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  1. Qualitative Methods Show That Surveys Misrepresent “Ought Implies Can” Judgments.Kyle Thompson - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-29.
    Experimental philosophers rely almost exclusively on quantitative surveys that potentially misrepresent participants’ multifarious judgments. To assess the efficacy of qualitative methods in experimental philosophy and reveal limitations with quantitative surveys, a study was conducted on the Kantian principle that ‘ought implies can’, which limits moral obligation to actions that agents can do. Specifically, the think aloud method and a follow-up interview were employed in a modified version of a prominent experiment that recorded participants’ judgments of ability, blame, and obligation using (...)
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  • Sizing Up Free Will: The Scale of Compatibilism.Stuart Doyle - 2021 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 42 (3 & 4):271-289.
    Is human free will compatible with the natural laws of the universe? To “compatibilists” who see free actions as emanating from the wants and reasons of human agents, free will looks perfectly plausible. However, “incompatibilists” claim to see the more ultimate sources of human action. The wants and reasons of agents are said to be caused by physical processes which are themselves mere natural results of the previous state of the world and the natural laws which govern it. This paper (...)
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  • The X-Phi(Les): Unusual Insights Into the Nature of Inquiry.Jonathan M. Weinberg & Stephen Crowley - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):227-232.
    Experimental philosophy is often regarded as a category mistake. Even those who reject that view typically see it as irrelevant to standard philosophical projects. We argue that neither of these claims can be sustained and illustrate our view with a sketch of the rich interconnections with philosophy of science.Keywords: Science; Philosophy; Experimental Philosophy.
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  • How to Challenge Intuitions Empirically Without Risking Skepticism.Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):318–343.
    Using empirical evidence to attack intuitions can be epistemically dangerous, because various of the complaints that one might raise against them (e.g., that they are fallible; that we possess no non-circular defense of their reliability) can be raised just as easily against perception itself. But the opponents of intuition wish to challenge intuitions without at the same time challenging the rest of our epistemic apparatus. How might this be done? Let us use the term “hopefulness” to refer to the extent (...)
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  • Distance, Anger, Freedom: An Account of the Role of Abstraction in Compatibilist and Incompatibilist Intuitions.Chris Weigel - 2011 - Philosophical Psychology 24 (6):803 - 823.
    Experimental philosophers have disagreed about whether "the folk" are intuitively incompatibilists or compatibilists, and they have disagreed about the role of abstraction in generating such intuitions. New experimental evidence using Construal Level Theory is presented. The experiments support the views that the folk are intuitively both incompatibilists and compatibilists, and that abstract mental representations do shift intuitions, but not in a univocal way.
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  • Moral Responsibility Invariantism.Brandon Warmke - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (1):179-200.
    Moral responsibility invariantism is the view that there is a single set of conditions for being morally responsible for an action (or omission or consequence of an act or omission) that applies in all cases. I defend this view against some recent arguments by Joshua Knobe and John Doris.
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  • Saving the Intuitions: Polylithic Reference.Ioannis Votsis - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):121 - 137.
    My main aim in this paper is to clarify the concepts of referential success and of referential continuity that are so crucial to the scientific realism debate. I start by considering the three dominant theories of reference and the intuitions that motivate each of them. Since several intuitions cited in support of one theory conflict with intuitions cited in support of another something has to give way. The traditional policy has been to reject all intuitions that clash with a chosen (...)
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  • Responsibility Without Freedom? Folk Judgements About Deliberate Actions.Tillmann Vierkant, Robert Deutschländer, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & John-Dylan Haynes - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10 (1133):1--6.
    A long-standing position in philosophy, law, and theology is that a person can be held morally responsible for an action only if they had the freedom to choose and to act otherwise. Thus, many philosophers consider freedom to be a necessary condition for moral responsibility. However, empirical findings suggest that this assumption might not be in line with common sense thinking. For example, in a recent study we used surveys to show that – counter to positions held by many philosophers (...)
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  • Empirical Conceptual Analysis: An Exposition.Hristo Valchev - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (2):757-776.
    Conceptual analysis as traditionally understood can be improved by allowing the use of a certain kind of empirical investigation. The conceptual analysis in which the kind of empirical investigation in question is used can be called “empirical conceptual analysis”. In the present inquiry, I provide a systematic exposition of empirical conceptual analysis, so understood, considering what exactly empirical conceptual analysis is, the different kinds of empirical conceptual analysis, and the main application of the method within philosophy. It can be defined (...)
