•  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
  •  115
    Two dogmas of neo-empiricism
    Philosophy Compass 1 (4). 2006.
    This article critically examines the contemporary resurgence of empiricism (or “neo-empiricism”) in philosophy, psychology, neuropsychology, and artificial intelligence. This resurgence is an important and positive development. It is the first time that this centuries-old empiricist approach to cognition is precisely formulated in the context of cognitive science and neuroscience. Moreover, neo-empiricists have made several findings that challenge amodal theories of concepts and higher cognition…Read more
  •  192
    The vernacular concept of innateness
    Mind and Language 24 (5): 605-630. 2009.
    The proposal that the concept of innateness expresses a 'folk biological' theory of the 'inner natures' of organisms was tested by examining the response of biologically naive participants to a series of realistic scenarios concerning the development of birdsong. Our results explain the intuitive appeal of existing philosophical analyses of the innateness concept. They simultaneously explain why these analyses are subject to compelling counterexamples. We argue that this explanation undermines t…Read more
  •  81
    Doing Without Concepts
    Oxford University Press. 2009.
    Over recent years, the psychology of concepts has been rejuvenated by new work on prototypes, inventive ideas on causal cognition, the development of neo-empiricist theories of concepts, and the inputs of the budding neuropsychology of concepts. But our empirical knowledge about concepts has yet to be organized in a coherent framework. In Doing without Concepts, Edouard Machery argues that the dominant psychological theories of concepts fail to provide such a framework and that drastic conceptua…Read more
  •  7
    Robot pains and corporate feelings
    The Philosophers' Magazine 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.
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    The intuitive is a red herring
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (4): 403-419. 2017.
    In this article, we discuss critically some of the key themes in Max Deutsch’s excellent book, The Myth of the Intuitive. We focus in particular on the shortcomings of his historical analysis – a missed opportunity by our lights, on the claim that philosophers present arguments in support of the judgments elicited by thought experiments, and on the claim that experimental philosophy is only relevant for the methodology of philosophy if thought experiments elicit intuitions.
  •  233
    Concepts are not a natural kind
    Philosophy of Science 72 (3): 444-467. 2004.
    In cognitive psychology, concepts are those data structures that are stored in long-term memory and are used by default in human beings.
  •  95
    Reconceptualizing Human Nature: Response to Lewens (review)
    Philosophy and Technology 25 (4): 475-478. 2012.
    There is a growing consensus that the traditional notion of human nature has failed and that human nature needs to be reconceptualized in light of our current scientific knowledge, including the knowledge gained in genetics and evolutionary biology. In “A Plea for Human Nature,” I highlighted this need, and I engaged in this reconceptualization effort, proposing a new notion of human nature, “the nomological notion of human nature” [Machery (Philosophical Psychology 21:321–330, 2008)]; for some …Read more
  •  35
    On the relevance of folk intuitions: A commentary on Talbot
    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
  •  142
    100 years of psychology of concepts: The theoretical notion of concept and its operationalization
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (1): 63-84. 2007.
    The operationalization of scienti?c notions is instrumental in enabling experimental evidence to bear on scienti?c propositions. Conceptual change should thus translate into operationalization change. This article describes some important experimental works in the psychology of concepts since the beginning of the twentieth century. It is argued that since the early days of this ?eld, psy- chologists
  •  162
    Folk theories—untutored people’s (often implicit) theories about various features of the world—have been fashionable objects of inquiry in psychology for almost two decades now (e.g., Hirschfeld and Gelman 1994), and more recently they have been of interest in experimental philosophy (Nichols 2004). Folk theories of psy- chology, physics, biology, and ethics have all come under investigation. Folk meta- physics, however, has not been as extensively studied. That so little is known about folk met…Read more
  •  198
    Linguistic and metalinguistic intuitions in the philosophy of language
    with Christopher Y. Olivola and Molly De Blanc
    Analysis 69 (4): 689-694. 2009.
    Machery et al. (2004) reported some preliminary evidence that intuitions about reference vary within and across cultures, and they argued that if real, such variation would have significant philosophical implications (see also Mallon et al. 2009). In a recent article, Genoveva Martı´ (2009) argues that the type of intuitions examined by Machery and colleagues (‘metalin- 10 guistic intuitions’) is evidentially irrelevant for identifying the correct theory of reference, and she concludes that the …Read more
  •  42
    Contemporary research on racial categorization is mostly encompassed by two research traditions—social constructionism and the cognitive-cum-evolutionary approach. Although both literatures have some plausible empirical evidence and some theoretical insights to contribute to a full understanding of racial categorization, there has been little contact between their proponents. In order to foster such contacts, we critically review both traditions, focusing particularly on the recent evolutionary/…Read more
  •  57
    ‘Race': Normative, Not Metaphysical or Semantic
    with Daniel Kelly and Ron Mallon
    Ethics 116 (3): 525-551. 2006.
