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  1. added 2018-12-19
    No Harm Done? An Experimental Approach to the Non-Identity Problem.Matthew Kopec & Justin P. Bruner - manuscript
    A driving force behind much of the literature on the non-identity problem is the widely shared intuition that actions or policies that change who comes into existence don't, as a result, lose their morally problematic features. We hypothesize that this intuition isn’t entirely shared by the general public, which might have widespread implications concerning how to best motivate public support for large-scale, identity-affecting policies like those involved in climate change mitigation. To test our hypothesis, we ran a behavioural economic experiment, (...)
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  2. added 2018-12-17
    Remembering Moral and Immoral Actions in Constructing the Self.Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne & Felipe De Brigard - forthcoming - Memory and Cognition.
    Having positive moral traits is central to one’s sense of self, and people generally are motivated to maintain a positive view of the self in the present. But it remains unclear how people foster a positive, morally good view of the self in the present. We suggest that recollecting and reflecting on moral and immoral actions from the personal past jointly help to construct a morally good view of the current self in complementary ways. More specifically, across four studies we (...)
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  3. added 2018-10-22
    The Varieties of Impartiality, or, Would an Egalitarian Endorse the Veil?Justin P. Bruner & Matthew Lindauer - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Social contract theorists often take the ideal contract to be the agreement or bargain individuals would make in some privileged choice situation (i.e., an ‘original position’). Recently, experimental philosophers have explored this kind of decision-making in the lab. One rather robust finding is that the exact circumstances of choice significantly affect the kinds of social arrangements experimental subjects (almost) unanimously endorse. Yet prior work has largely ignored the question of which of the many competing descriptions of the original position subjects (...)
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  4. added 2018-10-15
    Review of A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming by Michael Northcott. [REVIEW]W. Malcolm Byrnes - 2010 - Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 4:499-501.
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  5. added 2018-07-16
    Who's Afraid of Trolleys?Antti Kauppinen - 2019 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Lontoo, Yhdistynyt kuningaskunta:
    Recent empirical studies of philosophers by Eric Schwitzgebel and others have seriously called into question whether professional ethicists have any useful expertise with thought experiments, given that their intuitions appear to be no more reliable than those of lay subjects. Drawing on such results, sceptics like Edouard Machery argue that normative ethics as it is currently practiced is deeply problematic. In this paper, I present two main arguments in defense of the standard methodology of normative ethics. First, there is strong (...)
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  6. added 2018-06-27
    When Do Circumstances Excuse? Moral Prejudices and Beliefs About the True Self Drive Preferences for Agency-Minimizing Explanations.Simon Cullen - 2018 - Cognition 180:165-181.
    When explaining human actions, people usually focus on a small subset of potential causes. What leads us to prefer certain explanations for valenced actions over others? The present studies indicate that our moral attitudes often predict our explanatory preferences far better than our beliefs about how causally sensitive actions are to features of the actor's environment. Study 1 found that high-prejudice participants were much more likely to endorse non-agential explanations of an erotic same-sex encounter, such as that one of the (...)
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  7. added 2017-08-10
    From Punishment to Universalism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Many philosophers have claimed that the folk endorse moral universalism. Some have taken the folk view to support moral universalism; others have taken the folk view to reflect a deep confusion. And while some empirical evidence supports the claim that the folk endorse moral universalism, this work has uncovered intra-domain differences in folk judgments of moral universalism. In light of all this, our question is: why do the folk endorse moral universalism? Our hypothesis is that folk judgments of moral universalism (...)
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  8. added 2016-12-08
    Reliable but Not Home Free? What Framing Effects Mean for Moral Intuitions.James Andow - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (6):904-911.
    Various studies show moral intuitions to be susceptible to framing effects. Many have argued that this susceptibility is a sign of unreliability and that this poses a methodological challenge for moral philosophy. Recently, doubt has been cast on this idea. It has been argued that extant evidence of framing effects does not show that moral intuitions have an unreliability problem. I argue that, even if the extant evidence suggests that moral intuitions are fairly stable with respect to what intuitions we (...)