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  • (Metasemantically) Securing Free Will.Jason Turner - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):295-310.
    Metasemantic security arguments aim to show, on metasemantic grounds, that even if we were to discover that determinism is true, that wouldn't give us reason to think that people never act freely. Flew's [1955] Paradigm Case Argument is one such argument; Heller's [1996] Putnamian argument is another. In this paper I introduce a third which uses a metasemantic picture on which meanings are settled as though by an ideal interpreter. Metasemantic security arguments are widely thought discredited by van Inwagen's [1983] (...)
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  • Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?Jason Turner, Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris & Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28-53.
    Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pre theoretical intuitions. we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is infact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...)
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  • Compatibilism Can Be Natural.John Turri - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 51:68-81.
    Compatibilism is the view that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism. Natural compatibilism is the view that in ordinary social cognition, people are compatibilists. Researchers have recently debated whether natural compatibilism is true. This paper presents six experiments (N = 909) that advance this debate. The results provide the best evidence to date for natural compatibilism, avoiding the main methodological problems faced by previous work supporting the view. In response to simple scenarios about familiar activities, people judged that agents had (...)
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  • Compatibilism and Incompatibilism in Social Cognition.John Turri - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S3):403-424.
    Compatibilism is the view that determinism is compatible with acting freely and being morally responsible. Incompatibilism is the opposite view. It is often claimed that compatibilism or incompatibilism is a natural part of ordinary social cognition. That is, it is often claimed that patterns in our everyday social judgments reveal an implicit commitment to either compatibilism or incompatibilism. This paper reports five experiments designed to identify such patterns. The results support a nuanced hybrid account: The central tendencies in ordinary social (...)
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  • Are the Folk Agent-Causationists?Jason Turner & Eddy Nahmias - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (5):597-609.
    Experimental examination of how the folk conceptualize certain philosophically loaded notions can provide information useful for philosophical theorizing. In this paper, we explore issues raised in Shaun Nichols' (2004) studies involving people's conception of free will, focusing on his claim that this conception fits best with the philosophical theory of agent-causation. We argue that his data do not support this conclusion, highlighting along the way certain considerations that ought to be taken into account when probing the folk conception of free (...)
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  • Temperament and Intuition: A Commentary on Feltz and Cokely.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Trevor Kvaran & Eddy Nahmias - 2009 - Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1):351-355.
    In this paper, we examine Adam Feltz and Edward Cokely’s recent claim that “the personality trait extraversion predicts people’s intuitions about the relationship of determinism to free will and moral responsibility”. We will first present some criticisms of their work before briefly examining the results of a recent study of our own. We argue that while Feltz and Cokely have their finger on the pulse of an interesting and important issue, they have not established a robust and stable connection between (...)
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  • Reforming Intuition Pumps: When Are the Old Ways the Best?Brian Talbot - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):315-334.
    One mainstream approach to philosophy involves trying to learn about philosophically interesting, non-mental phenomena—ethical properties, for example, or causation—by gathering data from human beings. I call this approach “wide tent traditionalism.” It is associated with the use of philosophers’ intuitions as data, the making of deductive arguments from this data, and the gathering of intuitions by eliciting reactions to often quite bizarre thought experiments. These methods have been criticized—I consider experimental philosophy’s call for a move away from the use of (...)
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  • Brain Science and Free Will.Takayuki Suzuki - 2009 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 42 (2):13-28.
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  • Philosophy in the Trenches: From Naturalized to Experimental Philosophy (of Science).Karola Stotz - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):225-226.
    Recent years have seen the development of an approach both to general philosophy and philosophy of science often referred to as ‘experimental philosophy’ or just ‘X-Phi’. Philosophers often make or presuppose empirical claims about how people would react to hypothetical cases, but their evidence for claims about what ‘we’ would say is usually very limited indeed. Philosophers of science have largely relied on their more or less intimate knowledge of their field of study to draw hypothetical conclusions about the state (...)
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  • Distinguishing Free Will From Moral Responsibility When Measuring Free Will Beliefs: The FWS-II.Alec J. Stinnett, Jordan E. Rodriguez, Andrew K. Littlefield & Jessica L. Alquist - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-27.
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  • Survey-Driven Romanticism.Simon Cullen - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):275-296.
