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  1. Experimental Philosophy of Technology.Steven R. Kraaijeveld - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology:1-20.
    Experimental philosophy is a relatively recent discipline that employs experimental methods to investigate the intuitions, concepts, and assumptions behind traditional philosophical arguments, problems, and theories. While experimental philosophy initially served to interrogate the role that intuitions play in philosophy, it has since branched out to bring empirical methods to bear on problems within a variety of traditional areas of philosophy—including metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and epistemology. To date, no connection has been made between developments in experimental philosophy (...)
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  • Against Moral Judgment. The Empirical Case for Moral Abolitionism.Hanno Sauer - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (2):137-154.
    ABSTRACT In this paper, I argue that recent evidence regarding the psychological basis of moral cognition supports a form of moral abolitionism. I identify three main problems undermining the epistemic quality of our moral judgments – contamination, reliability, and bad incentives – and reject three possible responses: neither moral expertise, nor moral learning, nor the possibility of moral progress succeed in solving the aforementioned epistemic problems. The result is a moderate form of moral abolitionism, according to which we should make (...)
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  • Outcome Effects, Moral Luck and the Hindsight Bias.Markus Kneer & Iza Skoczeń - manuscript
    In a series of ten preregistered experiments (N=2043), we investigate the effect of outcome valence on judgments of probability, negligence, and culpability – a phenomenon sometimes labelled moral (and legal) luck. We found that harmful outcomes, when contrasted with neutral outcomes, lead to increased perceived probability of harm ex post, and consequently to increased attribution of negligence and culpability. Rather than simply postulating a hindsight bias (as is common), we employ a variety of empirical means to demonstrate that the outcome-driven (...)
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  • Reasonableness on the Clapham Omnibus: Exploring the Outcome-Sensitive Folk Concept of Reasonable.Markus Kneer - forthcoming - In P. Bystranowski, Bartosz Janik & M. Prochnicki (eds.), Judicial Decision-Making: Integrating Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives. Springer Nature.
    This paper presents a series of studies (total N=579) which demonstrate that folk judgments concerning the reasonableness of decisions and actions depend strongly on whether they engender positive or negative consequences. A particular decision is deemed more reasonable in retrospect when it produces beneficial consequences than when it produces harmful consequences, even if the situation in which the decision was taken and the epistemic circumstances of the agent are held fixed across conditions. This finding is worrisome for the law, where (...)
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  • The Means/Side-Effect Distinction in Moral Cognition: A Meta-Analysis.Adam Feltz & Joshua May - 2017 - Cognition 166:314-327.
    Experimental research suggests that people draw a moral distinction between bad outcomes brought about as a means versus a side effect (or byproduct). Such findings have informed multiple psychological and philosophical debates about moral cognition, including its computational structure, its sensitivity to the famous Doctrine of Double Effect, its reliability, and its status as a universal and innate mental module akin to universal grammar. But some studies have failed to replicate the means/byproduct effect especially in the absence of other factors, (...)
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  • Religious Authority and the Transmission of Abstract God Concepts.Nathan Cofnas - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (4):609-628.
    According to the Standard Model account of religion, religious concepts tend to conform to “minimally counterintuitive” schemas. Laypeople may, to varying degrees, verbally endorse the abstract doctrines taught by professional theologians. But, outside the Sunday school exam room, the implicit representations that tend to guide people’s everyday thinking, feeling, and behavior are about minimally counterintuitive entities. According to the Standard Model, these implicit representations are the essential thing to be explained by the cognitive science of religion. It is argued here (...)
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  • Belief Through Thick and Thin.Wesley Buckwalter, David Rose & John Turri - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):748-775.
    We distinguish between two categories of belief—thin belief and thick belief—and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philosophical thesis that knowledge entails belief). We also suggest that the (...)
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  • Sex By Deception.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - In John M. Doris & Manuel Vargas (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I will use sex by deception as a case study for highlighting some of the most tricky concepts around sexuality and moral psychology, including rape, consensual sex, sexual rights, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, and disrespectful sex. I begin with a discussion of morally wrong sex as rooted in the breach of five sexual liberty rights that are derived from our fundamental human liberty rights: sexual self-possession, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, sexual dignity and sexual privacy. I then argue (...)
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  • Moral Valence and Semantic Intuitions.James R. Beebe & Ryan J. Undercoffer - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):445-466.
