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  1. Knowledge and the Norm of Assertion: An Essay in Philosophical Science.John Turri - 2016 - Cambridge: Open Book Publishers.
    Language is a human universal reflecting our deeply social nature. Among its essential functions, language enables us to quickly and efficiently share information. We tell each other that many things are true—that is, we routinely make assertions. Information shared this way plays a critical role in the decisions and plans we make. In Knowledge and the Norm of Assertion, a distinguished philosopher and cognitive scientist investigates the rules or norms that structure our social practice of assertion. Combining evidence from philosophy, (...)
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Causal Reasoning.Michael R. Waldmann (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Causal reasoning is one of our most central cognitive competencies, enabling us to adapt to our world. Causal knowledge allows us to predict future events, or diagnose the causes of observed facts. We plan actions and solve problems using knowledge about cause-effect relations. Without our ability to discover and empirically test causal theories, we would not have made progress in various empirical sciences. In the past decades, the important role of causal knowledge has been discovered in many areas of cognitive (...)
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  • Should I Say That? An Experimental Investigation of the Norm of Assertion.Neri Marsili & Alex Wiegmann - 2021 - Cognition 212:104657.
    Assertions are our standard communicative tool for sharing and acquiring information. Recent empirical studies seemingly provide converging evidence that assertions are subject to a factive norm: you are entitled to assert a proposition p only if p is true. All these studies, however, assume that we can treat participants' judgments about what an agent 'should say' as evidence of their intuitions about assertability. This paper argues that this assumption is incorrect, so that the conclusions drawn in these studies are unwarranted. (...)
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  • Knowledge is the Norm of Assertion.Matthew A. Benton - forthcoming - In Ernest Sosa, Matthias Steup, John Turri & Blake Roeber (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Assertion is governed by an epistemic norm requiring knowledge. This idea has been hotly debated in recent years, garnering attention in epistemology, philosophy of language, and linguistics. This chapter presents and extends the main arguments in favor of the knowledge norm, from faulty conjunctions, several conversational patterns, judgments of permission, excuse, and blame, and from showing how. With a reply from Peter J. Graham. (Draft. Comments welcome.).
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  • Dilemmic Epistemology.Nick Hughes - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4059-4090.
    This article argues that there can be epistemic dilemmas: situations in which one faces conflicting epistemic requirements with the result that whatever one does, one is doomed to do wrong from the epistemic point of view. Accepting this view, I argue, may enable us to solve several epistemological puzzles.
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  • Objective falsity is essential to lying: an argument from convergent evidence.John Turri - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):2101-2109.
    This paper synthesizes convergent lines of evidence to evaluate the hypothesis that objective falsity is essential to lying. Objective accounts of lying affirm this hypothesis; subjective accounts deny it. Evidence from history, logic, social observation, popular culture, lexicography, developmental psychology, inference, spontaneous description, and behavioral experimentation strongly supports the hypothesis. Studies show that the only apparent evidence against the hypothesis is due to task substitution, i.e. ethical concerns or perspective-taking interfering with performance on categorization tasks. I conclude that, overall, existing (...)
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  • Lying, Fast and Slow.Angelo Turri & John Turri - 2019 - Synthese 198 (1):757-775.
    Researchers have debated whether there is a relationship between a statement’s truth-value and whether it counts as a lie. One view is that a statement being objectively false is essential to whether it counts as a lie; the opposing view is that a statement’s objective truth-value is inessential to whether it counts as a lie. We report five behavioral experiments that use a novel range of behavioral measures to address this issue. In each case, we found evidence of a relationship. (...)
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  • Folk Intuitions of Actual Causation: A Two-Pronged Debunking Explanation.David Rose - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1323-1361.
    How do we determine whether some candidate causal factor is an actual cause of some particular outcome? Many philosophers have wanted a view of actual causation which fits with folk intuitions of actual causation and those who wish to depart from folk intuitions of actual causation are often charged with the task of providing a plausible account of just how and where the folk have gone wrong. In this paper, I provide a range of empirical evidence aimed at showing just (...)
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  • Ability, Responsibility, and Global Justice.Wesley Buckwalter - 2017 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3):577-590.
    Many have argued we have a moral obligation to assist others in need, but given the scope of global suffering, how far does this obligation extend? According to one traditional philosophical view, the obligation to help others is limited by our ability to help them, or by the principle that “ought implies can”. This view is primarily defended on the grounds that it is a core principle of commonsense moral psychology. This paper reviews findings from experimental philosophy in cognitive science (...)
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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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  • Selfless Assertions: Some Empirical Evidence.John Turri - 2015 - Synthese 192 (4):1221-1233.
    It is increasingly recognized that knowledge is the norm of assertion. As this view has gained popularity, it has also garnered criticism. One widely discussed criticism involves thought experiments about “selfless assertion.” Selfless assertions are said to be intuitively compelling examples where agents should assert propositions that they don’t even believe and, hence, don’t know. This result is then taken to show that knowledge is not the norm of assertion. This paper reports four experiments demonstrating that “selfless assertors” are viewed (...)
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  • Inability and Obligation in Intellectual Evaluation.Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri - 2020 - Episteme 17 (4):475-497.
    If moral responsibilities prescribe how agents ought to behave, are there also intellectual responsibilities prescribing what agents ought to believe? Many theorists have argued that there cannot be intellectual responsibilities because they would require the ability to control whether one believes, whereas it is impossible to control whether one believes. This argument appeals to an “ought implies can” principle for intellectual responsibilities. The present paper tests for the presence of intellectual responsibilities in social cognition. Four experiments show that intellectual responsibilities (...)
