•  143
    Debunking Adapting Minds (review)
    with H. Clark Barrett
    Philosophy of Science 73 (2): 232-246. 2006.
    David Buller’s recent book, _Adapting Minds_, is a philosophical critique of the field of evolutionary psychology. Buller argues that evolutionary psychology is utterly bankrupt from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view. Although _Adapting Minds _has been well received in both the academic press and the popular media, we argue that Buller’s critique of evolutionary psychology fails
  •  2
    On the relevance of folk intuitions: A commentary on Talbot ☆
    with Justin Systema
    Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2): 654-660. 2012.
    In previous work, we presented evidence suggesting that ordinary people do not conceive of subjective experiences as having phenomenal qualities. We then argued that these findings undermine a common justification given for the reality of the hard problem of consciousness. In a thought-provoking article, Talbot has challenged our argument. In this article, we respond to his criticism.
  •  161
    Moral realism and cross-cultural normative diversity
    with Kelly Daniel and P. Stich Stephen
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (6): 830-830. 2005.
    We discuss the implications of the findings reported in the target article for moral theory, and argue that they represent a clear and genuine case of fundamental moral disagreement. As such, the findings support a moderate form of moral anti-realism – the position that, for some moral issues, there is no fact of the matter about what is right and wrong
  •  184
    Behavioral Circumscription and the Folk Psychology of Belief: A Study in Ethno-Mentalizing
    with David Rose, Stephen Stich, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Florian Cova, Vilius Dranseika, Ángeles Eraña Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, and Maurice Grinberg
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Is behavioral integration (i.e., which occurs when a subjects assertion that p matches her non-verbal behavior) a necessary feature of belief in folk psychology? Our data from nearly 6,000 people across twenty-six samples, spanning twenty-two countries suggests that it is not. Given the surprising cross-cultural robustness of our findings, we suggest that the types of evidence for the ascription of a belief are, at least in some circumstances, lexicographically ordered: assertions are first ta…Read more
  •  117
    Innateness, canalization, and 'biologicizing the mind'
    Philosophical Psychology 21 (3). 2008.
    This article examines and rejects the claim that 'innateness is canalization'. Waddington's concept of canalization is distinguished from the narrower concept of environmental canalization with which it is often confused. Evidence is presented that the concept of environmental canalization is not an accurate analysis of the existing concept of innateness. The strategy of 'biologicizing the mind' by treating psychological or behavioral traits as if they were environmentally canalized physiologica…Read more
  •  26
    In this commentary, I argue that to properly assess the significance of the cross-cultural findings reviewed by Henrich et al., one needs to understand better the causes of the variation in performance in experimental tasks across cultures
  •  25
    Delineating the Moral Domain
    The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7. 2012.
    Moral psychology and naturalistic moral philosophers should strive to understand how moral and non-moral norms differ. Using Patricia Churchland’s recent book Braintrust as an example, I describe the pitfalls of failing to take this issue seriously, and I introduce a new research program about the delineation of the moral domain.
  •  66
    Robot pains and corporate feelings
    The Philosophers' Magazine 52 (52): 78-82. 2011.
    Most philosophers of mind follow Thomas Nagel and hold that subjective experiences are characterised by the fact that there is “something it is like” to have them. Philosophers of mind have sometimes speculated that ordinary people endorse, perhaps implicitly, this conception of subjective experiences. Some recent findings cast doubt on this view.
  •  40
    3 Please specify whether it is Meaney (2001a or 2001b) throughout the article. 4 Please provide location of the publisher for reference Ariew (2006). 5 Please update the following reference: Griffiths et al. (submitted); Jones..
  •  568
    Racial cognition and normative racial theory
    with Daniel Kelly and Ron Mallon
    In John Doris (ed.), Moral Psychology Handbook, Oxford University Press. pp. 432--471. 2010.
  •  298
    You Don't Know How You Think: Introspection and Language of Thought
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3): 469-485. 2005.
    The question, ‘Is cognition linguistic?' divides recent cognitive theories into two antagonistic groups. Sententialists claim that we think in some language, while advocates of non linguistic views of cognition deny this claim. The Introspective Argument for Sententialism is one of the most appealing arguments for sententialism. In substance, it claims that the introspective fact of inner speech provides strong evidence that our thoughts are linguistic. This article challenges this argument. I c…Read more
  •  2
    Exploring the folkbiological conception of human nature
    Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences 366 (1563): 444-453. 2011.
    Integrating the study of human diversity into the human evolutionary sciences requires substantial revision of traditional conceptions of a shared human nature. This process may be made more difficult by entrenched, 'folkbiological' modes of thought. Earlier work by the authors suggests that biologically naive subjects hold an implicit theory according to which some traits are expressions of an animal's inner nature while others are imposed by its environment. In this paper, we report further st…Read more
  •  185
    Précis of doing without concepts
    Philosophical Studies 149 (3): 602-611. 2010.
