Caroline T. Arruda, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Areas of Research Specializataion: Ethics (esp. Metaethics), Philosophy of Action, Political Philosophy

Areas of Competence: Feminist Philosophy, Bioethics


Academic webpage:


Spring/Summer 2016     Guest Researcher, Center for the Study of MInd in Nature (CSMN) & Dept. of Philosophy, The University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway



Forthcoming. Arruda, Caroline. "Why Care About Being An Agent?" Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

2016. Arruda,Caroline. “Constitutivism and the Self-Reflection Requirement.”  Philosophia. doi: 10.1007/s11406-016-9744-5

2016.  Arruda, Caroline. “What Kind of Theory is the Humean Theory of Motivation?” Ratio. doi: 10.1111/rati.12145

2016. Arruda, Caroline. "The Varieties of Moral Improvement, or Why Metaethical Constructivism Must Explain Moral Progress." Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. doi: 10.1007/s10677-016-9738-1.

2016.   Arruda,Caroline. “What We Can Intend.” The Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (1): 5-26

2015.   Arruda, Caroline. “Shared Intention and Reasons for Action.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences. 45 (6): 596-623.

2015.    Arruda,Caroline and Daniel J. Povinelli. “Chimps as Secret Agents.” Synthese 193: 2129-2158.

-I am first author and corresponding author on this paper.

2006. Arruda, Caroline.  “Limitations on the Political,” Radical Philosophy Review. Vol. 9 (2).


2016.  Arruda, Caroline. “From Individual to Collective Intentionality.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences. Vol. 46 (3): 318- 331.

- This is a review essay of  From Individual to Collective Intentionality: New Essays, eds.Sara Rachel Chant, Frank Hindriks, and Gerhard Preyer (Oxford University Press). 

2014.  Arruda, Caroline. Review of Margaret Gilbert’s Joint Commitment: How We Make the Social World.  Ethics 25 (1) 258-262.

2003.  Arruda, Caroline.  Review in Stony Brook University’s Humanities Institute Newsletter of Seyla Benhabib’s                     “On Hospitality: From Kant to Derrida and to International Law”.


2009.  “Decollations” byJulia Kristeva in Psychoanalysis, Aesthetics, and Politics in the Work ofJulia Kristeva. Eds. Kelly               Oliver and S.K.Keltner. SUNY Press.


Forthcoming    Reed-Sandoval,Amy and Caroline Arruda. “Editors’ Introduction: Engaging Latin American,Latin@ and Chican@ Students in Philosophy” Forthcoming issue of the APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy.

2003                Arruda,Caroline. Review in Stony Brook University’s Humanities Institute Newsletter ofSeyla Benhabib’s “On Hospitality: From Kant to Derrida and to InternationalLaw”

MANUSCRIPTS UNDER REVIEW (titles omitted to facilitate blind refereeing) 

A paper about the metaethical status of moral facts about suffering 

A paper about the Humean theory of motivation (Revise & Resubmit)

-A co-authored paper about acting for reasons


Enriching Practical Reason 

Abstract: I focus on an underappreciated problem with the idealized picture of practical reason. My aim is to provide an account of the nature of attitudes such as endorsements, commitments and the upshots of the process of self-reflection that do not typically figure in an idealized pictureof the practically rational agent and are often thought to undermine practical deliberation. My suggestion is that a better understanding of the nature ofthese attitudes—namely, their distinctive features—will demonstrate that they do not hinder practical reason; they actually enrich it, given their ubiquity in the lives of actual agents.


“Normative Reasons,Deliberation and the Wide-Scope of Rationality” (In preparation for Reason,Rights and Law: New Essays on Kantian PoliticalPhilosophy, Eds.Alice Pinheiro Walla and Ruhi Demiray)

“Ideal Agents and Minimum Agents”

“Shared Goals, Shared Intention and Circularity”

“Moral Status and Moral Realism”

“The Sufficient Conditions for Species-Specific Agency”(with Daniel J. Povinelli)

“Normative Reasons, Moral Particularism and Future Commitments”

“What is Agential Failure?”