    Despite well-established results in survey methodology, many experimental philosophers have not asked whether and in what way conclusions about folk intuitions follow from people’s responses to their surveys. Rather, they appear to have proceeded on the assumption that intuitions can be simply read off from survey responses. Survey research, however, is fraught with difficulties. I review some of the relevant literature—particularly focusing on the conversational pragmatic aspects of survey research—and consider its application to common experimental philosophy surveys. I argue for (...)
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  • A Cognitive Approach to Moral Responsibility: The Case of a Failed Attempt to Kill.Paulo Sousa - 2009 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 9 (3-4):171-194.
    Many theoretical claims about the folk concept of moral responsibility coming from the current literature are indeterminate because researchers do not clearly specify the folk concept of moral responsibility in question. The article pursues a cognitive approach to folk concepts that pays special attention to this indeterminacy problem. After addressing the problem, the article provides evidence on folk attributions of moral responsibility in the case a failed attempt to kill that goes against a specific claim coming from the current literature (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy and Free Will.Tamler Sommers - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (2):199-212.
    This paper develops a sympathetic critique of recent experimental work on free will and moral responsibility. Section 1 offers a brief defense of the relevance of experimental philosophy to the free will debate. Section 2 reviews a series of articles in the experimental literature that probe intuitions about the "compatibility question"—whether we can be free and morally responsible if determinism is true. Section 3 argues that these studies have produced valuable insights on the factors that influence our judgments on the (...)
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  • Free Will and Consciousness: Experimental Studies.Joshua Shepherd - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):915-927.
    What are the folk-conceptual connections between free will and consciousness? In this paper I present results which indicate that consciousness plays central roles in folk conceptions of free will. When conscious states cause behavior, people tend to judge that the agent acted freely. And when unconscious states cause behavior, people tend to judge that the agent did not act freely. Further, these studies contribute to recent experimental work on folk philosophical affiliation, which analyzes folk responses to determine whether folk views (...)
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  • Persistent Bias in Expert Judgments About Free Will and Moral Responsibility: A Test of the Expertise Defense.Eric Schulz, Edward T. Cokely & Adam Feltz - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1722-1731.
    Many philosophers appeal to intuitions to support some philosophical views. However, there is reason to be concerned about this practice as scientific evidence has documented systematic bias in philosophically relevant intuitions as a function of seemingly irrelevant features (e.g., personality). One popular defense used to insulate philosophers from these concerns holds that philosophical expertise eliminates the influence of these extraneous factors. Here, we test this assumption. We present data suggesting that verifiable philosophical expertise in the free will debate-as measured by (...)
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  • Free Will, Control, and the Possibility to Do Otherwise From a Causal Modeler’s Perspective.Gerhard Schurz, Maria Sekatskaya & Alexander Gebharter - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1889-1906.
    Strong notions of free will are closely connected to the possibility to do otherwise as well as to an agent’s ability to causally influence her environment via her decisions controlling her actions. In this paper we employ techniques from the causal modeling literature to investigate whether a notion of free will subscribing to one or both of these requirements is compatible with naturalistic views of the world such as non-reductive physicalism to the background of determinism and indeterminism. We argue that (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy and the Incentivisation Challenge: a Proposed Application of the Bayesian Truth Serum.Philipp Schoenegger - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-26.
    A key challenge in experimental social science research is the incentivisation of subjects such that they take the tasks presented to them seriously and answer honestly. If subject responses can be evaluated against an objective baseline, a standard way of incentivising participants is by rewarding them monetarily as a function of their performance. However, the subject area of experimental philosophy is such that this mode of incentivisation is not applicable as participant responses cannot easily be scored along a true-false spectrum (...)
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  • Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited.Peter Schulte - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):669-685.
    The compatibilism debate revolves around the question whether moral responsibility and free will are compatible with determinism. Prima facie, this seems to be a substantial issue. But according to the triviality objection, the disagreement is merely verbal: compatibilists and incompatibilists, it is maintained, are talking past each other, since they use the terms “free will” and “moral responsibility” in different senses. In this paper I argue, first, that the triviality objection is indeed a formidable one and that the standard replies (...)
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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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  • Neuroscientific Challenges to Free Will and Responsibility.Adina Roskies - 2006 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (9):419-423.
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  • Don’T Panic: Self-Authorship Without Obscure Metaphysics1.Adina L. Roskies - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):323-342.
