Ought, Can, and Presupposition: An Experimental Study

Methode 4 (6):232-243 (2015)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In this paper, I present the results of an experimental study on intuitions about moral obligation (ought) and ability (can). Many philosophers accept as an axiom the principle known as “Ought Implies Can” (OIC). If the truth of OIC is intuitive, such that it is accepted by many philosophers as an axiom, then we would expect people to judge that agents who are unable to perform an action are not morally obligated to perform that action. The results of my experimental study show that participants were more inclined to judge that an agent ought to perform an action than that the agent can perform the action. Overall, participants said that an agent ought to perform an action even when they said that the agent cannot do it. I discuss the implications of these results for the debate over OIC.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MIZOCA
Revision history
First archival date: 2014-12-08
Latest version: 4 (2017-05-31)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
In Praise of Desire.Arpaly, Nomy & Schroeder, Timothy
I Ought, Therefore I Can.Vranas, Peter B. M.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
An Empirical Refutation of ‘Ought’ Implies ‘Can’.Henne, Paul; Chituc, Vladimir; De Brigard, Felipe & Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter
"Ought Implies Can,” Framing Effects, and "Empirical Refutations".Kissinger-Knox, Alicia; Aragon, Patrick & Mizrahi, Moti

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2014-12-08

Total views
478 ( #7,566 of 46,236 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
68 ( #10,821 of 46,236 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.