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  9. added 2016-11-29
    The True Self: A Psychological Concept Distinct From the Self.Nina Strohminger, Joshua Knobe & George Newman - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    A long tradition of psychological research has explored the distinction between characteristics that are part of the self and those that lie outside of it. Recently, a surge of research has begun examining a further distinction. Even among characteristics that are internal to the self, people pick out a subset as belonging to the true self. These factors are judged as making people who they really are, deep down. In this paper, we introduce the concept of the true self and (...)
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  10. added 2016-11-29
    Normality: Part Descriptive, Part Prescriptive.Adam Bear & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognition 167:25-37.
    People’s beliefs about normality play an important role in many aspects of cognition and life (e.g., causal cognition, linguistic semantics, cooperative behavior). But how do people determine what sorts of things are normal in the first place? Past research has studied both people’s representations of statistical norms (e.g., the average) and their representations of prescriptive norms (e.g., the ideal). Four studies suggest that people’s notion of normality incorporates both of these types of norms. In particular, people’s representations of what is (...)
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  11. added 2016-11-16
    True Happiness: The Role of Morality in the Folk Concept of Happiness.Jonathan Phillips, Christian Mott, Julian De Freitas, June Gruber & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 146 (2):165-181.
    Recent scientific research has settled on a purely descriptive definition of happiness that is focused solely on agents’ psychological states (high positive affect, low negative affect, high life satisfaction). In contrast to this understanding, recent research has suggested that the ordinary concept of happiness is also sensitive to the moral value of agents’ lives. Five studies systematically investigate and explain the impact of morality on ordinary assessments of happiness. Study 1 demonstrates that moral judgments influence assessments of happiness not only (...)
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  12. added 2015-11-30
    Ought, Can, and Presupposition: A Reply to Kurthy and Lawford-Smith.Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - Methode 4 (6):250-256.
    I report the results of a follow-up study, designed to address concerns raised by Kurthy and Lawford-Smith in response to my original study on intuitions about moral obligation (ought) and ability (can). Like the results of the original study, the results of the follow-up study do not support the hypothesis that OIC is intuitive. The results of both studies suggest that OIC is probably not a principle of ordinary moral cognition. As I have argued in my paper, I take this (...)
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  13. added 2015-10-01
    Virtues, Ecological Momentary Assessment/Intervention and Smartphone Technology.Jason D. Runyan & Ellen Steinke - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology:1-24.
    Virtues, broadly understood as stable and robust dispositions for certain responses across morally relevant situations, have been a growing topic of interest in psychology. A central topic of discussion has been whether studies showing that situations can strongly influence our responses provide evidence against the existence of virtues (as a kind of stable and robust disposition). In this review, we examine reasons for thinking that the prevailing methods for examining situational influences are limited in their ability to test dispositional stability (...)
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  14. added 2015-09-19
    Traditional and Experimental Approaches to Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson & Derk Pereboom - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 142-57.
    Examines the relevance of empirical studies of responsibility judgments for traditional philosophical concerns about free will and moral responsibility. We argue that experimental philosophy is relevant to the traditional debates, but that setting up experiments and interpreting data in just the right way is no less difficult than negotiating traditional philosophical arguments. Both routes are valuable, but so far neither promises a way to secure significant agreement among the competing parties. To illustrate, we focus on three sorts of issues. For (...)
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  15. added 2015-09-19
    The Moral Status of an Action Influences its Perceived Intentional Status in Adolescents with Psychopathic Traits.Elise Cardinale, Elizabeth Finger, Julia Schechter, Ilana Jurkowitz, R. J. R. Blair & Abigail Marsh - 2014 - In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy: Volume 1. Oxford University Press. pp. 131-151.
    Moral judgments about an action are influenced by the action’s intentionality. The reverse is also true: judgments of intentionality can be influenced by an action’s moral valence. For example, respondents judge a harmful side-effect of an intended outcome to be more intentional than a helpful side-effect. Debate continues regarding the mechanisms underlying this “side-effect effect” and the conditions under which it will persist. The research behind this chapter tested whether the side-effect effect is intact in adolescents with psychopathic traits, who (...)
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  16. added 2015-06-25
    Pour une éthique animale descriptive.Nicolas Delon - 2013 - Klesis 27:118-154.
