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  1. Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Cambridge, Mass.: Routledge.
    With a new foreword by Jonathan Lear 'Remarkably lively and enjoyable…It is a very rich book, containing excellent descriptions of a variety of moral theories, and innumerable and often witty observations on topics encountered on the way.' -_ Times Literary Supplement_ Bernard Williams was one of the greatest philosophers of his generation. Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy is not only widely acknowledged to be his most important book, but also hailed a contemporary classic of moral philosophy. Drawing on the (...)
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  • Separating the evaluative from the descriptive: An empirical study of thick concepts.Pascale Willemsen & Kevin Reuter - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):135-146.
    Thick terms and concepts, such as honesty and cruelty, are at the heart of a variety of debates in philosophy of language and metaethics. Central to these debates is the question of how the descriptive and evaluative components of thick concepts are related and whether they can be separated from each other. So far, no empirical data on how thick terms are used in ordinary language has been collected to inform these debates. In this paper, we present the first empirical (...)
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  • Dual Character Concepts in Social Cognition: Commitments and the Normative Dimension of Conceptual Representation.Guillermo Del Pinal & Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S3):477–501.
    The concepts expressed by social role terms such as artist and scientist are unique in that they seem to allow two independent criteria for categorization, one of which is inherently normative. This study presents and tests an account of the content and structure of the normative dimension of these “dual character concepts.” Experiment 1 suggests that the normative dimension of a social role concept represents the commitment to fulfill the idealized basic function associated with the role. Background information can affect (...)
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  • Feeling the right way: Normative influences on people's use of emotion concepts.Rodrigo Díaz & Kevin Reuter - 2020 - Mind and Language 36 (3):451-470.
    It is generally assumed that emotion concepts are purely descriptive. However, recent investigations suggest that the concept of happiness includes information about the morality of the agent's life. In this study, we argue that normative influences on emotion concepts are not restricted to happiness and are not about moral norms. In a series of studies, we show that emotion attribution is influenced by whether the agent's psychological and bodily states fit the situation in which they are experienced. People consider that (...)
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  • Modeling and corpus methods in experimental philosophy.Louis Chartrand - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (6).
    Research in experimental philosophy has increasingly been turning to corpus methods to produce evidence for empirical claims, as they open up new possibilities for testing linguistic claims or studying concepts across time and cultures. The present article reviews the quasi-experimental studies that have been done using textual data from corpora in philosophy, with an eye for the modeling and experimental design that enable statistical inference. I find that most studies forego comparisons that could control for confounds, and that only a (...)
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  • Hybrid Evaluatives: In Defense of a Presuppositional Account.Bianca Cepollaro & Isidora Stojanovic - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (3):458-488.
    In this paper, the authors present a presuppositional account for a class of evaluative terms that encode both a descriptive and an evaluative component: slurs and thick terms. The authors discuss several issues related to the hybrid nature of these terms, such as their projective behavior, the ways in which one may reject their evaluative content, and the ways in which evaluative content is entailed or implicated (as the case may be) by the use of such terms.
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  • The polarity effect of evaluative language.Lucien Baumgartner, Pascale Https://Orcidorg Willemsen & Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology.
    Recent research on thick terms like “rude” and “friendly” has revealed a polarity effect, according to which the evaluative content of positive thick terms like “friendly” and “courageous” can be more easily canceled than the evaluative content of negative terms like “rude” and “selfish”. In this paper, we study the polarity effect in greater detail. We first demonstrate that the polarity effect is insensitive to manipulations of embeddings (Study 1). Second, we show that the effect occurs not only for thick (...)
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  • How “Intuition” Exploded.James Andow - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (2):189-212.
    Recent decades have seen a surge in interest in metaphilosophy. In particular there has been an interest in philosophical methodology. Various questions have been asked about philosophical methods. Are our methods any good? Can we improve upon them? Prior to such evaluative and ameliorative concerns, however, is the matter of what methods philosophers actually use. Worryingly, our understanding of philosophical methodology is impoverished in various respects. This article considers one particular respect in which we seem to be missing an important (...)
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  • Identifying Virtues and Values Through Obituary Data-Mining.Mark Alfano, Andrew Higgins & Jacob Levernier - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (1).
    Because obituaries are succinct and explicitly intended to summarize their subjects’ lives, they may be expected to include only the features that the author finds most salient but also to signal to others in the community the socially-recognized aspects of the deceased’s character. We begin by reviewing studies 1 and 2, in which obituaries were carefully read and labeled. We then report study 3, which further develops these results with a semi-automated, large-scale semantic analysis of several thousand obituaries. Geography, gender, (...)