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  • Intentionality, Morality, and the Incest Taboo in Madagascar.Paulo Sousa & Lauren Swiney - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Excuse Validation: A Cross‐Cultural Study.John Turri - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (8).
    If someone unintentionally breaks the rules, do they break the rules? In the abstract, the answer is obviously “yes.” But, surprisingly, when considering specific examples of unintentional, blameless rule-breaking, approximately half of people judge that no rule was broken. This effect, known as excuse validation, has previously been observed in American adults. Outstanding questions concern what causes excuse validation, and whether it is peculiar to American moral psychology or cross-culturally robust. The present paper studies the phenomenon cross-culturally, focusing on Korean (...)
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  • Revisiting Norms of Assertion.John Turri - 2018 - Cognition 177:8-11.
    A principal conclusion supported by convergent evidence from cognitive science, life science, and philosophy is that knowledge is a central norm of assertion—that is, according to the rules of the practice, assertions should express knowledge. That view has recently been challenged with new experiments. This paper identifies a critical confound in the experiments. In the process, a new study is reported that provides additional support for the view that knowledge is a central norm of assertion.
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  • Blame, Not Ability, Impacts Moral “Ought” Judgments for Impossible Actions: Toward an Empirical Refutation of “Ought” Implies “Can”.Vladimir Chituc, Paul Henne, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2016 - Cognition 150:20-25.
    Recently, psychologists have explored moral concepts including obligation, blame, and ability. While little empirical work has studied the relationships among these concepts, philosophers have widely assumed such a relationship in the principle that “ought” implies “can,” which states that if someone ought to do something, then they must be able to do it. The cognitive underpinnings of these concepts are tested in the three experiments reported here. In Experiment 1, most participants judge that an agent ought to keep a promise (...)
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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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  • Knowledge and Assertion in “Gettier” Cases.John Turri - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):759-775.
    Assertion is fundamental to our lives as social and cognitive beings. By asserting we share knowledge, coordinate behavior, and advance collective inquiry. Accordingly, assertion is of considerable interest to cognitive scientists, social scientists, and philosophers. This paper advances our understanding of the norm of assertion. Prior evidence suggests that knowledge is the norm of assertion, a view known as “the knowledge account.” In its strongest form, the knowledge account says that knowledge is both necessary and sufficient for assertability: you should (...)
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  • Evidence of Factive Norms of Belief and Decision.John Turri - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):4009-4030.
    According to factive accounts of the norm of belief and decision-making, you should not believe or base decisions on a falsehood. Even when the evidence misleadingly suggests that a false proposition is true, you should not believe it or base decisions on it. Critics claim that factive accounts are counterintuitive and badly mischaracterize our ordinary practice of evaluating beliefs and decisions. This paper reports four experiments that rigorously test the critic’s accusations and the viability of factive accounts. The results undermine (...)
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  • Inability and Obligation in Moral Judgment.Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri - 2015 - PLoS ONE 10 (8).
    It is often thought that judgments about what we ought to do are limited by judgments about what we can do, or that “ought implies can.” We conducted eight experiments to test the link between a range of moral requirements and abilities in ordinary moral evaluations. Moral obligations were repeatedly attributed in tandem with inability, regardless of the type (Experiments 1–3), temporal duration (Experiment 5), or scope (Experiment 6) of inability. This pattern was consistently observed using a variety of moral (...)
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  • Assertion and Assurance: Some Empirical Evidence.John Turri - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):214-222.
    I report three experiments relevant to evaluating Krista Lawlor's theory of assurance, respond to her criticism of the knowledge account of assertion, and propose an alternative theory of assurance.
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  • Theoretical Motivation of “Ought Implies Can”.Wesley Buckwalter - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):83-94.
    A standard principle in ethics is that moral obligation entails ability, or that “ought implies can”. A strong case has been made that this principle is not well motivated in moral psychology. This paper presents an analogous case against the theoretical motivation for the principle. The principle is in tension with several foundational areas of ethical theorizing, including research on apologies, excuses, promises, moral dilemmas, moral language, disability, and moral agency. Across each of these areas, accepting the principle that obligation (...)
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  • You Don't Say! Lying, Asserting and Insincerity.Neri Marsili - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Sheffield
    This thesis addresses philosophical problems concerning improper assertions. The first part considers the issue of defining lying: here, against a standard view, I argue that a lie need not intend to deceive the hearer. I define lying as an insincere assertion, and then resort to speech act theory to develop a detailed account of what an assertion is, and what can make it insincere. Even a sincere assertion, however, can be improper (e.g., it can be false, or unwarranted): in the (...)
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  • Recent Experimental Work on “Ought” Implies “Can”.Jen Semler & Paul Henne - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (9).
    While philosophers generally accept some version of the principle ‘ought’ implies ‘can’, recent work in experimental philosophy and cognitive science provides evidence against a presupposition or a conceptual entailment from ‘ought’ to ‘can’. Here, we review some of this evidence, its effect on particular formulations of the principle, and future directions for cognitive scientists and philosophers.
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  • Kinds of Norms.Elizabeth O'Neill - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (5):e12416.
    This article provides an overview of recent, empirically supported categorization schemes that have been proposed to distinguish different kinds of norms. Amongst these are the moral–conventional distinction and divisions within moral norms such as those proposed by moral foundations theory. I identify several dimensions along which norms have been and could usefully be categorized. I discuss some of the most prominent norm categorization proposals and the aims of these existing categorization schemes. I propose that we take a pluralistic approach toward (...)
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