    This article outlines a “descriptive animal ethics” based on the study of people’s intuitions about particular cases, in order to determine which moral theories best comport with those intuitions. I suggest that the latter need not be unreliable since they may be endorsed as considered judgments, and that even if they were, knowing them would still provide relevant information for a complete moral theory concerned with what moral agents can do. I describe a survey in descriptive ethics, discuss the results, (...)
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  17. added 2015-03-09
    Experimentelle Ethik.Nikil Mukerji - 2015 - In Julian Nida-Rümelin, Irina Spiegel & Markus Tiedemann (eds.), Philosophie Und Ethik - Band 2: Disziplinen Und Themen. Utb. pp. 93-101.
    Was tun Philosophen eigentlich, wenn sie Philosophie treiben? Oder besser: Was sollten Philosophen tun, wenn sie Philosophie treiben? Diese Frage ist selbst eine philosophische. Und sie wird seit einigen Jahren wieder mit zunehmender Intensität diskutiert. Dafür ist vor allem eine neue philosophische Bewegung verantwortlich, die man als „experimentelle Philosophie“ oder kurz „ x-phi “ bezeichnet. Anhänger dieser Bewegung glauben, die Philosophie solle sich in Vorgehensweise und Methodik den empirischen Wissenschaften annähern und philosophischen Fragestellungen mithilfe empirischer Tests zu Leibe rücken. Diese (...)
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  18. added 2014-12-08
    Ought, Can, and Presupposition: An Experimental Study.Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - Methode 4 (6):232-243.
    In this paper, I present the results of an experimental study on intuitions about moral obligation (ought) and ability (can). Many philosophers accept as an axiom the principle known as “Ought Implies Can” (OIC). If the truth of OIC is intuitive, such that it is accepted by many philosophers as an axiom, then we would expect people to judge that agents who are unable to perform an action are not morally obligated to perform that action. The results of my experimental (...)
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  19. added 2014-11-07
    Experimental Philosophy and the Compatibility of Free Will and Determinism: A Survey.Florian Cova & Yasuko Kitano - 2014 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 22:17-37.
    The debate over whether free will and determinism are compatible is controversial, and produces wide scholarly discussion. This paper argues that recent studies in experimental philosophy suggest that people are in fact “natural compatibilists”. To support this claim, it surveys the experimental literature bearing directly or indirectly upon this issue, before pointing to three possible limitations of this claim. However, notwithstanding these limitations, the investigation concludes that the existing empirical evidence seems to support the view that most people have compatibilist (...)
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  20. added 2014-11-07
    Ethics and Empirical Psychology.Antti Kauppinen - 2013 - In Markus Christen (ed.), Empirically Informed Ethics. Springer. pp. 279-305.
    In this paper, I examine six arguments concerning or making use of empirical psychological evidence in metaethics and normative ethics. Generally speaking, I find that the ambitious ones fail and the more modest ones ought to moderate their conclusions further.
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  21. added 2014-11-07
    Experimental Philosophy, Clinical Intentions, and Evaluative Judgment.Lynn Jansen, Jessica Fogel & Mark Brubaker - 2013 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 22 (2):126-135.
    Recent empirical work on the concept of intentionality suggests that people’s assessments of whether an action is intentional are subject to uncertainty. Some researchers have gone so far as to claim that different people employ different concepts of intentional action. These possibilities have motivated a good deal of work in the relatively new field of experimental philosophy. The findings from this empirical research may prove to be relevant to medical ethics. -/- In this article, we address this issue head on. (...)
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  22. added 2014-07-18
    Beliefs About the True Self Explain Asymmetries Based on Moral Judgment.George E. Newman, Julian De Freitas & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (1):96-125.
    Past research has identified a number of asymmetries based on moral judgments. Beliefs about what a person values, whether a person is happy, whether a person has shown weakness of will, and whether a person deserves praise or blame seem to depend critically on whether participants themselves find the agent's behavior to be morally good or bad. To date, however, the origins of these asymmetries remain unknown. The present studies examine whether beliefs about an agent's “true self” explain these observed (...)
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  23. added 2014-06-25
    Moral Realism, Moral Disagreement, and Moral Psychology.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):161-190.