“Why (Some) Beliefs Motivate”

“Agency, Personhood and the Metaethical Grounds of Moral Status”

“Commitments and Practical Reason” (for monograph)

“Others' Expectations, Self-Constitution and Practical Reason” (for monograph)

“Endorsements and Practical Reason” (for monograph)


Sept. 2016. “Normative Reasons, Deliberation and theWide-Scope of Rationality,” Biannual Meeting of the Italian Society forAnalytic Philosophy (SIFA), Università degli Studi di Firenze, PoloUniversitario (UNISER), Pistoia, Italy    

Sept. 2015, “Commitments and Practical Reason,”Workshop on Practical Reason: Constraints and Vulnerability, European Network for Practical Reason & Normative Psychology, University of Oslo,Oslo, Norway

August 2015. “Agency, Personhood and the Metaethical Groundsof Moral Status” for 9th Annual European Consortiumon Political Research (ECPR) General Conference, Section: Kantian Approaches to Rights, Sub-Section: Metaphysical Aspects of Rights, Université de Montréal,Montréal, Canada

August 2015 .“Commitments and Practical Reason,” Poster Presentation, Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress (RoME), University ofColorado, Boulder

June 2015, "Others' Expectations,Self-Constitution and Practical Reason," 6th Meeting onEthics and Political Philosophy, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal

June 2015, "The Varieties of Moral Improvement, or Why Constructivism Must Explain Moral Progress," at the conference "Moral Progress: Concept, Measurement and Application," Vrije Universiteit-Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Sponsored by the journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

Oct. 2014, “The Humean Theory of Motivation:Psychological or Metaphysical?”, 68th Annual Mountain-PlainsPhilosophy Conference, University of Nevada-Reno

Sept. 2014. "Sharing Goals and Sharing Intentions,"Collective Intentionality IX Conference, Indiana University-Bloomington

Sept. 2014. "Constitutivism and the Self-ReflectionRequirement," on the panel "Constitutivist Accounts of Agency: A New Foundation for Morality?," 8th Annual European Consortium on Political Research (ECPR) General Conference, University of Glasgow

Aug. 2014 “Phenomenal Well-Being, Suffering and Full Information Accounts of the Good,” Poster Presentation, Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress (RoME), University of Colorado, Boulder

April 2014. "Shared Intention and Reasons forAction," American Philosophical Association (APA), Pacific Division, Main Program, Refereed Submitted Symposium Session. San Diego, CA

August 2012. “Can We Choose Not To Be Agents? Should We?”,Poster Presentation, Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress (RoME), University of Colorado, Boulder

April 2012. “Ideal Agency and Minimum Agency,” AmericanPhilosophical Association (APA), Pacific Division Meeting, Main Program, Refereed Submitted Symposium Session, Seattle, WA

August 2011. “Agents, Ideal and Otherwise,” Poste rPresentation, Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress (RoME), University of ColoradoBoulder (Note: unable to attend conference due to illness)

June 2011.“Agents, Ideal and Otherwise,” Workshop for Pre-tenure Women in Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA

August 2009. “By Reason and Reason Alone: Do Present Actions Necessitate Future Commitments?,” Poster Presentation, Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress (RoME), University of Colorado Boulder

February 2009. “Are Relations of Recognition Instances of Collective Intentionality?,” American Philosophical Association (APA), Central Division Meeting, Main Program, Colloquium Session, Chicago, IL


June 2016. “Moral Status and Moral Realism,” Normative Disagreement Workshop, The University of Oslo, Center for the Student of Mind in Nature (CSMN) and Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

April 2016, “Agency and the Metaethical Foundations of Moral Status” Keynote Address, Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) Graduate and Undergraduate Conference, Department of Philosophy, The University ofKansas

Nov. 2015 “Two Ways of Acting for Reasons” (with Daniel J. Povinelli), Works in Progress Colloquium, Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology (PNP) Program, Washington University-St.Louis, St. Louis, MO

