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Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Chauncey Stillman Distinguished Professor of Practical Ethics
Philosophy
Duke Box 90743, Durham, NC 27708-0743
Duke University Box 90432, 203B West Duke Bldg, Durham, NC 27708

Selected Presentations & Appearances


Beyond Libet · December 7, 2013 Lecture Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
What Will We Learn from Obama's Brain Initiative? · December 6, 2013 Lecture New York University
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · November 14, 2013 Lecture University of Houston
MOOCs at Duke · November 13, 2013 Lecture Houston, TX
Does Neuroscience Undermine Responsibility? · November 10, 2013 Lecture University of Houston, University of Houston
Beyond Libet · December 7, 2013 Lecture Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
What Will We Learn from Obama's Brain Initiative? · December 6, 2013 Lecture New York University
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · November 14, 2013 Lecture University of Houston
MOOCs at Duke · November 13, 2013 Lecture Houston, TX
Does Neuroscience Undermine Responsibility? · November 10, 2013 Lecture University of Houston, University of Houston
Scrupulosity and Moral Judgment · November 4, 2013 Lecture UNC Chapel Hill
Moral Enhancement · October 28, 2013 Lecture Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University
Consciousness after Severe Brain Damage · October 18, 2013 Lecture Trent Center for Bioethics, Duke University
Are Moral Judgments Unifiied? · October 4, 2013 Lecture Philosophy Department, Duke University
Are Psychopaths Morally Responsible? · September 30, 2013 Lecture University of Syracuse
Does Neuroscience Undermine Moral Responsibility? · September 29, 2013 Lecture Syracuse University
MOOCs for Graduate Students · September 27, 2013 Lecture Washington Duke Inn, Duke University
Moral Conformity · September 16, 2013 Lecture College of Charleston
Brains on Trial · September 11, 2013 Lecture Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University
Neuroscience and Society · July 13, 2013 Lecture Squaw Creek Resort, Lake Tahoe, CA
Moral Conformity · June 19, 2013 Lecture University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
The Science of Psychopathy · June 11, 2013 Lecture Broad Street Café, Durham
MOOCs at Duke · June 1, 2013 Lecture Washington, DC
Scrupulous Judgments · May 18, 2013 Lecture University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Does Neuroscience Undermine Responsibility? · May 14, 2013 Lecture Georgia State University, Atlanta
Eye-tracking Studies of Moral Judgment · May 4, 2013 Lecture Brown University, Providence
My MOOC · April 26, 2013 Lecture Duke University
Are our Decisions Free? · April 26, 2013 Lecture D-CIDES, Duke University
Eye-tracking Studies of Moral Judgment · April 23, 2013 Lecture Duke University
My MOOC · April 19, 2013 Lecture Duke University
MOOCs at Duke · April 18, 2013 Lecture Duke University
Will MOOCs Destroy Small Colleges? · April 5, 2013 Lecture Washington College, Maryland
Religion and Morality · April 2, 2013 Lecture Duke University
MOOCs at Duke · April 2, 2013 Lecture Duke Law School
Scrupulosity and Responsibility · March 30, 2013 Lecture San Francisco
Love Drugs · March 27, 2013 Lecture Duke University
Questions for Haidt · March 19, 2013 Lecture Duke University
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · March 15, 2013 Lecture University of Delaware
Neuroethics · March 5, 2013 Lecture LSRC
Barking Up the Wrong Free · January 12, 2013 Lecture Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · December 5, 2012 Lecture University of Puerto Rico
Does Neuroscience Undermine Responsibility? · December 4, 2012 Lecture University of Puerto Rico
Neuroprediction of Criminal Violence · December 3, 2012 Lecture University of Puerto Rico
Moral Psychology · November 28, 2012 Lecture
Psychopaths · November 7, 2012 Lecture Duke University
Is Morality Unified? · October 29, 2012 Lecture
Using Neuroscience to Predict Risk of Crime · October 28, 2012 Lecture Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
Are Addicts Responsible? · October 21, 2012 Lecture University of North Florida
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · October 20, 2012 Lecture University of North Florida
Does Neuroscience Undermine Responsibility? · October 19, 2012 Lecture University of North Florida
Why is Killing Wrong? · October 9, 2012 Lecture University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
Moral Disagreements with Psychopaths · July 9, 2012 Lecture Purdue University
