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Kevin Reuter [17]Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter [4]
  1. 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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  2. Tracing thick and thin concepts through corpora.Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter, Lucien Baumgartner & Pascale Willemsen - 2024 - Language and Cognition.
    Philosophers and linguists currently lack the means to reliably identify evaluative concepts and measure their evaluative intensity. Using a corpus-based approach, we present a new method to distinguish evaluatively thick and thin adjectives like ‘courageous’ and ‘awful’ from descriptive adjectives like ‘narrow,’ and from value-associated adjectives like ‘sunny.’ Our study suggests that the modifiers ‘truly’ and ‘really’ frequently highlight the evaluative dimension of thick and thin adjectives, allowing for them to be uniquely classified. Based on these results, we believe our (...)
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  3. The ambiguity of “true” in English, German, and Chinese.Kevin Reuter - 2024 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):1-20.
    Through a series of empirical studies involving native speakers of English, German, and Chinese, this paper reveals that the predicate “true” is inherently ambiguous in the empirical domain. Truth statements such as “It is true that Tom is at the party” seem to be ambivalent between two readings. On the first reading, the statement means “Reality is such that Tom is at the party.” On the second reading, the statement means “According to what X believes, Tom is at the party.” (...)
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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Conceptual Revision in Action.Ethan Landes & Kevin Reuter - manuscript
    Conceptual engineering is the practice of revising concepts to improve how people talk and think. Its ability to improve talk and thought ultimately hinges on the successful dissemination of desired conceptual changes. Unfortunately, the field has been slow to develop methods to directly test what barriers stand in the way of propagation and what methods will most effectively propagate desired conceptual change. In order to test such questions, this paper introduces the masked time-lagged method. The masked time-lagged method tests people's (...)
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  7. 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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  8. Asymmetry Effects in Generic and Quantified Generalizations.Kevin Reuter, Eleonore Neufeld & Guillermo Del Pinal - 2023 - Proceedings of the 45Th Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society 45:1-6.
    Generic statements (‘Tigers have stripes’) are pervasive and early-emerging modes of generalization with a distinctive linguistic profile. Previous experimental work found that generics display a unique asymmetry between their acceptance conditions and the implications that are typically drawn from them. This paper presents evidence against the hypothesis that only generics display an asymmetry. Correcting for limitations of previous designs, we found a generalized asymmetry effect across generics, various kinds of explicitly quantified statements (‘most’, ‘some’, ‘typically’, ‘usually’), and variations in types (...)
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  9. Stereotypes, Conceptual Centrality and Gender Bias: An Empirical Investigation.Guillermo Del Pinal, Alex Madva & Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter - 2017 - Ratio 30 (4):384-410.
    Discussions in social psychology overlook an important way in which biases can be encoded in conceptual representations. Most accounts of implicit bias focus on ‘mere associations’ between features and representations of social groups. While some have argued that some implicit biases must have a richer conceptual structure, they have said little about what this richer structure might be. To address this lacuna, we build on research in philosophy and cognitive science demonstrating that concepts represent dependency relations between features. These relations, (...)
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  10. Conspiracy theories are not theories: Time to rename conspiracy theories.Kevin Reuter & Lucien Baumgartner - forthcoming - In Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Steffen Koch & Kevin Scharp (eds.), New Perspectives on Conceptual Engineering. Springer.
    This paper presents the results of two corpus studies investigating the discourse surrounding conspiracy theories and genuine theories. The results of these studies show that conspiracy theories lack the epistemic and scientific standing characteristic of theories more generally. Instead, our findings indicate that conspiracy theories are spread in a manner that resembles the dissemination of rumors and falsehoods. Based on these empirical results, we argue that it is time for both re-engineering conspiracy theory and for relabeling "conspiracy theory". We propose (...)
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  11. No knowledge required.Kevin Reuter & Peter Brössel - 2018 - Episteme 16 (3):303-321.
    Assertions are the centre of gravity in social epistemology. They are the vehicles we use to exchange information within scientific groups and society as a whole. It is therefore essential to determine under which conditions we are permitted to make an assertion. In this paper we argue and provide empirical evidence for the view that the norm of assertion is justified belief: truth or even knowledge are not required. Our results challenge the knowledge account advocated by, e.g. Williamson (1996), in (...)
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  12. Where is your pain? A Cross-cultural Comparison of the Concept of Pain in Americans and South Korea.Hyo-eun Kim, Nina Poth, Kevin Reuter & Justin Sytsma - 2016 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 9 (1):136-169.
    Philosophical orthodoxy holds that pains are mental states, taking this to reflect the ordinary conception of pain. Despite this, evidence is mounting that English speakers do not tend to conceptualize pains in this way; rather, they tend to treat pains as being bodily states. We hypothesize that this is driven by two primary factors—the phenomenology of feeling pains and the surface grammar of pain reports. There is reason to expect that neither of these factors is culturally specific, however, and thus (...)
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  13. What is the folk concept of life?Kevin Reuter & Claus Beisbart - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (2):486-507.