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  • The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty: A Study of Thick Concepts in Ethics.Pekka Väyrynen - 2013 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    In addition to thin concepts like the good, the bad and the ugly, our evaluative thought and talk appeals to thick concepts like the lewd and the rude, the selfish and the cruel, the courageous and the kind -- concepts that somehow combine evaluation and non-evaluative description. Thick concepts are almost universally assumed to be inherently evaluative in content, and many philosophers claimed them to have deep and distinctive significance in ethics and metaethics. In this first book-length treatment of thick (...)
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  • Causation attributions and corpus analysis.Justin Sytsma, Roland Bluhm, Pascale Willemsen, Kevin Reuter, Eugen Fischer & Mark Douglas Curtis - 2022 - In Pascale Willemsen & Alex Wiegmann (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Causation. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 209-238.
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  • Thick Ethical Concepts.Pekka Väyrynen - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    [First published 09/2016; substantive revision 02/2021.] Evaluative terms and concepts are often divided into “thin” and “thick”. We don’t evaluate actions and persons merely as good or bad, or right or wrong, but also as kind, courageous, tactful, selfish, boorish, and cruel. The latter evaluative concepts are "descriptively thick": their application somehow involves both evaluation and a substantial amount of non-evaluative description. This article surveys various attempts to answer four fundamental questions about thick terms and concepts. (1) A “combination question”: (...)
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  • Thick Concepts.Debbie Roberts - 2017 - In Tristram Colin McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. New York: Routledge. pp. 211-225.
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  • Slim Epistemology with a Thick Skin.Pekka Väyrynen - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (3):389-412.
    The distinction between “thick” and “thin” value concepts, and its importance to ethical theory, has been an active topic in recent meta-ethics. This paper defends three claims regarding the parallel issue about thick and thin epistemic concepts. (1) Analogy with ethics offers no straightforward way to establish a good, clear distinction between thick and thin epistemic concepts. (2) Assuming there is such a distinction, there are no semantic grounds for assigning thick epistemic concepts priority over the thin. (3) Nor does (...)
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  • Introduction: A Thicker Epistemology?Ben Kotzee & Jeremy Wanderer - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (3):337-343.
    Abstract The distinction between thick and thin concepts has been a central part of recent discussion in metaethics. Whilst there is a debate regarding how best to characterise the distinction, it is commonly accepted that ethical theorising traditionally focuses on the thin, leading some to contend that moving from considering thin to thick concepts leads to a very different, and preferable, conception of ethics. Not only does a similar distinction between thick and thin concepts suggest itself within epistemology, traditional discussion (...)
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  • Digital humanities for history of philosophy: A case study on Nietzsche.Mark Alfano - forthcoming - In T. Neilson L. Levenberg D. Rheems & M. Thomas (ed.), Handbook of Methods in the Digital Humanities. Rowman & Littlefield.
    Nietzsche promises to “translate man back into nature,” but it remains unclear what he meant by this and to what extent he succeeded at it. To help come to grips with Nietzsche’s conceptions of drive (Trieb), instinct (Instinkt) and virtue (Tugend and/or Keuschheit), I develop novel digital humanities methods to systematically track his use of these terms, constructing a near-comprehensive catalogue of what he takes these dispositions to be and how he thinks they are related. Nietzsche individuate drives and instincts (...)
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  • The Language of Morals.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1952 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Hare has written a clear, brief, and readable introduction to ethics which looks at all the fundamental problems of the subject.
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  • Freedom and reason.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1963 - Oxford,: Clarendon Press.
    Part I Describing and Prescribing He to whom thou was sent for ease, being by name Legality, is the son of the Bond-woman . . . how canst thou expect by ...
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  • What is a colleague? The descriptive and normative dimension of a dual character concept.Kevin Reuter, Jörg Löschke & Monika Betzler - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (7):997-1017.
    Colleagues are not only an integral part of many people’s lives; empirical research suggests that having a good relationship with one’s colleagues is the single most important factor for being happy at work. However, so far, no one has provided a comprehensive account of what it means to be a colleague. To address this lacuna, we have conducted both an empirical as well as theoretical investigation into the content and structure of the concept ‘colleague.’ Based on the empirical evidence that (...)
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  • Dual character concepts.Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 14 (1):e12557.
    Some of philosophy's most central concepts, including art, friendship, and happiness, have been argued to be dual character concepts. Their main characteristic is that they encode not only a descriptive dimension but also an independent normative dimension for categorization. This article introduces the class of dual character concepts and discusses various accounts of their content and structure. A specific focus will be placed on their relation to two other classes of concepts, thick concepts and natural kind concepts. The study of (...)