Is Morality Unified? · June 19, 2012 Lecture University of Michigan
Psychopathy · June 14, 2012 Lecture Duke Hospital
Are Moral Judgments Unified? · June 9, 2012 Lecture Amsterdam
Neuroethics · April 19, 2012 Lecture Davidson College
Contrastivism · April 19, 2012 Lecture Davidson College
Are Moral Judgments Unified? · March 31, 2012 Lecture New York University
Meet a Psychopath · February 2, 2012 Lecture University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Future of Moral Psychology · January 28, 2012 Lecture University of California, Riverside
Libet and Free Will · January 14, 2012 Lecture Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL
Moral Psychology and the Disunity of Morality · December 14, 2011 Lecture National Institutes of Health, Washington, DC
Is He Conscious? Does He Want To Be? · December 9, 2011 Lecture Duke University Medical School, Trent Center for Bioethics
Ethics and Life · December 8, 2011 Lecture Brownstone Dormitory, Duke University
Neurolaw · December 3, 2011 Lecture Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
Scanning for Consciousness: PVS and the End of Life · November 22, 2011 Lecture National Institutes of Health, Washington, DC
It's Not My Fault · November 14, 2011 Lecture University of Chicago Law School
Psychopathy and Neurporediction · November 7, 2011 Lecture National Institutes of Health, Washington, DC
Comment on Jamieson on Climate Change · October 29, 2011 Lecture Duke University
Addiction and Degrees of Freedom and Responsibility · October 13, 2011 Lecture Duke University Medical School
Knobish Studies · October 7, 2011 Lecture City University of New York, Graduate Center
Is Morality Unified? No, say Buddhists · October 7, 2011 Lecture Ciolumbia University
Neurolaw · September 16, 2011 Lecture University of San Diego Law School
Morality and Religion · September 11, 2011 Lecture Ethical Humanist Society of the Triangle, Chapel Hill
Brain Scans at the End of Life · September 9, 2011 Lecture University of Wisconsin, Madison
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · September 8, 2011 Lecture University of Wisconsin, Madison
Do Psychopaths Make Moral Judgments? · July 26, 2011 Lecture Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Degrees of Control and Responsibility · July 21, 2011 Lecture Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Neuroscience and Responsibility · July 16, 2011 Lecture Federal Court of Australia, Sydney Australia
The Verdict on Neurolaw in Australia · July 16, 2011 Lecture Federal Court of Australia, Sydney Australia
Does Neuroscince Undermine Free Will or Moral Responsibility? · July 14, 2011 Lecture Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Are Moral Judgments Unified? · July 7, 2011 Lecture Australasian Association of Philosophers, Dunedin, New Zealand
Making Psychopaths Moral · June 23, 2011 Lecture Stockholm, Swededn
An Empirical Challenge to Moral Intuitionism · June 17, 2011 Lecture Purdue University, Indiana
A Contrastivist Manifesto · June 17, 2011 Lecture Purdue University, Indiana
Are Addicts Responsible? · June 15, 2011 Lecture PUC-Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · June 14, 2011 Lecture PUC-Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Does Neuroscince Undermine Free Will or Moral Responsibility? · June 13, 2011 Lecture PUC-Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Constrastivism about Freedom · June 9, 2011 Lecture Groupo Hume at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
The Future of Neuroethics · June 9, 2011 Lecture Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Does Neuroscince Undermine Free Will or Moral Responsibility? · June 8, 2011 Lecture Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Contrastivism and Skepticism in Moral Epistemology · June 7, 2011 Lecture Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Do Psychopaths Make Moral Judgments? · May 18, 2011 Lecture Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
Making Psychopaths Moral · May 13, 2011 Lecture University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Welcome · May 10, 2011 Lecture Duke University School of Law
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · May 7, 2011 Lecture Riga, Latvia
Do Psychopaths Make Moral Judgments? · May 5, 2011 Lecture York University, Toronto, Canada
What Is Social Neuroscience? What Should It Be? · April 28, 2011 Lecture Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University
Neurolaw · April 28, 2011 Lecture Duke University
Capabilities and Mental Illness: A Comment on Sen · April 1, 2011 Lecture University of California, San Diego