April 2015, Commentary on the Refereed Colloquium Paper "On the Very Possibility of a Searlian Collective Intention," Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Vancouver, BC,Canada

Oct. 2014, "The Metaethical Problem of Suffering",Center for Values and Social Policy, The Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado-Boulder

Sept. 2013, "Shared Intention and Reasons for Action," The Department of Philosophy, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM


March 2017. Comments on “Unplanned Shared Agency” by David K. Chan, American Philosophical Association (APA), Central Division Meeting, Main Program, Colloquium Session, Kansas City, MO

Sept. 2016. Comments on “Causal Proportions and Moral Responsibility " by Sara Bernstein, Collective Intentionality and the Law, Universitat Pompeu Fabra,Barcelona, Spain

Aug. 2015, Comments on "Collective Responsibility in a Mexican Standoff" by Sara Rachel Chant at the Annual Rocky Mt. Ethics Congress (RoME), the University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO

Aug. 2014. Comments on Eden Lin’s “Humeanism and DesireSatisfaction” at the Annual Rocky Mt. Ethics Congress (RoME), The University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO

May 2014. Comments on Alex Worsnip’s “TheIrrelevance of Evidence (to Rationality)” at the St. Louis Conference on Reason and Rationality, St Louis, MO (sponsored by Washington University-St. Louis and University of Missouri-St Louis)

April 2014. Comments on Jean-Paul Vessel’s Moore’s Open Question Phenomenon Explained—Naturalistically” at the New Mexico Texas Society’s Annual Conference, UTEP.

Aug. 2012. Comments on Charlie Kurth’s “On Moral Motivation: Internalism, Externalism, or Spoils to theVictor?” Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress (RoME), University of Colorado, Boulder

Aug. 2009. Comments on Sharon Sytsma’s “The Best and Most Irrefutable Ethical Internalism,” Annual Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress(RoME), University of Colorado, Boulder


Principal Investigator, Provost’s Arts and Humanities Career Grant for project “Agency: Theoretical, Empirical and Moral Dimensions,” The University of Texas at El Paso (Externally refereed and internally refereed), Grant Period: January 1, 2013-December 31,2013; Total Amount Requested and Approved: $9,250

Principal Investigator, University ResearchInitiative Grant for project “Are Non-Human Primates Agents?”, The University of Texas at El Paso (Internally refereed), Grant Period:January 30, 2012-August 3, 2013; Total Amount Requested and Approved:$5,000


Journal Referee

American Philosophical Quarterly (x1)

Australasian Journal of Philosophy (x1)


Ethical Perspectives (x1)

European Journal of Political Theory (x1)

Journal of the American Philosophical Association (x1)

Res Philosophica (x1)

Social Theory and Practice (x2)

Synthese (x5)

The Philosophy of the Social Sciences (x2)

Topoi (x1)


Academic Press Referee

Broadview Press; Oxford University Press

Conference Referee

New Mexico West Texas Philosophical Society (x3); Societyfor the Metaphysics of Science (x1)

Session Chair (by invitation)

April 2016 Chaired Session at the Chambers Conference (“Metaethics and Practical Reason”),The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

May 2014 Chaired Session at the St. Louis Conference on Reasons and Rationality,Washington University-St. Louis and the University ofMissouri-St Louis, St. Louis, MO

Panel Chair (by invitation)

August 2015 Panel chair of panel “Metaphysical Aspects of Rights” for 9th Annual European Consortium on Political Research (ECPR) General Conference, Section:Rights- Kantian Approaches, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

American Philosophical Association

Society for the Philosophy of Agency

Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology

International Social Ontology Society

European Network for Practical Reason & Normative Psychology

Areas of Specialization:
Ethics (esp. Metaethics), Philosophy of Action, Political Philosophy

Department of Philosophy
College of Liberal Arts
University of Texas at El Paso
Worrell Hall 306
El Paso, TX 79968