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Matthew Talbert



  • Ethics 
  • Moral Psychology 
  • Philosophy of Agency

Research Interests

Dr. Talbert's research attempts to uncover the metaphysical, psychological, and social conditions of free will and moral responsibility. In a series of recent papers, he argues that wrongdoers are sometimes open to moral blame even if it was not reasonable to expect them to respond appropriately to the moral considerations that counted against their behavior. He develops this claim by considering cases of wrongdoers who, in different ways, do not believe that they do wrong: psychopaths, war criminals, and those exposed to objectionable moral values from a young age. Dr. Talbert recently wrote an introductory text on moral responsibility (Moral Responsibility: An Introduction; Polity, 2016) and co-authored a book on the moral psychology and moral culpability of war criminals (War Crimes: Causes, Excuses, Blame; Oxford, 2019).

Selected Publications

“The Attributionist Approach to Moral Luck,” Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (2019): 24-41.

“Omission and Attribution Error,” Dana Nelkin and Samuel Rickless (eds), The Ethics and Law of Omissions (Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 17-35.

“Akrasia, Awareness, and Blameworthiness,” Philip Robichaud and Jan Willem Wieland (eds), Responsibility: The Epistemic Condition (Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 47-63.

“The Significance of Psychopathic Wrongdoing,” Thomas Schramme (ed), Being Amoral: Psychopathy and Moral Incapacity (MIT Press, 2104), pp. 275-300.

“Unwitting Wrongdoers and the Role of Moral Disagreement in Blame,” David Shoemaker (ed), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 225-245.

“Accountability, Aliens, and Psychopaths: A Reply to Shoemaker,” Ethics 122 (2012): 562-74.

“Praise and Prevention,” Philosophical Explorations 15 (2012): 47-61.

“Moral Competence, Moral Blame, and Protest,” The Journal of Ethics 16 (2012): 89-109.

“Blame and Responsiveness to Moral Reasons: Are Psychopaths Blameworthy?” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2008): 516-35


  • PHIL 100: Introduction to Problems in Philosophy 
  • PHIL 260: Introduction to Symbolic Logic 
  • PHIL 321: Ethical Theory 
  • PHIL 325: Philosophy of Law 
  • PHIL 493: Free Will