Feasibility and Normative Penetration

Journal of Moral Philosophy (forthcoming)
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An important theme in recent experimental philosophy is that certain judgements (e.g. our judgements involving intentional action and causation) exhibit a kind of normative penetration whereby, in spite of a not-obviously-normative subject matter, they turn out to be sensitive to, and co-vary with, our normative attitudes in interesting and surprising ways. We present the results of several new experimental studies that suggest that our judgements about feasibility also appear to exhibit this kind of normative penetration in at least some cases; that the best explanation of it involves attributing to subjects a certain kind of extensional error that results from conflating the question at hand with another question that is more salient given their normative attitudes; and that these conclusions have significant, though not straightforward, implications for our understanding of both normative penetration and feasibility, respectively.

Author Profiles

Matthew Lindauer
Brooklyn College (CUNY)
Nicholas Southwood
Australian National University


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