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The epistemology of thought experiments : first person versus third person approaches

In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Midwest Studies in Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 128-159 (2007)

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  1. The Folk Concepts of Intention and Intentional Action: A Cross-Cultural Study.Joshua Knobe & Arudra Burra - 2006 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 6 (1-2):113-132.
    Recent studies point to a surprising divergence between people's use of the concept of _intention_ and their use of the concept of _acting intentionally_. It seems that people's application of the concept of intention is determined by their beliefs about the agent's psychological states whereas their use of the concept of acting intentionally is determined at least in part by their beliefs about the moral status of the behavior itself (i.e., by their beliefs about whether the behavior is morally good (...)
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  • Desire, Foresight, Intentions, and Intentional Actions: Probing Folk Intuitions.Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2006 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 6 (1-2):133-157.
    A number of philosophers working under the rubric of “experimental philosophy” have recently begun focusing on analyzing the concepts of ordinary language and investigating the intuitions of laypersons in an empirically informed way.1 In a series of papers these philosophers—who often work in collaboration with psychologists—have presented the results of empirical studies aimed at proving folk intuitions in areas as diverse as ethics, epistemology, free will, and the philosophy of action. In this paper, I contribute to this research program by (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy and Folk Concepts: Methodological Considerations.Joshua Knobe & Arudra Burra - 2006 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 6 (1-2):331-342.
    Experimental philosophy is a comparatively new field of research, and it is only natural that many of the key methodological questions have not even been asked, much less answered. In responding to the comments of our critics, we therefore find ourselves brushing up against difficult questions about the aims and techniques of our whole enterprise. We will do our best to address these issues here, but the field is progressing at a rapid clip, and we suspect that it will be (...)
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  • Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style.Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2004 - Cognition 92 (3):1-12.
    Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al. 2001) has shown systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some work indicates that this extends to intuitions about philosophical cases (...)
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  • Modal Epistemology and the Rationalist Renaissance.George Bealer - 2002 - In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 71-125.
    The paper begins with a clarification of the notions of intuition (and, in particular, modal intuition), modal error, conceivability, metaphysical possibility, and epistemic possibility. It is argued that two-dimensionalism is the wrong framework for modal epistemology and that a certain nonreductionist approach to the theory of concepts and propositions is required instead. Finally, there is an examination of moderate rationalism’s impact on modal arguments in the philosophy of mind -- for example, Yablo’s disembodiment argument and Chalmers’s zombie argument. A less (...)
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  • Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions About Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561-584.
    Philosophers working in the nascent field of ‘experimental philosophy’ have begun using methods borrowed from psychology to collect data about folk intuitions concerning debates ranging from action theory to ethics to epistemology. In this paper we present the results of our attempts to apply this approach to the free will debate, in which philosophers on opposing sides claim that their view best accounts for and accords with folk intuitions. After discussing the motivation for such research, we describe our methodology of (...)
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  • Studies in the Way of Words.H. Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
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  • The Folk Psychology of Free Will: Fits and Starts.Shaun Nichols - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (5):473-502.
    According to agent-causal accounts of free will, agents have the capacity to cause actions, and for a given action, an agent could have done otherwise. This paper uses existing results and presents experimental evidence to argue that young children deploy a notion of agent-causation. If young children do have such a notion, however, it remains quite unclear how they acquire it. Several possible acquisition stories are canvassed, including the possibility that the notion of agent-causation develops from a prior notion of (...)
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  • Trying.Brain O'shaughnessy - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (13):365-386.
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  • After Objectivity: An Empirical Study of Moral Judgment.Shaun Nichols - 2004 - Philosophical Psychology 17 (1):3 – 26.
    This paper develops an empirical argument that the rejection of moral objectivity leaves important features of moral judgment intact. In each of five reported experiments, a number of participants endorsed a nonobjectivist claim about a canonical moral violation. In four of these experiments, participants were also given a standard measure of moral judgment, the moral/conventional task. In all four studies, participants who respond as nonobjectivists about canonical moral violations still treat such violations in typical ways on the moral/conventional task. In (...)
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  • Skill, Luck, Control, and Intentional Action.Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (3):341 – 352.
    On the surface, it seems intuitively plausible that if an agent luckily manages to perform a desired action (e.g., rolling a six with a fair die or winning the lottery), the performance of which is not the result of any relevant skill on her part, we should not say that she performed the action intentionally. This intuition suggests that our concept of intentional action is sensitive to considerations of skill, luck, and causal control. Indeed, some philosophers have claimed that in (...)
