moral Skepticisms; co-author with Robert Fogelin of Understanding Arguments, Ninth Edition, and with Jesse Summers of Clean Hands: Philosophical Lessons of Scrupulosity; and editor of Moral Psychology, volumes I-V. His numerous articles have appeared in a variety of philosophical, scientific, and popular journals and collections. He performs various experiments in moral psychology and brain science with his Moral Attitudes and Decisions (MAD) Lab. He is working on one book on moral artificial intelligence and another book that will develop a contrastivist view of freedom and responsibility. He co-directs Summer Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy (SSNaP) with Felipe De Brigard and teaches a popular MOOC, Think Again, on the Coursera website with Ram Neta. 

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Yale University 1982

  • A.B., Amherst College 1977

Sinnott-Armstrong, W. “Consequentialism.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2011.

Nadelhoffer, Thomas, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong. “Is Psychopathy a Mental Disease?.” Neuroscience and Responsibility, edited by Nicole Vincent, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Nadelhoffer, Thomas, and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong. “Experimental Ethics.” The Continuum Companion to Ethics, edited by Christian Miller, Continuum, 2011, pp. 261–74.

Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter, et al. “Moral Intuition.” The Moral Psychology Handbook, edited by John Doris and the Moral Psychology Research Group, Oxford University Press, 2010.

Harman, Gilbert, et al. “Moral Reasoning.” The Moral Psychology Handbook, edited by John Doris and the Moral Psychology Research Group, Oxford University Press, 2010.

Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter. “Lessons from Libet.” Conscious Will and Responsibility, edited by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Lynn Nadel, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp. 235–46.

Sinnott-Armstrong, W. “Why Traditional Theism Cannot Provide an Adequate Foundation for Morality.” Is Goodness without God Good Enough? A Debate on Faith, Secularism, and Ethics, edited by N. L. King and R. K. Garcia, Rownan & Littlewfield, 2009, pp. 101–15.

Sinnott-Armstrong, W. “Mackie’s Internalisms.” A World Without Values: Essays on John Mackie’s Moral Error Theory, edited by R. Joyce and S. Kirchin, Springer, 2009, pp. 55–70.

Sinnott-Armstrong, W. “Framing Moral Intuitions.” Moral Psychology, Volume 2: The Cognitive Science of Morality, edited by W. Sinnott-Armstrong, MIT Press, 2008, pp. 47–76.

Sinnott-Armstrong, W. “How to Apply Generalities: Reply to Tolhurst and Shafer-Landau.” Moral Psychology, Volume 2: The Cognitive Science of Morality, edited by W. Sinnott-Armstrong, MIT Press, 2008, pp. 97–105.

Pages

Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter, and Thalia Wheatley. “Are moral judgments unified?.” Philosophical Psychology, vol. 27, no. 4, Informa UK Limited, July 2014, pp. 451–74. Crossref, doi:10.1080/09515089.2012.736075. Full Text

Aharoni, Eyal, et al. “Predictive accuracy in the neuroprediction of rearrest..” Social Neuroscience, vol. 9, no. 4, Jan. 2014, pp. 332–36. Epmc, doi:10.1080/17470919.2014.907201. Full Text

Sinnott-Armstrong, W. “Interview by Simon Cushing.” Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics, 2014, pp. 1–22.

Schaich Borg, Jana, et al. “Subcomponents of psychopathy have opposing correlations with punishment judgments..” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 105, no. 4, Oct. 2013, pp. 667–87. Epmc, doi:10.1037/a0033485. Full Text

Schlegel, Alexander, et al. “Barking up the wrong free: readiness potentials reflect processes independent of conscious will..” Experimental Brain Research, vol. 229, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 329–35. Epmc, doi:10.1007/s00221-013-3479-3. Full Text

Aharoni, Eyal, et al. “Neuroprediction of future rearrest..” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 110, no. 15, Apr. 2013, pp. 6223–28. Epmc, doi:10.1073/pnas.1219302110. Full Text

Nadel, L., and W. P. Sinnott-Armstrong. “Preface.” Memory and Law, Jan. 2013.

Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter, and Franklin G. Miller. “What makes killing wrong?.” Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 39, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 3–7. Epmc, doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100351. Full Text

Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter, and Franklin G. Miller. “Killing versus totally disabling: a reply to critics..” Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 39, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 12–14. Epmc, doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-100948. Full Text

Nadelhoffer, T., and W. Sinnott-Armstrong. “Neurolaw and neuroprediction: Potential promises and perils.” Philosophy Compass, vol. 7, no. 9, Sept. 2012, pp. 631–42. Scopus, doi:10.1111/j.1747-9991.2012.00494.x. Full Text

Pages