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  • True happiness: The role of morality in the folk concept of happiness.Jonathan Phillips, Christian Mott, Julian De Freitas, June Gruber & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 146 (2):165-181.
    Recent scientific research has settled on a purely descriptive definition of happiness that is focused solely on agents’ psychological states (high positive affect, low negative affect, high life satisfaction). In contrast to this understanding, recent research has suggested that the ordinary concept of happiness is also sensitive to the moral value of agents’ lives. Five studies systematically investigate and explain the impact of morality on ordinary assessments of happiness. Study 1 demonstrates that moral judgments influence assessments of happiness not only (...)
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  • A new account of thick concepts.Andrew Payne - 2005 - Journal of Value Inquiry 39 (1):89-103.
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  • Skepticism and the acquisition of “knowledge”.Shaun Nichols & N. Ángel Pinillos - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (4):397-414.
    Do you know you are not being massively deceived by an evil demon? That is a familiar skeptical challenge. Less familiar is this question: How do you have a conception of knowledge on which the evil demon constitutes a prima facie challenge? Recently several philosophers have suggested that our responses to skeptical scenarios can be explained in terms of heuristics and biases. We offer an alternative explanation, based in learning theory. We argue that, given the evidence available to the learner, (...)
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  • What is a Conspiracy Theory?M. Giulia Https://Orcidorg Napolitano & Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (5):2035-2062.
    In much of the current academic and public discussion, conspiracy theories are portrayed as a negative phenomenon, linked to misinformation, mistrust in experts and institutions, and political propaganda. Rather surprisingly, however, philosophers working on this topic have been reluctant to incorporate a negatively evaluative aspect when either analyzing or engineering the concept conspiracy theory. In this paper, we present empirical data on the nature of the concept conspiracy theory from five studies designed to test the existence, prevalence and exact form (...)
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  • The Case Study Method in Philosophy of Science: An Empirical Study.Moti Mizrahi - 2020 - Perspectives on Science 28 (1):63-88.
    There is an ongoing methodological debate in philosophy of science concerning the use of case studies as evidence for and/or against theories about science. In this paper, I aim to make a contribution to this debate by taking an empirical approach. I present the results of a systematic survey of the PhilSci-Archive, which suggest that a sizeable proportion of papers in philosophy of science contain appeals to case studies, as indicated by the occurrence of the indicator words “case study” and/or (...)
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  • Knowledge as a thick concept: explaining why the Gettier problem arises.Brent G. Kyle - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):1-27.
    The Gettier problem has stymied epistemologists. But, whether or not this problem is resolvable, we still must face an important question: Why does the Gettier problem arise in the first place? So far, philosophers have seen it as either a problem peculiar to the concept of knowledge, or else an instance of a general problem about conceptual analysis. But I would like to steer a middle course. I argue that the Gettier problem arises because knowledge is a thick concept, and (...)
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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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  • Dual character concepts and the normative dimension of conceptual representation.Joshua Knobe, Sandeep Prasada & George E. Newman - 2013 - Cognition 127 (2):242-257.
    Five experiments provide evidence for a class of ‘dual character concepts.’ Dual character concepts characterize their members in terms of both (a) a set of concrete features and (b) the abstract values that these features serve to realize. As such, these concepts provide two bases for evaluating category members and two different criteria for category membership. Experiment 1 provides support for the notion that dual character concepts have two bases for evaluation. Experiments 2-4 explore the claim that dual character concepts (...)
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  • In Defense of Thick Concepts.Jonathan Dancy - 1995 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20 (1):263-279.
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  • From Thick to Thin: Two Moral Reduction Plans.Daniel Y. Elstein & Thomas Hurka - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):pp. 515-535.
    Many philosophers of the last century thought all moral judgments can be expressed using a few basic concepts — what are today called ‘thin’ moral concepts such as ‘good,’ ‘bad,’ ‘right,’ and ‘wrong.’ This was the view, fi rst, of the non-naturalists whose work dominated the early part of the century, including Henry Sidgwick, G.E. Moore, W.D. Ross, and C.D. Broad. Some of them recognized only one basic concept, usually either ‘ought’ or ‘good’; others thought there were two. But they (...)
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  • A Corpus Study of "Know": On the Verification of Philosophers' Frequency Claims about Language.Nat Hansen, J. D. Porter & Kathryn Francis - 2021 - Episteme 18 (2):242-268.