Brain Scans at the End of Life · March 19, 2011 Lecture Undergraduate Bioethics Conference, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Neuroscience and Criminal Responsibility · March 17, 2011 Lecture Duke University
Are Moral Judgments Unified? · March 4, 2011 Lecture Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN
Does Neuroscince Undermine Free Will or Moral Responsibility? · March 3, 2011 Lecture Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN
Are Moral Judgments Unified? · February 26, 2011 Lecture North Carolina Philosophical Society, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Do Psychopaths Make Moral Judgments? · February 24, 2011 Lecture Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke
Brain Scans at the End of Life · February 10, 2011 Lecture Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas
Morality and Religion · January 28, 2011 Lecture Duke University
Brain Scans at the End of Life · December 17, 2010 Lecture ELSI group in Taipei, Taiwan
Neuroprediction · December 14, 2010 Lecture National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Downward Mental Causation · December 10, 2010 Lecture National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan
Ethical Issues Raised by Neuroscience and Law · December 8, 2010 Lecture National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · December 7, 2010 Lecture National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Is Morality Unified in the Brain? · December 3, 2010 Lecture National Chengchi Univeristy, Taipei, Taiwan
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · December 2, 2010 Lecture National Chengchi Univeristy, Taipei, Taiwan
Brain Scans at the End of Life · November 30, 2010 Lecture National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · November 24, 2010 Lecture National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan
Is Morality Unified in the Brain? · November 22, 2010 Lecture National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Neuroscientific Evidence in the Law · November 19, 2010 Lecture National Taiwan University, Taipei
Ciomment on Morse · November 18, 2010 Lecture National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Downward Mental Causation · November 4, 2010 Lecture University of Califormnia at Santa Barbara
Insanity Defenses · October 21, 2010 Lecture University of Texas at Austin Law School
Do Psychopaths Make Moral Judgmetns? · October 11, 2010 Lecture UNC Chapel Hill Social Psychology
Are Moral Judgments Unified? · October 3, 2010 Lecture Davidson College retreat
Downward Mental Causation · October 2, 2010 Lecture Davidson College retreat
Do Psychopaths Make Moral Judgmetns? · October 2, 2010 Lecture Davidson College retreat
Free Contrastivism · October 1, 2010 Lecture Davidson College retreat
Morality in the Brain · September 30, 2010 Lecture Love Auditorium, Duke
Neurolaw: A Perspctive from the United States · September 17, 2010 Lecture Milan, Italy
Neuroprediction · September 13, 2010 Lecture
Neuroprediction · September 13, 2010 Lecture
Do Psychopaths Make Moral Judgmetns? · August 8, 2010 Lecture University of Colorado at Boulder
Is Morality Unified? · June 9, 2010 Lecture Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon
Is Addiction a Disease? · May 26, 2010 Lecture Oxford Uehiro Centre
Are Addicts Responsible? · May 25, 2010 Lecture Oxford
Neuroprediction · May 21, 2010 Lecture Santa Barbara
Moral Psychology and Philosophy · May 19, 2010 Lecture Science Network at Oxford
Does Religion Undermine Compromise? · May 18, 2010 Lecture Oxford
Comment on Pickard and Pearce · May 13, 2010 Lecture Oxford
Ethical Issues Raised by Neuroscience and Law · May 6, 2010 Lecture Glasgow, Scotland
Is Morality Unified? · April 16, 2010 Lecture Harvard University
Juicing the Jury · April 13, 2010 Lecture UNC Chapel Hill
Comment on Sandel · April 12, 2010 Lecture UNC Chapel Hill
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · April 8, 2010 Lecture Elmhust College
Moral Wording · March 21, 2010 Lecture Princeton Moral Psychology Research Group
Is Morality Unified in the Brain? · March 20, 2010 Lecture Princeton Moral Psychology Research Group
Is Morality Unified? · March 19, 2010 Lecture Holy Cross College
Neurolaw · March 11, 2010 Lecture Harvard Law School Petrie-Flom Center, Federal Judicial College
Are Psychopaths Responsible? · February 13, 2010 Lecture Technical University of Delft, Holland
Implications of Neuroscience for Legal Decisionmaking · February 1, 2010 Lecture American Enterprise Institute

