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  1. What Matters in Psychological Continuity? Using Meditative Traditions to Identify Biases in Intuitions About Personal Persistence.Preston Greene & Meghan Sullivan - forthcoming - In Kevin Tobia (ed.), Experimental Philosophy of Identity and the Self. London:
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  • Morality Justifies Motivated Reasoning in the Folk Ethics of Belief.Corey Cusimano & Tania Lombrozo - forthcoming - Cognition:104513.
    When faced with a dilemma between believing what is supported by an impartial assessment of the evidence (e.g., that one's friend is guilty of a crime) and believing what would better fulfill a moral obligation (e.g., that the friend is innocent), people often believe in line with the latter. But is this how people think beliefs ought to be formed? We addressed this question across three studies and found that, across a diverse set of everyday situations, people treat moral considerations (...)
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  • Natural Belief in Persistent Selves.Mark Collier - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (8):1146–1166.
    In “Of Personal Identity”, Hume attempts to understand why we ordinarily believe in persistent selves. He proposes that this ontological commitment depends on illusions and fictions: the imagination tricks us into supposing that an unchanging core self remains static through the flux and change of experience. Recent work in cognitive science provides a good deal of support for Hume’s hypothesis that common beliefs about the self are founded on psychological biases rather than rational insight or evidence. We naturally believe in (...)
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  • What is the Point of Being Your True Self? A Genealogy of Essentialist Authenticity.Muriel Leuenberger - 2021 - Philosophy 96 (377):409-431.
    This paper presents a functional genealogy of essentialist authenticity. The essentialist account maintains that authenticity is the result of discovering and realizing one’s ‘true self’. The genealogy shows that essentialist authenticity can serve the function of supporting continuity in one’s individual characteristics. A genealogy of essentialist authenticity is not only methodologically interesting as the first functional genealogy of a contingent concept. It can also deepen the functional understanding of authenticity used in neuroethics, provide a possible explanation for the prevalence of (...)
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  • Clarifying the Normative Significance of ‘Personality Changes’ Following Deep Brain Stimulation.Jonathan Pugh - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (3):1655-1680.
    There is evidence to suggest that some patients who undergo Deep Brain Stimulation can experience changes to dispositional, emotional and behavioural states that play a central role in conceptions of personality, identity, autonomy, authenticity, agency and/or self. For example, some patients undergoing DBS for Parkinson’s Disease have developed hypersexuality, and some have reported increased apathy. Moreover, experimental psychiatric applications of DBS may intentionally seek to elicit changes to the patient’s dispositional, emotional and behavioural states, in so far as dysfunctions in (...)
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  • The Essence of Essentialism.George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (5):585-605.
    Over the past several decades, psychological essentialism has been an important topic of study, incorporating research from multiple areas of psychology, philosophy and linguistics. At its most basic level, essentialism is the tendency to represent certain concepts in terms of a deeper, unobservable property that is responsible for category membership. Originally, this concept was used to understand people’s reasoning about natural kind concepts, such as TIGER and WATER, but more recently, researchers have identified the emergence of essentialist-like intuitions in a (...)
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  • Autonomy, Rationality, and Contemporary Bioethics.Jonathan Pugh - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Personal autonomy is often lauded as a key value in contemporary Western bioethics. Though the claim that there is an important relationship between autonomy and rationality is often treated as uncontroversial in this sphere, there is also considerable disagreement about how we should cash out the relationship. In particular, it is unclear whether a rationalist view of autonomy can be compatible with legal judgments that enshrine a patient's right to refuse medical treatment, regardless of whether the reasons underpinning the choice (...)
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  • Me, My (Moral) Self, and I.Jim A. C. Everett, Joshua August Skorburg & Jordan Livingston - forthcoming - In Felipe De Brigard & Walter Sinnott Armstrong (eds.), Neuroscience and Philosophy. pp. 111-138.