    We investigate claims about the frequency of "know" made by philosophers. Our investigation has several overlapping aims. First, we aim to show what is required to confirm or disconfirm philosophers’ claims about the comparative frequency of different uses of philosophically interesting expressions. Second, we aim to show how using linguistic corpora as tools for investigating meaning is a productive methodology, in the sense that it yields discoveries about the use of language that philosophers would have overlooked if they remained in (...)
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  • What are Thick Concepts?Matti Eklund - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):25-49.
    Many theorists hold that there is, among value concepts, a fundamental distinction between thin ones and thick ones. Among thin ones are concepts like good and right. Among concepts that have been regarded as thick are discretion, caution, enterprise, industry, assiduity, frugality, economy, good sense, prudence, discernment, treachery, promise, brutality, courage, coward, lie, gratitude, lewd, perverted, rude, glorious, graceful, exploited, and, of course, many others. Roughly speaking, thick concepts are value concepts with significant descriptive content. I will discuss a number (...)
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  • When Truth Gives Out.Mark Richard - 2008 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Is the point of belief and assertion invariably to think or say something true? Is the truth of a belief or assertion absolute, or is it only relative to human interests? Most philosophers think it incoherent to profess to believe something but not think it true, or to say that some of the things we believe are only relatively true. Common sense disagrees. It sees many opinions, such as those about matters of taste, as neither true nor false; it takes (...)
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  • Thick epistemic concepts.Debbie Roberts - forthcoming - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Metaepistemology. Oxford University Press.
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  • Distinguishing the Appearance from the Reality of Pain.Kevin Reuter - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (9-10):94-109.
    It is often held that it is conceptually impossible to distinguish between a pain and a pain experience. In this article I present an argument which concludes that people make this distinction. I have done a web-based statistical analysis which is at the core of this argument. It shows that the intensity of pain has a decisive effect on whether people say that they 'feel a pain'(lower intensities) or 'have a pain' (greater intensities). This 'intensity effect'can be best explained by (...)
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  • Negative or Positive?Bianca Cepollaro - 2018 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 18 (3):363-374.
    In this paper, I consider the phenomenon of evaluation reversal for two classes of evaluative terms that have received a great deal of attention in philosophy of language and linguistics: slurs and thick terms. I consider three approaches to analyze evaluation reversal: (i) lexical deflationist account, (ii) ambiguity account and (iii) echoic account. My purpose is mostly negative: my aim is to underline the shortcomings of these three strategies, in order to possibly pave the way for more suitable accounts.
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  • Thick Concepts and Variability.Pekka Väyrynen - 2011 - Philosophers' Imprint 11:1-17.
    Some philosophers hold that so-called "thick" terms and concepts in ethics (such as 'cruel,' 'selfish,' 'courageous,' and 'generous') are contextually variable with respect to the valence (positive or negative) of the evaluations that they may be used to convey. Some of these philosophers use this variability claim to argue that thick terms and concepts are not inherently evaluative in meaning; rather their use conveys evaluations as a broadly pragmatic matter. I argue that one sort of putative examples of contextual variability (...)
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  • Intuitions and illusions: From explanation and experiment to assessment.Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt & Aurelie Herbelot - 2015 - In Eugen Fischer & John Collins (eds.), Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism. Rethinking Philosophical Method. Routledge. pp. 259-292.
    This paper pioneers the use of methods and findings from psycholinguistics in experimental philosophy’s ‘sources project’. On this basis, it clarifies the epistemological relevance of empirical findings about intuitions – a key methodological challenge to experimental philosophy. The sources project (aka ‘cognitive epistemology of intuitions’) seeks to develop psychological explanations of philosophically relevant intuitions, which help us assess their evidentiary value. One approach seeks explanations which trace relevant intuitions back to automatic cognitive processes that are generally reliable but predictably generate (...)
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  • Introduction: Thick and Thin Concepts.Simon T. Kirchin - unknown
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  • The Shapelessness Hypothesis.Simon T. Kirchin - 2010 - Philosophers' Imprint 10.
    In this paper I discuss the shapelessnesss hypothesis, which is often referred to and relied on by certain sorts of ethical and evaluative cognitivist, and which they use primarily in arguing against a certain, influential form of noncognitivism. I aim to (i) set out exactly what the hypothesis is; (ii) show that its original and traditional use is left wanting; and (iii) show that there is some rehabilitation on offer that might have a chance of convincing neutrals.
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  • The Measurement of Meaning (an Excerpt).Percy H. Tannenbaum - 1967 - In Donald C. Hildum (ed.), Language and Thought: An Enduring Problem in Psychology. London: : Van Nostrand,. pp. 119.
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