    Despite the swirling tide of controversy surrounding the work of Machery et al. , the cross-cultural differences they observed in semantic intuitions about the reference of proper names have proven to be robust. In the present article, we report cross-cultural and individual differences in semantic intuitions obtained using new experimental materials. In light of the pervasiveness of the Knobe effect and the fact that Machery et al.’s original materials incorporated elements of wrongdoing but did not control for their influence, we (...)
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  • The Memorability of Supernatural Concepts: Effects of Minimal Counterintuitiveness, Moral Valence, and Existential Anxiety on Recall.James R. Beebe & Leigh Duffy - forthcoming - International Journal for the Psychology of Religion.
    Within the cognitive science of religion, some scholars hypothesize (1) that minimally counterintuitive (MCI) concepts enjoy a transmission advantage over both intuitive and highly counterintuitive concepts, (2) that religions concern counterintuitive agents, objects, or events, and (3) that the transmission advantage of MCI concepts makes them more likely to be found in the world’s religions than other kinds of concepts. We hypothesized that the memorability of many MCI supernatural concepts was due in large part to other characteristics they possess, such (...)
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  • 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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  • 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, Volume 1. 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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  • Moral Evaluations of Organ Transplantation Influence Judgments of Death and Causation.Michael Nair-Collins & Mary A. Gerend - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (3):283-297.
    Two experiments investigated whether moral evaluations of organ transplantation influence judgments of death and causation. Participants’ beliefs about whether an unconscious organ donor was dead and whether organ removal caused death in a hypothetical vignette varied depending on the moral valence of the vignette. Those who were randomly assigned to the good condition were more likely to believe that the donor was dead prior to organ removal and that organ removal did not cause death. Furthermore, attitudes toward euthanasia and organ (...)
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  • Gender Categories as Dual‐Character Concepts?Cai Guo, Carol S. Dweck & Ellen M. Markman - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (5):e12954.
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  • Cause by Omission and Norm: Not Watering Plants.Paul Henne, Ángel Pinillos & Felipe De Brigard - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):270-283.
    People generally accept that there is causation by omission—that the omission of some events cause some related events. But this acceptance elicits the selection problem, or the difficulty of explaining the selection of a particular omissive cause or class of causes from the causal conditions. Some theorists contend that dependence theories of causation cannot resolve this problem. In this paper, we argue that the appeal to norms adequately resolves the selection problem for dependence theories, and we provide novel experimental evidence (...)
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  • The Ordinary Concept of Happiness (and Others Like It).Jonathan Phillips, Luke Misenheimer & Joshua Knobe - 2011 - Emotion Review 3 (3):929-937.
    Consider people’s ordinary concept of belief. This concept seems to pick out a particular psychological state. Indeed, one natural view would be that the concept of belief works much like the concepts one finds in cognitive science – not quite as rigorous or precise, perhaps, but still the same basic type of notion. But now suppose we turn to other concepts that people ordinarily use to understand the mind. Suppose we consider the concept happiness. Or the concept love. How are (...)
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  • Modeling intentional agency: a neo-Gricean framework.Matti Sarkia - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    This paper analyzes three contrasting strategies for modeling intentional agency in contemporary analytic philosophy of mind and action, and draws parallels between them and similar strategies of scientific model-construction. Gricean modeling involves identifying primitive building blocks of intentional agency, and building up from such building blocks to prototypically agential behaviors. Analogical modeling is based on picking out an exemplary type of intentional agency, which is used as a model for other agential types. Theoretical modeling involves reasoning about intentional agency in (...)
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  • Demoralizing Causation.David Danks, David Rose & Edouard Machery - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (2):1-27.
    There have recently been a number of strong claims that normative considerations, broadly construed, influence many philosophically important folk concepts and perhaps are even a constitutive component of various cognitive processes. Many such claims have been made about the influence of such factors on our folk notion of causation. In this paper, we argue that the strong claims found in the recent literature on causal cognition are overstated, as they are based on one narrow type of data about a particular (...)
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  • In Defense of a Broad Conception of Experimental Philosophy.David Rose & David Danks - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (4):512-532.