    This paper details the content and structure of the folk concept of life, and discusses its relevance for scientific research on life. In four empirical studies, we investigate which features of life are considered salient, universal, central, and necessary. Functionings, such as nutrition and reproduction, but not material composition, turn out to be salient features commonly associated with living beings (Study 1). By contrast, being made of cells is considered a universal feature of living species (Study 2), a central aspect (...)
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  14. The good, the bad, and the timely: How temporal order and moral judgment influence causal selection.Kevin Reuter, Lara Kirfel, Raphael van Riel & Luca Barlassina - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5 (1336):1-10.
    Causal selection is the cognitive process through which one or more elements in a complex causal structure are singled out as actual causes of a certain effect. In this paper, we report on an experiment in which we investigated the role of moral and temporal factors in causal selection. Our results are as follows. First, when presented with a temporal chain in which two human agents perform the same action one after the other, subjects tend to judge the later agent (...)
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  15. Not More than a Feeling.Kevin Reuter, Michael Messerli & Luca Barlassina - 2022 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):41-50.
    Affect-based theorists and life satisfaction theorists disagree about the nature of happiness, but agree about this methodological principle: a philosophical theory of happiness should be in line with the folk concept HAPPINESS. In this article, we present two empirical studies indicating that it is affect-based theories that get the folk concept HAPPINESS right: competent speakers judge a person to be happy if and only if that person is described as feeling pleasure/good most of the time. Our studies also show that (...)
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  16. Tracing Truth Through Conceptual Scaling: Mapping People’s Understanding of Abstract Concepts.Lukas S. Huber, David-Elias Künstle & Kevin Reuter - manuscript
    Traditionally, the investigation of truth has been anchored in a priori reasoning. Cognitive science deviates from this tradition by adding empirical data on how people understand and use concepts. Building on psychophysics and machine learning methods, we introduce conceptual scaling, an approach to map people's understanding of abstract concepts. This approach, allows computing participant-specific conceptual maps from obtained ordinal comparison data, thereby quantifying perceived similarities among abstract concepts. Using this approach, we investigated individual's alignment with philosophical theories on truth and (...)
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  17. Normativity and Concepts of Bodily Sensations.Kevin Reuter - forthcoming - Studia Philosophica: Jahrbuch Der Schweizerischen Philosoph Ischen Gesellschaft, Annuaire de la Société Suisse de Philosphie .
    This paper challenges the philosophical assumption that bodily sensations are free from normative constraints. It examines the normative status of bodily sensations through two studies: a corpus-linguistic analysis and an experimental investigation. The corpus analysis shows that while emotions are frequently subject to normative judgments concerning their appropriateness, similar attitudes are less evident towards bodily sensations like feelings of pain, hunger and cold. In contrast, however, the experimental study reveals notable differences in conceptions of bodily sensations. It finds that sensations (...)
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  18. Experimental Philosophy of Consciousness.Kevin Reuter - 2020 - In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), The Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Experimental philosophy of consciousness aims to investigate and explain our thinking about phenomenally conscious states. Based on empirical studies, researchers have argued (a) that we lack a folk concept of consciousness, (b) that we do not think entities like Microsoft feel regret, (c) that unfelt pains are widely accepted, and (d) that people do not attribute phenomenally conscious states to duplicated hamsters. In this article, I review these and other intriguing claims about people’s understanding of phenomenal consciousness. In doing so, (...)
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    "Wrongful discrimination" - a tautological claim?Pascale Willemsen, Simone Sommer Degn, Jan Alejandro Garcia Olier & Kevin Reuter - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.
    Is it tautological to call an action "wrongful discrimination?" Some philosophers and political theorists answer this question in the affirmative and claim that the term "discrimination" is intrinsically evaluative. Others agree that "discrimination" usually conveys the action’s moral wrongness but claim that the term can be used in a purely descriptive way. In this paper, we present two corpus studies and two experiments designed to test whether the folk concept of discrimination is evaluative. We demonstrate that the term has undergone (...)
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  20. Empirische Erforschung des Bewusstseins.Kevin Reuter - 2019 - In Vera Hoffmann-Kolss & Nicole Rathgeb (eds.), Handbuch Philosophie des Geistes. J.B. Metzler.
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  21. Reading Words Hurts: The impact of pain sensitivity on people’s ratings of pain-related words.Erica Cosentino, Markus Werning & Kevin Reuter - 2015 - In D. C. Noelle, R. Dale, A. S. Warlaumont, J. Yoshimi, T. Matlock, C. D. Jennings & P. P. Maglio (eds.), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society. pp. 453-458.
    This study explores the relation between pain sensitivity and the cognitive processing of words. 130 participants evaluated the pain-relatedness of a total of 600 two-syllabic nouns, and subsequently reported on their own pain sensitivity. The results demonstrate that pain-sensitive people (based on their self-report) associate words more strongly with pain than less sensitive people. In particular, concrete nouns like syringe, wound, knife, and cactus, are considered to be more pain-related for those who are more pain-sensitive. We discuss our results in (...)
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