    In this paper I attempt to respond to the worries of the source incompatibilist, and try to sketch a naturalistically plausible, compatibilist notion of self-authorship and control that I believe captures important aspects of the folk intuitions regarding freedom and responsibility. It is my hope to thus offer those moved by source incompatibilist worries a reason not to adopt what P.F. Strawson called “the obscure and panicky metaphysics of Libertarianism” (P. F. Strawson, 1982) or the panic-inducing moral austerity of the (...)
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  • Against the Use of Medical Technologies for Military or National Security Interests.Leah Rosenberg & Eric Gehrie - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (5):22 – 24.
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  • Causal Deviance and the Ascription of Intent and Blame.Ross Rogers, Mark D. Alicke, Sarah G. Taylor, David Rose, Teresa L. Davis & Dori Bloom - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (3):404-427.
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  • Reductionism, Agency and Free Will.Maria Rigato - 2015 - Axiomathes 25 (1):107-116.
    In the context of the free will debate, both compatibilists and event-causal libertarians consider that the agent’s mental states and events are what directly causes her decision to act. However, according to the ‘disappearing agent’ objection, if the agent is nothing over and above her physical and mental components, which ultimately bring about her decision, and that decision remains undetermined up to the moment when it is made, then it is a chancy and uncontrolled event. According to agent-causalism, this sort (...)
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  • Looking for the Right Intention: Can Neuroscience Benefit From the Law?Davide Rigoni, Luca Sammicheli & Giuseppe Sartori - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
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  • From Intentions to Neurons: Social and Neural Consequences of Disbelieving in Free Will.Davide Rigoni & Marcel Brass - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):5-12.
    The problem of free will is among the most fascinating and disputed questions throughout the history of philosophy and psychology. Traditionally limited to philosophical and theological debate, in the last decades it has become a matter of scientific investigation. The theoretical and methodological advances in neuroscience allowed very complex psychological functions related to free will (conscious intentions, decision-making, and agency) to be investigated. In parallel, neuroscience is gaining momentum in the media, and various scientific findings are claimed to provide evidence (...)
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  • The Paradox of Addiction Neuroscience.Peter B. Reiner - 2010 - Neuroethics 4 (2):65-77.
    Neuroscience has substantially advanced the understanding of how changes in brain biochemistry contribute to mechanisms of tolerance and physical dependence via exposure to addictive drugs. Many scientists and mental health advocates scaffold this emerging knowledge by adding the imprimatur of disease, arguing that conceptualizing addiction as a brain disease will reduce stigma amongst the folk. Promoting a brain disease concept is grounded in beneficent and utilitarian thinking: the language makes room for individuals living with addiction to receive the same level (...)
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  • A Proposal for a Scientifically-Informed and Instrumentalist Account of Free Will and Voluntary Action.Eric Racine - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  • Exclusion Criteria in Experimental Philosophy.Sara Kier Praëm, Jacob Busch & Carsten Bergenholtz - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1531-1545.
    When experimental philosophers carry out studies on thought experiments, some participants are excluded based on certain exclusion criteria, mirroring standard social science vignette methodology. This involves excluding people that do not pay attention or who miscomprehend the scenario presented in thought experiments. However, experimental philosophy studies sometimes exclude an alarmingly high number of participants. We argue that this threatens the external and internal validity of the conclusions being drawn and we show how a simple visualization of thought experiments can reduce (...)
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  • Експериментальна філософія: Новий напрям у філософії та нові можливості для міждисциплінарних досліджень.Oleksiy V. Polunin - 2018 - Вісник Харківського Національного Університету Імені В. Н. Каразіна. Серія «Філософія. Філософські Перипетії» 58:13-28.
    У статті представлено нову течію у філософії, а саме експериментальну філософію, яка потужно заявила про себе в останні двадцять п’ять років і знайшла розповсюдження переважно в країнах Західної та Центральної Європи і США. Окреслено її передісторію, основні положення, ключові методи і тематику досліджень, а також окремі результати. Представлено головні напрями у межах самої експериментальної філософії, а саме рестрикціонізм, експериментальний дескриптивізм та експериментальний аналіз понять. У статті підкреслюється значний міждисциплінарний потенціал експериментальної філософії та описується ряд напрямів, у яких могла б відбутись (...)
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  • Self‐Agency.Elisabeth Pacherie - 2010 - In Shaun Gallagher (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Self. Oxford University Press.