    Experimental philosophy is often presented as a new movement that avoids many of the difficulties that face traditional philosophy. This article distinguishes two views of experimental philosophy: a narrow view in which philosophers conduct empirical investigations of intuitions, and a broad view which says that experimental philosophy is just the colocation in the same body of (i) philosophical naturalism and (ii) the actual practice of cognitive science. These two positions are rarely clearly distinguished in the literature about experimental philosophy, both (...)
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  • Moral Disagreement and Non-Moral Ignorance.Nicholas Smyth - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-20.
    The existence of deep and persistent moral disagreement poses a problem for a defender of moral knowledge. It seems particularly clear that a philosopher who thinks that we know a great many moral truths should explain how human populations have failed to converge on those truths. In this paper, I do two things. First, I show that the problem is more difficult than it is often taken to be, and second, I criticize a popular response, which involves claiming that many (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy.Joshua Knobe, Wesley Buckwalter, Shaun Nichols, Philip Robbins, Hagop Sarkissian & Tamler Sommers - 2012 - Annual Review of Psychology 63 (1):81-99.
    Experimental philosophy is a new interdisciplinary field that uses methods normally associated with psychology to investigate questions normally associated with philosophy. The present review focuses on research in experimental philosophy on four central questions. First, why is it that people's moral judgments appear to influence their intuitions about seemingly nonmoral questions? Second, do people think that moral questions have objective answers, or do they see morality as fundamentally relative? Third, do people believe in free will, and do they see free (...)
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  • Non-Traditional Factors in Judgments About Knowledge.Wesley Buckwalter - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (4):278-289.
    One recent trend in contemporary epistemology is to study the way in which the concept of knowledge is actually applied in everyday settings. This approach has inspired an exciting new spirit of collaboration between experimental philosophers and traditional epistemologists, who have begun using the techniques of the social sciences to investigate the factors that influence ordinary judgments about knowledge attribution. This paper provides an overview of some of the results these researchers have uncovered, suggesting that in addition to traditionally considered (...)
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  • Modality in Brandom's Incompatibility Semantics.Giacomo Turbanti - 2011 - In María Inés Crespo, Dimitris Gakis & Galit Weidman-Sassoon (eds.), Proceedings of the Amsterdam Graduate Conference - Truth, Meaning, and Normativity. ILLC Publications.
    In the fifth of his John Locke Lectures, Robert Brandom takes up the challenge to define a formal semantics for modelling conceptual contents according to his normative analysis of linguistic practices. The project is to exploit the notion of incompatibility in order to directly define a modally robust relation of entailment. Unfortunately, it can be proved that, in the original definition, the modal system represented by Incompatibility Semantics (IS) collapses into propositional calculus. In this paper I show how IS can (...)
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  • Causation, Responsibility, and Typicality.Justin Sytsma - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-21.
    There is ample evidence that violations of injunctive norms impact ordinary causal attributions. This has struck some as deeply surprising, taking the ordinary concept of causation to be purely descriptive. Our explanation of the findings—the responsibility view—rejects this: we contend that the concept is in fact partly normative, being akin to concepts like responsibility and accountability. Based on this account, we predicted a very different pattern of results for causal attributions when an agent violates a statistical norm. And this pattern (...)
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  • Normality and Actual Causal Strength.Thomas Icard, Jonathan Kominsky & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognition 161:80-93.
    Existing research suggests that people's judgments of actual causation can be influenced by the degree to which they regard certain events as normal. We develop an explanation for this phenomenon that draws on standard tools from the literature on graphical causal models and, in particular, on the idea of probabilistic sampling. Using these tools, we propose a new measure of actual causal strength. This measure accurately captures three effects of normality on causal judgment that have been observed in existing studies. (...)
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  • Causal Superseding.Jonathan F. Kominsky, Jonathan Phillips, Tobias Gerstenberg, David Lagnado & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognition 137:196-209.
    When agents violate norms, they are typically judged to be more of a cause of resulting outcomes. In this paper, we suggest that norm violations also affect the causality attributed to other agents, a phenomenon we refer to as "causal superseding." We propose and test a counterfactual reasoning model of this phenomenon in four experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 provide an initial demonstration of the causal superseding effect and distinguish it from previously studied effects. Experiment 3 shows that this causal (...)
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  • The Good, the Bad, and the Timely: How Temporal Order and Moral Judgment Influence Causal Selection.Kevin Reuter, Lara Kirfel, Raphael van Riel & Luca Barlassina - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5 (1336):1-10.