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  • Intention, Intentional Action and Moral Considerations.J. Knobe - 2004 - Analysis 64 (2):181-187.
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  • Intentional Action in Folk Psychology: An Experimental Investigation.Joshua Knobe - 2003 - Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):309-325.
    Four experiments examined people’s folk-psychological concept of intentional action. The chief question was whether or not _evaluative _considerations — considerations of good and bad, right and wrong, praise and blame — played any role in that concept. The results indicated that the moral qualities of a behavior strongly influence people’s judgements as to whether or not that behavior should be considered ‘intentional.’ After eliminating a number of alternative explanations, the author concludes that this effect is best explained by the hypothesis (...)
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  • Intentional Action and Side Effects in Ordinary Language.J. Knobe - 2003 - Analysis 63 (3):190-194.
    There has been a long-standing dispute in the philosophical literature about the conditions under which a behavior counts as 'intentional.' Much of the debate turns on questions about the use of certain words and phrases in ordinary language. The present paper investigates these questions empirically, using experimental techniques to investigate people's use of the relevant words and phrases. g.
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  • Intention and Intentional Action: The Simple View.Frederick Adams - 1986 - Mind and Language 1 (4):281-301.
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  • Intentional Action in Ordinary Language: Core Concept or Pragmatic Understanding?Fred Adams & Annie Steadman - 2004 - Analysis 64 (2):173–181.
    Among philosophers, there are at least two prevalent views about the core concept of intentional action. View I (Adams 1986, 1997; McCann 1986) holds that an agent S intentionally does an action A only if S intends to do A. View II (Bratman 1987; Harman 1976; and Mele 1992) holds that there are cases where S intentionally does A without intending to do A, as long as doing A is foreseen and S is willing to accept A as a consequence (...)
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  • Expression and Meaning.John Searle - 1985 - Cambridge University Press.
    John Searle's Speech Acts made a highly original contribution to work in the philosophy of language. Expression and Meaning is a direct successor, concerned to develop and refine the account presented in Searle's earlier work, and to extend its application to other modes of discourse such as metaphor, fiction, reference, and indirect speech arts. Searle also presents a rational taxonomy of types of speech acts and explores the relation between the meanings of sentences and the contexts of their utterance. The (...)
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  • Ordinary Ethical Reasoning and the Ideal of 'Being Yourself'.Joshua Knobe - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (3):327 – 340.
    The psychological study of ethical reasoning tends to concentrate on a few specific issues, with the bulk of the research going to the study of people's attitudes toward moral rules or the welfare of others. But people's ethical reasoning is also shaped by a wide range of other concerns. Here I focus on the importance that people attach to the ideal of being yourself. It is shown that certain experimental results - results that seemed anomalous and inexplicable to researchers who (...)
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  • Two Faces of Intention.Michael Bratman - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (3):375-405.
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  • Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
    _Naming and Necessity_ has had a great and increasing influence. It redirected philosophical attention to neglected questions of natural and metaphysical necessity and to the connections between these and theories of naming, and of identity. This seminal work, to which today's thriving essentialist metaphysics largely owes its impetus, is here reissued in a newly corrected form with a new preface by the author. If there is such a thing as essential reading in metaphysics, or in philosophy of language, this is (...)
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  • The Frege Reader.Gottlob Frege & Michael Beaney (eds.) - 1997 - Blackwell.
    This is the first single-volume edition and translation of Frege's philosophical writings to include his seminal papers as well as substantial selections from ...
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  • Intention.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1957 - Harvard University Press.
    This is a welcome reprint of a book that continues to grow in importance.
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  • Intentional Action.Alfred R. Mele & Paul K. Moser - 1994 - Noûs 28 (1):39-68.
    We shall formulate an analysis of the ordinary notion of intentional action that clarifies a commonsense distinction between intentional and nonintentional action. Our analysis will build on some typically neglected considerations about relations between lucky action and intentional action. It will highlight the often- overlooked role of evidential considerations in intentional action, thus identifying the key role of certain epistemological considerations in action theory. We shall also explain why some vagueness is indispensable in a characterization of intentional action as ordinarily (...)
