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Samuel Murray
Duke University
  1. Piercing the Smoke Screen: Dualism, Free Will, and Christianity.Samuel Murray, Elise Dykhuis & Thomas Nadelhoffer - forthcoming - Journal of Cognition and Culture.
    Research on the folk psychology of free will suggests that people believe free will is incompatible with determinism and that human decision-making cannot be exhaustively characterized by physical processes. Some suggest that certain elements of Western cultural history, especially Christianity, have helped to entrench these beliefs in the folk conceptual economy. Thus, on the basis of this explanation, one should expect to find three things: (1) a significant correlation between belief in dualism and belief in free will, (2) that people (...)
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  2. Beyond Good and Bad.William Jimenez-Leal, Samuel Murray, Santiago Amaya & Sergio Barbosa - manuscript
    We argue that people regularly encounter situations involving moral conflicts among permissible options. These scenarios, which some have called morally charged situations, reflect perceived tensions between moral expectations and moral rights. Studying responses to such situations marks a departure from the common emphasis on sacrificial dilemmas and widespread use of single-dimension measures. In 6 experiments (n=1607), we show that people use a wide conceptual arsenal when assessing actions that can be described as suberogatory (bad but permissible) or supererogatory (good but (...)
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  3. These Confabulations Are Guaranteed to Improve Your Marriage! Toward a Teleological Theory of Confabulation.Samuel Murray & Peter Finocchiaro - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    Confabulation is typically understood to be dysfunctional. But this understanding neglects the phenomenon's potential benefits. In fact, we think that the benefits of non-clinical confabulation provide a better foundation for a general account of confabulation. In this paper, we start from these benefits to develop a social teleological account of confabulation. Central to our account is the idea that confabulation manifests a kind of willful ignorance. By understanding confabulation in this way, we can provide principled explanations for the difference between (...)
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  4. Responsibility and Vigilance.Samuel Murray - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):507-527.
    My primary target in this paper is a puzzle that emerges from the conjunction of several seemingly innocent assumptions in action theory and the metaphysics of moral responsibility. The puzzle I have in mind is this. On one widely held account of moral responsibility, an agent is morally responsible only for those actions or outcomes over which that agent exercises control. Recently, however, some have cited cases where agents appear to be morally responsible without exercising any control. This leads some (...)
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  5. Can the Mind Wander Intentionally?Samuel Murray & Kristina Krasich - unknown - Mind and Language:1-22.
    Mind wandering is typically operationalized as task-unrelated thought. Some argue for the need to distinguish between unintentional and intentional mind wandering, where an agent voluntarily shifts attention from task-related to task-unrelated thoughts. We reveal an inconsistency between the standard, task-unrelated thought definition of mind wandering and the occurrence of intentional mind wandering (together with plausible assumptions about tasks and intentions). This suggests that either the standard definition of mind wandering should be rejected or that intentional mind wandering is an incoherent (...)
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  6. Vigilance and Control.Samuel Murray & Manuel Vargas - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):825-843.
    We sometimes fail unwittingly to do things that we ought to do. And we are, from time to time, culpable for these unwitting omissions. We provide an outline of a theory of responsibility for unwitting omissions. We emphasize two distinctive ideas: (i) many unwitting omissions can be understood as failures of appropriate vigilance, and; (ii) the sort of self-control implicated in these failures of appropriate vigilance is valuable. We argue that the norms that govern vigilance and the value of self-control (...)
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  7. Responsibility for Forgetting.Samuel Murray, Elise D. Murray, Gregory Stewart, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1177-1201.
    In this paper, we focus on whether and to what extent we judge that people are responsible for the consequences of their forgetfulness. We ran a series of behavioral studies to measure judgments of responsibility for the consequences of forgetfulness. Our results show that we are disposed to hold others responsible for some of their forgetfulness. The level of stress that the forgetful agent is under modulates judgments of responsibility, though the level of care that the agent exhibits toward performing (...)
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  8. What's in a Task? Complications in the Study of the Task-Unrelated-Thought (TUT) Variety of Mind Wandering.Samuel Murray, Kristina Krasich, Jonathan Schooler & Paul Seli - unknown - Perspectives on Psychological Science:1-50.
    In recent years, the number of studies examining mind wandering has increased considerably, and research on the topic has spread widely across various domains of psychological research. Although the term “mind wandering” has been used to refer to various cognitive states, researchers typically operationalize mind wandering in terms of “task-unrelated thought” (TUT). Research on TUT has shed light on the various task features that require people’s attention, and on the consequences of task inattention. Important methodological and conceptual complications do persist, (...)
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  9. The Place of the Trace: Negligence and Responsibility.Samuel Murray - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):39-52.
    One popular theory of moral responsibility locates responsible agency in exercises of control. These control-based theories often appeal to tracing to explain responsibility in cases where some agent is intuitively responsible for bringing about some outcome despite lacking direct control over that outcome’s obtaining. Some question whether control-based theories are committed to utilizing tracing to explain responsibility in certain cases. I argue that reflecting on certain kinds of negligence shows that tracing plays an ineliminable role in any adequate control-based theory (...)
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  10. Reference Fiction, and Omission.Samuel Murray - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):235-257.
    In this paper, I argue that sentences that contain ‘omission’ tokens that appear to function as singular terms are meaningful while maintaining the view that omissions are nothing at all or mere absences. I take omissions to be fictional entities and claim that the way in which sentences about fictional characters are true parallels the way in which sentences about omissions are true. I develop a pragmatic account of fictional reference and argue that my fictionalist account of omissions implies a (...)
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  11. O’Connor’s Argument for Indeterminism.Samuel Murray - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (3):268-275.
    Timothy O’Connor has recently defended a version of libertarianism that has significant advantages over similar accounts. One of these is an argument that secures indeterminism on the basis of an argument that shows how causal determinism threatens agency in virtue of the nature of the causal relation involved in free acts. In this paper, I argue that while it does turn out that free acts are not causally determined on O’Connor’s view, this fact is merely stipulative and the argument that (...)
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  12.  63
    Michael Frede's "The Aristotelian Theory of the Agent Intellect" [Translation].Samuel Murray - manuscript
    This is a rough translation of Michael Frede's "La théorie aristotélicienne de l'intellect agent" published in 1996. This insightful paper contains an important interpretation of Aristotle's notoriously difficult theory of the active intellect from De Anima III, 5. I worked up a translation during some research and thought others might benefit from having an English translation available (I couldn't find one after a cursory internet search). It's not perfect, but it should give one a sense for Frede's argument that the (...)
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