    We are perceivers, we are thinkers, and we are also agents, bringing about physical events, such as bodily movements and their consequences. What we do tells us, and others, a lot about who we are. On the one hand, who we are determines what we do. On the other hand, acting is also a process of self-discovery and self-shaping. Pivotal to this mutual shaping of self and agency is the sense of agency, or agentive self-awareness, i.e., the sense that one (...)
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  • Frankfurt-Style Cases and Moral Responsibility: A Methodological Reflection.Koji Ota - 2021 - Humana Mente 29 (3):295-319.
    Frankfurt-Style Cases seem to elicit the intuitive judgment that an agent is morally responsible despite being unable to act otherwise, which is supposed to falsify the Principle of Alternat...
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  • Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions.Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):663–685.
    An empirical study of people's intuitions about freedom of the will. We show that people tend to have compatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more concrete, emotional way but that they tend to have incompatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more abstract, cognitive way.
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  • Do We Have a Coherent Set of Intuitions About Moral Responsibility?Dana K. Nelkin - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):243–259.
    I believe that the data is both fascinating and instructive, but in this paper I will resist the conclusion that we must give up Invariantism, or, as I prefer to call it, Unificationism. In the process of examining the challenging data and responding to it, I will try to draw some larger lessons about how to use the kind of data being collected. First, I will provide a brief description of some influential theories of responsibility, and then explain the threat (...)
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  • Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Mechanism: Experiments on Folk Intuitions.Eddy Nahmias, D. Justin Coates & Trevor Kvaran - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):214–242.
    In this paper we discuss studies that show that most people do not find determinism to be incompatible with free will and moral responsibility if determinism is described in a way that does not suggest mechanistic reductionism. However, if determinism is described in a way that suggests reductionism, that leads people to interpret it as threatening to free will and responsibility. We discuss the implications of these results for the philosophical debates about free will, moral responsibility, and determinism.
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  • Close Calls and the Confident Agent: Free Will, Deliberation, and Alternative Possibilities.Eddy Nahmias - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (3):627-667.
    Two intuitions lie at the heart of our conception of free will. One intuition locates free will in our ability to deliberate effectively and control our actions accordingly: the ‘Deliberation and Control’ (DC) condition. The other intuition is that free will requires the existence of alternative possibilities for choice: the AP condition. These intuitions seem to conflict when, for instance, we deliberate well to decide what to do, and we do not want it to be possible to act in some (...)
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  • The Past and Future of Experimental Philosophy.Thomas Nadelhoffer & Eddy Nahmias - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):123 – 149.
    Experimental philosophy is the name for a recent movement whose participants use the methods of experimental psychology to probe the way people think about philosophical issues and then examine how the results of such studies bear on traditional philosophical debates. Given both the breadth of the research being carried out by experimental philosophers and the controversial nature of some of their central methodological assumptions, it is of no surprise that their work has recently come under attack. In this paper we (...)
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  • Positive Illusions, Perceived Control and the Free Will Debate.Thomas Nadelhoffer & Tatyana Matveeva - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (5):495-522.
    It is a common assumption among both philosophers and psychologists that having accurate beliefs about ourselves and the world around us is always the epistemic gold standard. However, there is gathering data from social psychology that suggest that illusions are quite prevalent in our everyday thinking and that some of these illusions may even be conducive to our overall well being. In this paper, we explore the relevance of these so-called 'positive illusions' to the free will debate. More specifically, we (...)
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  • On Trying to Save the Simple View.Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2006 - Mind Language 21 (5):565-586.
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  • On Trying to Save the Simple View.Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (5):565-586.
    According to the analysis of intentional action that Michael Bratman has dubbed the 'Simple View', intending to x is necessary for intentionally x-ing. Despite the plausibility of this view, there is gathering empirical evidence that when people are presented with cases involving moral considerations, they are much more likely to judge that the action (or side effect) in question was brought about intentionally than they are to judge that the agent intended to do it. This suggests that at least as (...)
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  • Natural Compatibilism, Indeterminism, and Intrusive Metaphysics.Thomas Nadelhoffer, David Rose, Wesley Buckwalter & Shaun Nichols - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (8).
    The claim that common sense regards free will and moral responsibility as compatible with determinism has played a central role in both analytic and experimental philosophy. In this paper, we show that evidence in favor of this “natural compatibilism” is undermined by the role that indeterministic metaphysical views play in how people construe deterministic scenarios. To demonstrate this, we re-examine two classic studies that have been used to support natural compatibilism. We find that although people give apparently compatibilist responses, this (...)
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