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James R. Beebe
State University of New York, Buffalo
  1. Scientific Realism in the Wild: An Empirical Study of Seven Sciences and History and Philosophy of Science.James R. Beebe & Finnur Dellsén - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (2):336-364.
    We report the results of a study that investigated the views of researchers working in seven scientific disciplines and in history and philosophy of science in regard to four hypothesized dimensions of scientific realism. Among other things, we found that natural scientists tended to express more strongly realist views than social scientists, that history and philosophy of science scholars tended to express more antirealist views than natural scientists, that van Fraassen’s characterization of scientific realism failed to cluster with more standard (...)
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  2.  69
    The Empirical Case for Folk Indexical Moral Relativism.James R. Beebe - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 4.
    Recent empirical work on folk moral objectivism has attempted to examine the extent to which folk morality presumes that moral judgments are objectively true or false. Some researchers report findings that they take to indicate folk commitment to objectivism (Nichols & Folds-Bennett, 2003; Wainryb et al., 2004; Goodwin & Darley, 2008, 2010, 2012), while others report findings that may reveal a more variable commitment to objectivism (Sarkissian, et al., 2011; Wright, Grandjean, & McWhite, 2013; Wright, McWhite, & Grandjean, 2014; Beebe, (...)
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  3.  48
    The Memorability of Supernatural Concepts: Effects of Minimal Counterintuitiveness, Moral Valence, and Existential Anxiety on Recall.James R. Beebe & Leigh Duffy - forthcoming - International Journal for the Psychology of Religion.
    Within the cognitive science of religion, some scholars hypothesize (1) that minimally counterintuitive (MCI) concepts enjoy a transmission advantage over both intuitive and highly counterintuitive concepts, (2) that religions concern counterintuitive agents, objects, or events, and (3) that the transmission advantage of MCI concepts makes them more likely to be found in the world’s religions than other kinds of concepts. We hypothesized that the memorability of many MCI supernatural concepts was due in large part to other characteristics they possess, such (...)
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  4. How Different Kinds of Disagreement Impact Folk Metaethical Judgments.James R. Beebe - 2014 - In Jennifer Cole Wright & Hagop Sarkissian (eds.), Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 167-187.
    Th e present article reports a series of experiments designed to extend the empirical investigation of folk metaethical intuitions by examining how different kinds of ethical disagreement can impact attributions of objectivity to ethical claims.
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  5. Divergent Perspectives on Expert Disagreement: Preliminary Evidence From Climate Science, Climate Policy, Astrophysics, and Public Opinion.James R. Beebe, Maria Baghramian, Luke Drury & Finnur Dellsén - 2019 - Environmental Communication 13:35-50.
    We report the results of an exploratory study that examines the judgments of climate scientists, climate policy experts, astrophysicists, and non-experts (N = 3367) about the factors that contribute to the creation and persistence of disagreement within climate science and astrophysics and about how one should respond to expert disagreement. We found that, as compared to non-experts, climate experts believe that within climate science (i) there is less disagreement about climate change, (ii) methodological factors play less of a role in (...)
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  6.  19
    Is Justification Necessary for Knowledge?David Sackris & James R. Beebe - 2014 - In James R. Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology. Bloomsbury. pp. 175-192.
    Justification has long been considered a necessary condition for knowledge, and theories that deny the necessity of justification have been dismissed as nonstarters. In this chapter, we challenge this long-standing view by showing that many of the arguments offered in support of it fall short and by providing empirical evidence that individuals are often willing to attribute knowledge when epistemic justification is lacking.
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  7.  14
    Does Skepticism Presuppose Explanationism?James R. Beebe - 2017 - In Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. Oxford University Press. pp. 173-187.
    A common response to radical skeptical challenges to our knowledge of the external world has been that there are explanatory reasons (e.g., simplicity, coherence, explanatory power, conservatism) for favoring commonsense explanations of our sensory experiences over skeptical explanations. Despite the degree of visibility this class of response has enjoyed, it has often been viewed with skepticism [sic] by the epistemological community because of concerns about the epistemic merits of explanatory reasoning. I argue that skeptical challenges that employ skeptical hypotheses presuppose (...)
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  8.  19
    Confused Terms in Ordinary Language.Greg Frost-Arnold & James R. Beebe - 2020 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 29 (2):197-219.
    Confused terms appear to signify more than one entity. Carnap maintained that any putative name that is associated with more than one object in a relevant universe of discourse fails to be a genuine name. Although many philosophers have agreed with Carnap, they have not always agreed among themselves about the truth-values of atomic sentences containing such terms. Some hold that such atomic sentences are always false, and others claim they are always truth-valueless. Field maintained that confused terms can still (...)
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  9. Evaluative Effects on Knowledge Attributions.James R. Beebe - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 359-367.
    Experimental philosophers have investigated various ways in which non‐epistemic evaluations can affect knowledge attributions. For example, several teams of researchers (Beebe and Buckwalter 2010; Beebe and Jensen 2012; Schaffer and Knobe 2012; Beebe and Shea 2013; Buckwalter 2014b; Turri 2014) report that the goodness or badness of an agent’s action can affect whether the agent is taken to have certain kinds of knowledge. These findings raise important questions about how patterns of folk knowledge attributions should influence philosophical theorizing about knowledge.
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  10. Epistemic Closure in Folk Epistemology.James R. Beebe & Jake Monaghan - 2018 - In Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume Two. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 38-70.
    We report the results of four empirical studies designed to investigate the extent to which an epistemic closure principle for knowledge is reflected in folk epistemology. Previous work by Turri (2015a) suggested that our shared epistemic practices may only include a source-relative closure principle—one that applies to perceptual beliefs but not to inferential beliefs. We argue that the results of our studies provide reason for thinking that individuals are making a performance error when their knowledge attributions and denials conflict with (...)
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