    A core question of contemporary social morality concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization. By this we mean, for instance, classifying or thinking of a person as Black, Korean, Latino, White, etc.2 While it is widely agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about the ideal role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eli…Read more
  •  86
    This symposium discusses J.-L. Dessalles's account of the evolution of language, which was presented in Why we Talk (OUP 2007)
  •  224
    Racism: Against Jorge Garcia's moral and psychological monism
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (1): 41-62. 2009.
    In this article, we argue that it can be fruitful for philosophers interested in the nature and moral significance of racism to pay more attention to psychology. We do this by showing that psychology provides new arguments against Garcia's views about the nature and moral significance of racism. We contend that some scientific studies of racial cognition undermine Garcia's moral and psychological monism about racism: Garcia disregards (1) the rich affective texture of racism and (2) the diversit…Read more
  •  57
    Developmental disorders and cognitive architecture
    In Pieter R. Adriaens & Andreas de Block (eds.), Maladapting Minds: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Evolutionary Theory, Oxford University Press. 2011.
    For the last thirty years, cognitive scientists have attempted to describe the cognitive architecture of typically developing human beings, using, among other sources of evidence, the dissociations that result from developmental psychopathologies such as autism spectrum disorders, Williams syndrome, and Down syndrome. Thus, in his recent defense of the massive modularity hypothesis, Steven Pinker insists on the importance of such dissociations to identify the components of the typical cognitive …Read more
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    Natasha Mitchell: This is All in the Mind on Radio National abc.net.au/rn I'm Natasha Mitchell and really this past fortnight has been hellish for Australia, the bushfires in Victoria have claimed hundreds of human lives and it's almost been impossible to comprehend the scale of the disaster. Today's show links in a small way to the debate now being waged over what, or who, causes bushfires. It's a discussion about the philosophy of intentions and their profound moral weight
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    This article maybe used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.
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    Experimental philosophy is one of the most active and exciting areas in philosophy today. In Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy, Elizabeth O’Neill and Edouard Machery have brought together twelve leading philosophers to debate four topics central to recent research in experimental philosophy. The result is an important and enticing contribution to contemporary philosophy which thoroughly reframes traditional philosophical questions in light of experimental philosophers’ use of empi…

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    Describing a person as knowing a proposition involves a rich array of abilities: psychological capacities to attribute mental states to others, linguistic competence with mental state verbs, conceptual grasp of the nature of knowledge and its relation to features such as reliability and evidence. One might wonder whether these abilities are all part of our natural endowment as human beings, or whether any of them is a product of a person's specific cultural context. This one-day workshop brings …Read more
  •  84
    Editorial: Dimensions of Experimental Philosophy
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3): 315-318. 2010.
    Editorial: Dimensions of Experimental Philosophy Content Type Journal Article Pages 315-318 DOI 10.1007/s13164-010-0037-9 Authors Joshua Knobe, Program in Cognitive Science and Department of Philosophy, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA Tania Lombrozo, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley, 3210 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA Edouard Machery, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017 CL, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA Journal Review of Philosophy and Psych…Read more
  •  32
    It is difficult to overestimate Paul Meehl’s influence on judgment and decision-making research. His ‘disturbing little book’ (Meehl, 1986, p. 370) Clinical versus Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence (1954) is known as an attack on human judgment and a call for replacing clinicians with actuarial methods. More than 40 years later, fast and frugal heuristics—proposed as models of human judgment—were formalized, tested, and found to be surprisingly accurate,…Read more
  •  332
    Thought experiments and philosophical knowledge
    Metaphilosophy 42 (3): 191-214. 2011.
    : While thought experiments play an important role in contemporary analytic philosophy, much remains unclear about thought experiments. In particular, it is still unclear whether the judgments elicited by thought experiments can provide evidence for the premises of philosophical arguments. This article argues that, if an influential and promising view about the nature of the judgments elicited by thought experiments is correct, then many thought experiments in philosophy fail to provide any evid…Read more