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Uwe Peters
KU Leuven
  1. Illegitimate Values, Confirmation Bias, and Mandevillian Cognition in Science.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy079.
    It is a common proposal that values are illegitimate in science and should be counteracted whenever they drive inquiry to the confirmation of predetermined conclusions. Drawing on recent psychological research on the evolutionary function of human reasoning and confirmation bias, I argue that this view should be rejected. Advocates of it have overlooked that values that drive inquiry to the confirmation of predetermined conclusions can contribute to the reliability of scientific inquiry at the group level even when they negatively affect (...)
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  2. Implicit Bias, Ideological Bias, and Epistemic Risks in Philosophy.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    It has been argued that implicit biases are operative in philosophy and lead to significant epistemic costs in the field. Philosophers working on this issue have focussed mainly on implicit gender and race biases. They have overlooked ideological bias, which targets political orientations. Psychologists have found ideological bias in their field and have argued that it has negative epistemic effects on scientific research. I relate this debate to the field of philosophy and argue that if, as some studies suggest, the (...)
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  3.  30
    Teleology and Mentalizing in the Explanation of Action.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In empirically informed research on action explanation, philosophers and developmental psychologists have recently proposed a teleological account of the way in which we make sense of people’s intentional behavior. It holds that we typically don’t explain an agent’s action by appealing to her mental states but by referring to the objective, publically accessible facts of the world that count in favor of performing the action so as to achieve a certain goal. Advocates of the teleological account claim that this strategy (...)
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  4. Teleosemantics, Swampman, and Strong Representationalism.Uwe Peters - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):273–288.
    Teleosemantics explains mental representation in terms of biological function and selection history. One of the main objections to the account is the so-called ‘Swampman argument’ (Davidson 1987), which holds that there could be a creature with mental representation even though it lacks a selection history. A number of teleosemanticists reject the argument by emphasising that it depends on assuming a creature that is fi ctitious and hence irrelevant for teleosemantics because the theory is only concerned with representations in real-world organisms (...)
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  5.  73
    On the Automaticity and Ethics of Belief.Uwe Peters - 2017 - Teoria:99–115..
    Recently, philosophers have appealed to empirical studies to argue that whenever we think that p, we automatically believe that p (Millikan 2004; Mandelbaum 2014; Levy and Mandelbaum 2014). Levy and Mandelbaum (2014) have gone further and claimed that the automaticity of believing has implications for the ethics of belief in that it creates epistemic obligations for those who know about their automatic belief acquisition. I use theoretical considerations and psychological findings to raise doubts about the empirical case for the view (...)
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  6. Human Thinking, Shared Intentionality, and Egocentric Biases.Uwe Peters - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (6):1-16.
    The paper briefly summarises and critiques Tomasello’s A Natural History of Human Thinking. After offering an overview of the book, the paper focusses on one particular part of Tomasello’s proposal on the evolution of uniquely human thinking and raises two points of criticism against it. One of them concerns his notion of thinking. The other pertains to empirical findings on egocentric biases in communication.
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  7. Evolution, Moral Justification, and Moral Realism.Uwe Peters - 2012 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior 3 (1):8–18.
    Does evolutionary theory have the potential to undermine morality? In his book The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce (2006) argues for a positive answer. He contends that an evolutionary account of morality would undermine moral judgements and lend support to moral scepticism. I offer a critique of Joyce’s argument. As it turns out, his case can be read in two different ways. It could be construed as an argument to establish a general scepticism about the justification of moral judgements. Or (...)
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