    Causal selection is the cognitive process through which one or more elements in a complex causal structure are singled out as actual causes of a certain effect. In this paper, we report on an experiment in which we investigated the role of moral and temporal factors in causal selection. Our results are as follows. First, when presented with a temporal chain in which two human agents perform the same action one after the other, subjects tend to judge the later agent (...)
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  • The Folk Concept of Intentional Action: Empirical Approaches.Florian Cova - forthcoming - In Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy.
    This paper provides a comprehensive review of the experimental philosophy of action, focusing on the various different accounts of the Knobe Effect.
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  • Evaluative Effects on Knowledge Attributions.James R. Beebe - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 359-367.
    Experimental philosophers have investigated various ways in which non‐epistemic evaluations can affect knowledge attributions. For example, several teams of researchers (Beebe and Buckwalter 2010; Beebe and Jensen 2012; Schaffer and Knobe 2012; Beebe and Shea 2013; Buckwalter 2014b; Turri 2014) report that the goodness or badness of an agent’s action can affect whether the agent is taken to have certain kinds of knowledge. These findings raise important questions about how patterns of folk knowledge attributions should influence philosophical theorizing about knowledge.
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  • Experimental Philosophy and Causal Attribution.Jonathan Livengood & David Rose - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell.
    Humans often attribute the things that happen to one or another actual cause. In this chapter, we survey some recent philosophical and psychological research on causal attribution. We pay special attention to the relation between graphical causal modeling and theories of causal attribution. We think that the study of causal attribution is one place where formal and experimental techniques nicely complement one another.
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  • Experimental Moral Philosophy.Mark Alfano & Don Loeb - 2014 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Experimental moral philosophy began to emerge as a methodology inthe last decade of the twentieth century, a branch of the largerexperimental philosophy approach. From the beginning,it has been embroiled in controversy on a number of fronts. Somedoubt that it is philosophy at all. Others acknowledge that it isphilosophy but think that it has produced modest results at best andconfusion at worst. Still others think it represents an important advance., Before the research program can be evaluated, we should have someconception of (...)
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  • Confirmation and Meaning Holism Revisited.Timothy Fuller - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1379-1397.
    Does confirmation holism imply meaning holism? A plausible and novel argument, all of whose premises enjoy significant support among contemporary philosophers, links the two theses. This article presents this argument and diagnoses it with a weakness. The weakness illustrates a general difficulty with drawing morals for the nature of ordinary thought and language from claims about the nature of science. The diagnosis is instructive: It suggests more fruitful relations between theories of scientific theory confirmation and semantic theories of our everyday (...)
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  • Knowledge of Consequences: An Explanation of the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.Katarzyna Paprzycka-Hausman - 2018 - Synthese 197 (12):5457-5490.
    The Knobe effect :190–194, 2003a) consists in our tendency to attribute intentionality to bringing about a side effect when it is morally bad but not when it is morally good. Beebe and Buckwalter have demonstrated that there is an epistemic side-effect effect : people are more inclined to attribute knowledge when the side effect is bad in Knobe-type cases. ESEE is quite robust. In this paper, I present a new explanation of ESEE. I argue that when people attribute knowledge in (...)
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  • Folk teleology drives persistence judgments.David Rose, Jonathan Schaffer & Kevin Tobia - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5491-5509.
    Two separate research programs have revealed two different factors that feature in our judgments of whether some entity persists. One program—inspired by Knobe—has found that normative considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when the changes it undergoes lead to improvements. The other program—inspired by Kelemen—has found that teleological considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when it preserves its purpose. Our goal (...)
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  • Using Anthropological Principles to Transform the Teaching of Human “Difference” and Genetic Variation in College Classrooms.Amelia R. Hubbard & Laurel A. Monnig - 2020 - Science & Education 29 (6):1541-1565.
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  • Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise.Wesley Buckwalter - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):378-410.
    Experimental philosophers have empirically challenged the connection between intuition and philosophical expertise. This paper reviews these challenges alongside other research findings in cognitive science on expert performance and argues for three claims. First, evidence taken to challenge philosophical expertise may also be explained by the well-researched failures and limitations of genuine expertise. Second, studying the failures and limitations of experts across many fields provides a promising research program upon which to base a new model of philosophical expertise. Third, a model (...)