    In this chapter, we outline the interdisciplinary contributions that philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience have provided in the understanding of the self and identity, focusing on one specific line of burgeoning research: the importance of morality to perceptions of self and identity. Of course, this rather limited focus will exclude much of what psychologists and neuroscientists take to be important to the study of self and identity (that plethora of self-hyphenated terms seen in psychology and neuroscience: self-regulation, self-esteem, self-knowledge, self-concept, self-perception, (...)
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  • 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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  • The Ordinary Concept of True Love.Brian Earp, Daniel Do & Joshua Knobe - forthcoming - In Christopher Grau & Aaron Smuts (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Love. Oxford University Press.
    When we say that what two people feel for each other is 'true love,' we seem to be doing more than simply clarifying that it is in fact love they feel, as opposed to something else. That is, an experience or relationship might be a genuine or actual instance of love without necessarily being an instance of true love. But what criteria do people use to determine whether something counts as true love? This chapter explores three hypotheses. The first holds (...)
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  • The Moral Self and Moral Duties.Jim A. C. Everett, Joshua August Skorburg & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology (7):1-22.
    Recent research has begun treating the perennial philosophical question, “what makes a person the same over time?” as an empirical question. A long tradition in philosophy holds that psychological continuity and connectedness of memories are at the heart of personal identity. More recent experimental work, following Strohminger & Nichols (2014), has suggested that persistence of moral character, more than memories, is perceived as essential for personal identity. While there is a growing body of evidence supporting these findings, a critique by (...)
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  • Resolutions, Salient Reasons, and Weakness of Will.Christa M. Johnson - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5115-5138.
    Traditionally, weakness of will has been identified with an agent acting contrary to her better judgment, or akrasia. Recent empirical findings, however, have led many to conclude that the folk concept of WOW is not amenable to necessary and sufficient conditions. To this end, it has been argued that WOW attributions point to a cluster concept :341–360, 2012), a disjunctive account of WOW as either judgment or resolution violation :391–404, 2010), and a two-tiered account including both failures to adhere to (...)
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  • I’M Not the Person I Used to Be: The Self and Autobiographical Memories of Immoral Actions.Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne, Vijeth Iyengar, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2017 - Journal of Experimental Psychology. General 146 (6):884-895.
    People maintain a positive identity in at least two ways: They evaluate themselves more favorably than other people, and they judge themselves to be better now than they were in the past. Both strategies rely on autobiographical memories. The authors investigate the role of autobiographical memories of lying and emotional harm in maintaining a positive identity. For memories of lying to or emotionally harming others, participants judge their own actions as less morally wrong and less negative than those in which (...)
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  • On the Matter of Essence.Iris Berent - forthcoming - Cognition:104701.
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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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  • Habit and Identity: Behavioral, Cognitive, Affective, and Motivational Facets of an Integrated Self.Bas Verplanken & Jie Sui - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • The True Self. Critique, Nature, and Method.Terje Sparby, Friedrich Edelhäuser & Ulrich W. Weger - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • The Rationally Supererogatory.Claire Benn & Adam Bales - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):917-938.
    The notion of supererogation—going above and beyond the call of duty—is typically discussed in a moral context. However, in this paper we argue for the existence of rationally supererogatory actions: that is, actions that go above and beyond the call of rational duty. In order to establish the existence of such actions, we first need to overcome the so-called paradox of supererogation: we need to provide some explanation for why, if some act is rationally optimal, it is not the case (...)
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  • Personal Identity.David Shoemaker & Kevin P. Tobia - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford:
    Our aim in this entry is to articulate the state of the art in the moral psychology of personal identity. We begin by discussing the major philosophical theories of personal identity, including their shortcomings. We then turn to recent psychological work on personal identity and the self, investigations that often illuminate our person-related normative concerns. We conclude by discussing the implications of this psychological work for some contemporary philosophical theories and suggesting fruitful areas for future work on personal identity.
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  • Origins of the Belief in Good True Selves.Julian De Freitas, Mina Cikara, Igor Grossmann & Rebecca Schlegel - 2017 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 21 (9):634-636.
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  • 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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