Timothy Allan Schroeder



Rice University

I joined Rice's Philosophy Department in the summer of 2015. My work is primarily in ethics, and especially in moral psychology (desire, addiction, moral responsibility, deliberation), and then also in the philosophy of mind (desire, mental representation, concepts, consciousness).

I wrote a dissertation on the nature of mental representation at Stanford University under Fred Dretske, way back in 1998. But those ideas didn't go far, and so I turned to thinking about the nature of desire (wants, wishes) from a similarly naturalistic starting point. Now I'm the author of a book on the nature of desire, Three Faces of Desire (2004: Oxford University Press), of which I am more than reasonably proud. More reasonable is being proud of the book Nomy Arpaly and I published, titled In Praise of Desire (2014: OUP). It's on acting for reasons, desiring, and virtue, mainly, and to a lesser extent on deliberation, inner struggle, addiction, love, care, thinking for reasons, pleasure, moral ignorance, and the souls of people who play violent video games. That book puts together my work on desire with Nomy's work on praise- and blameworthiness, and the result is, I hope, pretty darn neat. These days, I've returned to a long-stalled book project tentatively titled Reasons from Atoms, the goal of which is to explain the (low-level) neuroscience of action to philosophers, and propose some interpretations of that neuroscience. The book itself will probably have to wait a little longer, since my son takes about 80% of all available mental and emotional energies -- but it's definitely the case that IF I were writing, that's what I'd be writing about.

As a teacher, I can typically be found teaching Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Cognitive Science (we call it: The Sciences of the Mind), Philosophy of Mind, Moral Psychology, the History of Asian Philosophy, and graduate seminars on responsibility, rationality, and related topics.

Right now, I'm also the Chair of the Department of Philosophy here at Rice. I'm surprised to find that I sort of like being Chair! It's like the rest of the department invited me to indulge my enthusiasms for order and system, along with my enthusiasm for telling people how great philosophy can be (sometimes, through pie charts), and indulging these enthusiasms has so far been pretty productive.


e-mail: timothy.allan.schroeder at gmail dot com