    Although cognitive scientists have learned a lot about concepts, their findings have yet to be organized in a coherent theoretical framework. In addition, after twenty years of controversy, there is little sign that philosophers and psychologists are converging toward an agreement about the very nature of concepts. Doing without Concepts (Machery 2009) attempts to remedy this state of affairs. In this article, I review the main points and arguments developed at greater length in Doing without Co…Read more
  •  22
    The heterogeneity of knowledge representation and the elimination of concept
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3): 231-244. 2010.
    In this response, I begin by defending and clarifying the notion of concept proposed in Doing without Concepts (Machery 2009) against the alternatives proposed by several commentators. I then discuss whether psychologists and philosophers who theorize about concepts are talking about distinct phenomena or about different aspects of the same phenomenon, as argued in some commentaries. Next, I criticize the idea that the cognitive-scientific findings about induction, categorization, concept combin…Read more
  •  162
    At the end of a chapter in his book Race, Racism and Reparations, Angelo Corlett notes that “[t]here remain other queries about racism [than those he addressed in his chapter], which need philosophical exploration. … Perhaps most important, how might racism be unlearned?” (2003, 93). We agree with Corlett’s assessment of its importance, but find that philosophers have not been very keen to directly engage with the issue of how to best deal with, and ultimately do away with, racism. Rather, they …Read more
  •  184
    In Defense of Reverse Inference
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2): 251-267. 2014.
    Reverse inference is the most commonly used inferential strategy for bringing images of brain activation to bear on psychological hypotheses, but its inductive validity has recently been questioned. In this article, I show that, when it is analyzed in likelihoodist terms, reverse inference does not suffer from the problems highlighted in the recent literature, and I defend the appropriateness of treating reverse inference in these terms. 1 Introduction2 Reverse Inference3 Reverse Inference Defen…Read more
  •  6
    Arguing About Human Nature covers recent debates--arising from biology, philosophy, psychology, and physical anthropology--that together systematically examine what it means to be human. Thirty-five essays--several of them appearing here for the first time in print--were carefully selected to offer competing perspectives on 12 different topics related to human nature. The context and main threads of the debates are highlighted and explained by the editors in a short, clear introduction to each o…Read more
  •  22
    Evolution of morality
    with Ron Mallon
    In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook, Oxford University Press. pp. 3. 2010.
  •  155
    Social construction and the concept of race
    with Edouard Machery and Luc Faucher
    Philosophy of Science 72 (5): 1208-1219. 2004.
    There has been little serious work to integrate the constructionist approach and the cognitive approach in the domain of race, although many researchers have paid lip service to this project. We believe that any satisfactory account of human beings’ racialist cognition has to integrate both approaches. In this paper, we propose a step toward this integration. We present an evolutionary theory that rests on a distinction between various kinds of groups (kin-based groups, small-scale coalitions an…Read more
  •  133
    The defining insight of evolutionary psychology consists of bringing considerations drawn from evolutionary biology to bear on the study of human psychology. So characterized, evolutionary psychology encompasses a large range of views about the nature and evolution of human psychology as well as diverging opinions about the proper method for studying them.1 In this article, I propose to clarify and evaluate various aspects of evolutionary psychologists’ methodology, with a special focus on their…Read more
  •  18
  •  48
    The evolution of punishment
    Biology and Philosophy 27 (6): 833-850. 2012.
    Many researchers have assumed that punishment evolved as a behavior-modification strategy, i.e. that it evolved because of the benefits resulting from the punishees modifying their behavior. In this article, however, we describe two alternative mechanisms for the evolution of punishment: punishment as a loss-cutting strategy (punishers avoid further exploitation by punishees) and punishment as a cost-imposing strategy (punishers impair the violator’s capacity to harm the punisher or its genetic …Read more
  •  63
    Against hybrid theories of concepts
    with Selja Säppälä
    Psychologists of concepts’ traditional assumption that there are many properties common to all concepts has been subject to devastating critiques in psychology and in the philosophy of psychology. However, it is currently unclear what approach to concepts is best suited to replace this traditional assumption. In this article, we compare two competing approaches, the Heterogeneity Hypothesis and the hybrid theories of concepts, and we present an empirical argument that tentatively supports the fo…Read more
  •  52
    11 Philosophy of Psychology
    In Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Philosophies of the Sciences, Wiley-blackwell. pp. 262. 2010.
  •  17
    Carey holds that the study of conceptual development bears on the theories of concepts developed by philosophers and psychologists. In this commentary, I scrutinize her claims about the significance of the study of conceptual development
  •  42
    The role of psychology in the study of culture
    with Daniel Kelly, Ron Mallon, Kelby Mason, and Stephen P. Stich
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4): 355-355. 2006.
    Although we are enthusiastic about a Darwinian approach to culture, we argue that the overview presented in the target article does not sufficiently emphasize the crucial explanatory role that psychology plays in the study of culture. We use a number of examples to illustrate the variety of ways by which appeal to psychological factors can help explain cultural phenomena