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  • Rethinking Intuition: The Psychology of Intuition and its Role in Philosophical Inquiry.Michael R. DePaul & William Ramsey (eds.) - 1998 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Ancients and moderns alike have constructed arguments and assessed theories on the basis of common sense and intuitive judgments. Yet, despite the important role intuitions play in philosophy, there has been little reflection on fundamental questions concerning the sort of data intuitions provide, how they are supposed to lead us to the truth, and why we should treat them as important. In addition, recent psychological research seems to pose serious challenges to traditional intuition-driven philosophical inquiry. Rethinking Intuition brings together a (...)
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  • Intuition and the Autonomy of Philosophy.George Bealer - 1998 - In Michael DePaul & William Ramsey (eds.), Rethinking Intuition: The Psychology of Intuition and Its Role in Philosophical Inquiry. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 201-240.
    The phenomenology of a priori intuition is explored at length (where a priori intuition is taken to be not a form of belief but rather a form of seeming, specifically intellectual as opposed to sensory seeming). Various reductive accounts of intuition are criticized, and Humean empiricism (which, unlike radical empiricism, does admit analyticity intuitions as evidence) is shown to be epistemically self-defeating. This paper also recapitulates the defense of the thesis of the Autonomy and Authority of Philosophy given in the (...)
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  • The Butler Problem Revisited.T. Nadelhoffer - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):277-284.
    On the surface, it seems plausible that the goodness or badness of an agent’s actions should be completely irrelevant to the question of whether she performed them intentionally, but there is growing evidence that ascriptions of intentional actions are affected by moral considerations. Joshua Knobe, for instance, has recently published a series of groundbreaking papers (2003a, 2003b, 2004) in which he suggests that people’s judgments concerning the intentionality of an action may sometimes depend on what they think about the action (...)
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  • Intentional Action and Moral Considerations: Still Pragmatic.F. Adams & A. Steadman - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):268-276.
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  • Impossible Doings.Kirk Ludwig - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 65 (3):257 - 281.
    This paper attacks an old dogma in the philosophy of action: the idea that in order to intend to do something one must believe that there is at least some chance that one will succeed at what one intends. I think that this is a mistake, and that recognizing this will force us to rethink standard accounts of what it is to intend to do something and to do it intentionally.
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  • Philosophical Theory and Intuitional Evidence.Alvin I. Goldman & Joel Pust - 1998 - In Michael Depaul & William Ramsey (eds.), Rethinking Intuition: The Psychology of Intuition and its Role in Philosophical Inquiry. Rowman & Littlefield.
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  • Interpretation and Preciseness.Arne Naess - 1953 - Synthese 9 (6):413-416.
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  • The Role of Intuition in Philosophical Inquiry: An Account with No Unnatural Ingredients.Hilary Kornblith - 1998 - In M. DePaul & W. Ramsey (eds.), Rethinking Intuition: The Psychology of Intuition and Its Role in Philosophical Inquiry. pp. 129-141.
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  • Settled Objectives and Rational Constraints.Hugh J. McCann - 1991 - American Philosophical Quarterly 28 (1):25-36.
    Some authors reject what they call the "Simple View"---i.e., the principle that anyone who A's intentionally intends to A. My purpose here is to defend this principle. Rejecting the Simple View, I shall claim, forces us to assign to other mental states the functional role of intention: that of providing settled objectives to guide deliberation and action. A likely result is either that entities will be multiplied, or that the resultant account will invite reassertion of reductionist theories. In any case, (...)
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  • The Phenomenology of Free Will.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):162-179.
    Philosophers often suggest that their theories of free will are supported by our phenomenology. Just as their theories conflict, their descriptions of the phenomenology of free will often conflict as well. We suggest that this should motivate an effort to study the phenomenology of free will in a more systematic way that goes beyond merely the introspective reports of the philosophers themselves. After presenting three disputes about the phenomenology of free will, we survey the (limited) psychological research on the experiences (...)
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  • Rationality and Intellectual Self-Trust.Richard Foley - 1998 - In William Ramsey & Michael R. DePaul (eds.), Rethinking Intuition: The Psychology of Intuition and its Role in Philosophical Inquiry. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. pp. 241--56.
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  • Intentions and Intentionality: Foundations of Social Cognition.Bertram Malle, L. J. Moses & Dare Baldwin (eds.) - 2001 - MIT Press.
    Highlights the roles of intention and intentionality in social cognition.
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