    This paper considers John Doris, Stephen Stich, Alexandra Plakias, and colleagues’ recent attempts to utilize empirical studies of cross-cultural variation in moral judgment to support a version of the argument from disagreement against moral realism. Crucially, Doris et al. claim that the moral disagreements highlighted by these studies are not susceptible to the standard ‘diffusing’ explanations realists have developed in response to earlier versions of the argument. I argue that plausible hypotheses about the cognitive processes underlying ordinary moral judgment and (...)
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  24. added 2014-04-02
    Empirically Investigating Imaginative Resistance.Shen-yi Liao, Nina Strohminger & Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2014 - British Journal of Aesthetics 54 (3):339-355.
    Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. Philosophers have primarily theorized about this phenomenon from the armchair. In this paper, we demonstrate the utility of empirical methods for investigating imaginative resistance. We present two studies that help to establish the psychological reality of imaginative resistance, and to uncover one factor that is significant for explaining this phenomenon but low in psychological salience: genre. Furthermore, our studies have the methodological upshot of showing (...)
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  25. added 2014-04-01
    The Normative Insignificance of Neuroscience.Selim Berker - 2009 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 37 (4):293-329.
    It has been claimed that the recent wave of neuroscientific research into the physiological underpinnings of our moral intuitions has normative implications. In particular, it has been claimed that this research discredits our deontological intuitions about cases, without discrediting our consequentialist intuitions about cases. In this paper I demur. I argue that such attempts to extract normative conclusions from neuroscientific research face a fundamental dilemma: either they focus on the emotional or evolved nature of the psychological processes underlying deontological intuitions, (...)
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  26. added 2013-11-11
    Doing, Allowing, and Enabling Harm: An Empirical Investigation.Christian Barry, Matthew Lindauer & Gerhard Øverland - 2014 - In Joshua Knobe, Tania Lombrozo & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Traditionally, moral philosophers have distinguished between doing and allowing harm, and have normally proceeded as if this bipartite distinction can exhaustively characterize all cases of human conduct involving harm. By contrast, cognitive scientists and psychologists studying causal judgment have investigated the concept ‘enable’ as distinct from the concept ‘cause’ and other causal terms. Empirical work on ‘enable’ and its employment has generally not focused on cases where human agents enable harm. In this paper, we present new empirical evidence to support (...)
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  27. added 2012-10-30
    Choosy Moral Punishers.Christine Clavien, Colby Tanner, Fabrice Clément & Michel Chapuisat - 2012 - PLoS ONE.
    The punishment of social misconduct is a powerful mechanism for stabilizing high levels of cooperation among unrelated individuals. It is regularly assumed that humans have a universal disposition to punish social norm violators, which is sometimes labelled “universal structure of human morality” or “pure aversion to social betrayal”. Here we present evidence that, contrary to this hypothesis, the propensity to punish a moral norm violator varies among participants with different career trajectories. In anonymous real-life conditions, future teachers punished a talented (...)
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  28. added 2012-07-16
    We're All Folk: An Interview with Neil Levy About Experimental Philosophy and Conceptual Analysis.Neil Levy & Yasuko Kitano - 2011 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 19:87-98.
    The following is a transcript of the interview I (Yasuko Kitano) conducted with Neil Levy (The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, CAPPE) on the 23rd in July 2009, while he was in Tokyo to give a series of lectures on neuroethics at The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy. I edited his words for publication with his approval.
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  29. added 2012-07-02
    Methodological Issues in the Neuroscience of Moral Judgement.Guy Kahane & Nicholas Shackel - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (5):561-582.
    Neuroscience and psychology have recently turned their attention to the study of the subpersonal underpinnings of moral judgment. In this article we critically examine an influential strand of research originating in Greene's neuroimaging studies of ‘utilitarian’ and ‘non-utilitarian’ moral judgement. We argue that given that the explananda of this research are specific personal-level states—moral judgments with certain propositional contents—its methodology has to be sensitive to criteria for ascribing states with such contents to subjects. We argue that current research has often (...)
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  30. added 2011-08-24
    Empirical Work in Moral Psychology.Joshua May - 2017 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Provides an overview of empirical research relevant to philosophical questions about moral thought, feeling, reasoning, and motivation. Topics include: free will and moral responsibility, egoism and altruism, moral judgment and motivation, weakness and strength of will, moral intuitions, and moral knowledge. [Originally published in 2012. Updated and expanded in 2017.].
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