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  • Undoing the Past in Order to Lie in the Present: Counterfactual Thinking and Deceptive Communication.Raluca A. Briazu, Clare R. Walsh, Catherine Deeprose & Giorgio Ganis - 2017 - Cognition 161:66-73.
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  • What is Experimental Philosophy?Stephen Stich - 2015 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 23:21-31.
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  • Dual Character Concepts and the Normative Dimension of Conceptual Representation.Joshua Knobe, Sandeep Prasada & George E. Newman - 2013 - Cognition 127 (2):242-257.
    Five experiments provide evidence for a class of ‘dual character concepts.’ Dual character concepts characterize their members in terms of both (a) a set of concrete features and (b) the abstract values that these features serve to realize. As such, these concepts provide two bases for evaluating category members and two different criteria for category membership. Experiment 1 provides support for the notion that dual character concepts have two bases for evaluation. Experiments 2-4 explore the claim that dual character concepts (...)
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  • Moral Asymmetries in Judgments of Agency Withstand Ludicrous Causal Deviance.Paulo Sousa, Colin Holbrook & Lauren Swiney - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Moral Judgment as Information Processing: An Integrative Review.Steve Guglielmo - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • Modeling Morality in 3‐D: Decision‐Making, Judgment, and Inference.Hongbo Yu, Jenifer Z. Siegel & Molly J. Crockett - 2019 - Topics in Cognitive Science 11 (2):409-432.
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  • Action Trees and Moral Judgment.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):555-578.
    It has sometimes been suggested that people represent the structure of action in terms of an action tree. A question now arises about the relationship between this action tree representation and people’s moral judgments. A natural hypothesis would be that people first construct a representation of the action tree and then go on to use this representation in making moral judgments. The present paper argues for a more complex view. Specifically, the paper reports a series of experimental studies that appear (...)
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  • Normative Judgments and Individual Essence.Julian De Freitas, Kevin P. Tobia, George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S3).
    A growing body of research has examined how people judge the persistence of identity over time—that is, how they decide that a particular individual is the same entity from one time to the next. While a great deal of progress has been made in understanding the types of features that people typically consider when making such judgments, to date, existing work has not explored how these judgments may be shaped by normative considerations. The present studies demonstrate that normative beliefs do (...)
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  • When Ignorance is No Excuse: Different Roles for Intent Across Moral Domains.Liane Young & Rebecca Saxe - 2011 - Cognition 120 (2):202-214.
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  • The Truth About Lying.Angelo Turri & John Turri - 2015 - Cognition 138:161-168.
    The standard view in social science and philosophy is that lying does not require the liar’s assertion to be false, only that the liar believes it to be false. We conducted three experiments to test whether lying requires falsity. Overall, the results suggest that it does. We discuss some implications for social scientists working on social judgments, research on lie detection, and public moral discourse.
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  • Inferences About Moral Character Moderate the Impact of Consequences on Blame and Praise.Jenifer Z. Siegel, Molly J. Crockett & Raymond J. Dolan - 2017 - Cognition 167:201-211.
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  • Variations in Judgments of Intentional Action and Moral Evaluation Across Eight Cultures.Erin Robbins, Jason Shepard & Philippe Rochat - 2017 - Cognition 164:22-30.
    Individuals tend to judge bad side effects as more intentional than good side effects (the Knobe or side- effect effect). Here, we assessed how widespread these findings are by testing eleven adult cohorts of eight highly contrasted cultures on their attributions of intentional action as well as ratings of blame and praise. We found limited generalizability of the original side-effect effect, and even a reversal of the effect in two rural, traditional cultures (Samoa and Vanuatu) where participants were more likely (...)
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  • Unifying Morality’s Influence on Non-Moral Judgments: The Relevance of Alternative Possibilities.Jonathan Phillips, Jamie B. Luguri & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognition 145:30-42.
    Past work has demonstrated that people’s moral judgments can influence their judgments in a number of domains that might seem to involve straightforward matters of fact, including judgments about freedom, causation, the doing/allowing distinction, and intentional action. The present studies explore whether the effect of morality in these four domains can be explained by changes in the relevance of alternative possibilities. More precisely, we propose that moral judgment influences the degree to which people regard certain alternative possibilities as relevant, which (...)
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  • Why We Forgive What Can’T Be Controlled.Justin W. Martin & Fiery Cushman - 2016 - Cognition 147:133-143.
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