Outreach & Engaged Scholarship


Bass Connections Team Leader - How to Build Ethics into Artificial Intelligence · 2020 - 2021 Projects & Field Work Brain & Society
Bass Connections Team Leader - How to Build Ethics into Robust Artificial Intelligence · 2019 - 2020 Projects & Field Work Brain & Society
Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader - How to Cure Political Polarization by Asking Questions · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Education & Human Development

Incivility and antagonism infect our political and online cultures. One promising remedy is to construct a culture of questioning, where people ask and answer questions about each other’s views and reasons instead of parodying and abusing each other. Most people today discuss controversial moral and political issues only among like-minded allies who do not press challenging questions. When we do ask opponents about their views, the answers are often slogans and quips that entrench stands, antagonize opponents and exacerbate disagreements. Luckily, some recent studies suggest that people who are regularly called upon to answer the right kinds of questions will exhibit greater intellectual humility and be more likely to participate constructively in public discussions. But which questions are the right questions for encouraging mutual appreciation and understanding?

Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - Moral Artificial Intelligence · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Brain & Society

Autonomous agents are beginning to interact with humans on a regular basis. For example, self-driving cars are appearing on local streets where many people drive, and various types of drones are flying through skies over populated areas. These autonomous agents have promise to provide many services that will benefit society, but they also raise significant concerns. The goal of this project is to combine computational methods, philosophy, game theory and psychology to develop a robust moral artificial intelligence (“moral AI”) to direct autonomous agents.

Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - How to Ask Questions · August 2017 - May 2018 Projects & Field Work flag United States of America
Bass Connections Team Leader - How to Build Ethics into Artificial Intelligence · 2020 - 2021 Projects & Field Work Brain & Society
Bass Connections Team Leader - How to Build Ethics into Robust Artificial Intelligence · 2019 - 2020 Projects & Field Work Brain & Society
Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader - How to Cure Political Polarization by Asking Questions · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Education & Human Development

Incivility and antagonism infect our political and online cultures. One promising remedy is to construct a culture of questioning, where people ask and answer questions about each other’s views and reasons instead of parodying and abusing each other. Most people today discuss controversial moral and political issues only among like-minded allies who do not press challenging questions. When we do ask opponents about their views, the answers are often slogans and quips that entrench stands, antagonize opponents and exacerbate disagreements. Luckily, some recent studies suggest that people who are regularly called upon to answer the right kinds of questions will exhibit greater intellectual humility and be more likely to participate constructively in public discussions. But which questions are the right questions for encouraging mutual appreciation and understanding?

Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - Moral Artificial Intelligence · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Brain & Society

Autonomous agents are beginning to interact with humans on a regular basis. For example, self-driving cars are appearing on local streets where many people drive, and various types of drones are flying through skies over populated areas. These autonomous agents have promise to provide many services that will benefit society, but they also raise significant concerns. The goal of this project is to combine computational methods, philosophy, game theory and psychology to develop a robust moral artificial intelligence (“moral AI”) to direct autonomous agents.

Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - How to Ask Questions · August 2017 - May 2018 Projects & Field Work flag United States of America
Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - How to Build Ethics into Robust Artificial Intelligence · August 2017 - May 2018 Projects & Field Work flag United States of America
Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - Tact, Touch and Proprioception: The Culture and Neuroscience of Touch · August 2014 - May 2015 Projects & Field Work flag United States of America

Service to the Profession


Acting Chair of the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association · April 27, 2013 - May 18, 2013 Event/Organization Administration
Chair : Search Committee for new executive director of APA · December 11, 2012 Other
Organizer : Organized panel at meeting of ISUS (International Society for Utilitarian Studies) · August 10, 2012 Event/Organization Administration New York University
Chair of the Hiring Committee for a new Executive Director of the American Philosophical Association · November 20, 2011 Event/Organization Administration
Organized workshop on Dale Jamieson's book manuscript on global warming · July 1, 2011 Event/Organization Administration
Acting Chair of the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association · April 27, 2013 - May 18, 2013 Event/Organization Administration
Chair : Search Committee for new executive director of APA · December 11, 2012 Other
Organizer : Organized panel at meeting of ISUS (International Society for Utilitarian Studies) · August 10, 2012 Event/Organization Administration New York University
Chair of the Hiring Committee for a new Executive Director of the American Philosophical Association · November 20, 2011 Event/Organization Administration
Organized workshop on Dale Jamieson's book manuscript on global warming · July 1, 2011 Event/Organization Administration
Experimental Epistemology · April 20, 2011 Event/Organization Administration
Organized meeting of the Moral Psychology Research Group · 2011 Event/Organization Administration Duke University
Vice-chair of Board of Officers of American Philosophical Assoc. · December 9, 2010 Event/Organization Administration
Edited book series Philosophy in Action for Oxford University Press · December 9, 2010 Other
Executive Committee of Eastern Division of APA · December 9, 2010 Event/Organization Administration
Vice-Chair of the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association · 2010 - 2013 Event/Organization Administration
Referee for numerous articles and grant applications · 2010 Event/Organization Administration
Elected Member of the Executive Committee of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association · 2009 - 2012 Event/Organization Administration

Service to Duke


Bass Connections Faculty Advisory Council (Program) · 2016 - 2019 Committee Service
Bass Connections Theme Leader (Brain & Society) · 2016 - 2019 Curriculum Innovations