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Pascale Willemsen
University of Zürich
  1. 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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    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. Beyond the Courtroom: Agency and the Perception of Free will.Edouard Machery, Markus Kneer, Pascale Willemsen & Albert Newen - forthcoming - In Samuel Murray & Paul Henne (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Action.
    In this paper, we call for a new approach to the psychology of free will attribution. While past research in experimental philosophy and psychology has mostly been focused on reasoning- based judgment (“the courtroom approach”), we argue that like agency and mindedness, free will can also be experienced perceptually (“the perceptual approach”). We further propose a new model of free will attribution—the agency model—according to which the experience of free will is elicited by the perceptual cues that prompt the attribution (...)
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