•  82
    Actionability Judgments Cause Knowledge Judgments
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3): 212-222. 2016.
    Researchers recently demonstrated a strong direct relationship between judgments about what a person knows and judgments about how a person should act. But it remains unknown whether actionability judgments cause knowledge judgments, or knowledge judgments cause actionability judgments. This paper uses causal modeling to help answer this question. Across two experiments, we found evidence that actionability judgments cause knowledge judgments.
  •  96
    Epistemic Contextualism and Linguistic Behavior
    In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism, Routledge. pp. 44-56. 2017.
    Epistemic contextualism is the theory that “knows” is a context sensitive expression. As a linguistic theory, epistemic contextualism is motivated by claims about the linguistic behavior of competent speakers. This chapter reviews evidence in experimental cognitive science for epistemic contextualism in linguistic behavior. This research demonstrates that although some observations that are consistent with epistemic contextualism can be confirmed in linguistic practices, these observations are a…Read more
  •  234
    Philosophers of mind typically group experiential states together and distinguish these from intentional states on the basis of their purportedly obvious phenomenal character. Sytsma and Machery (Phil Stud 151(2): 299–327, 2010) challenge this dichotomy by presenting evidence that non-philosophers do not classify subjective experiences relative to a state’s phenomenological character, but rather by its valence. However we argue that S&M’s results do not speak to folk beliefs about the nature of …Read more
  •  217
    Does the Paradox of Fiction Exist?
    with Katherine Tullmann
    Erkenntnis 79 (4): 779-796. 2014.
    Many philosophers have attempted to provide a solution to the paradox of fiction, a triad of sentences that lead to the conclusion that genuine emotional responses to fiction are irrational. We suggest that disagreement over the best response to this paradox stems directly from the formulation of the paradox itself. Our main goal is to show that there is an ambiguity regarding the word ‘exist’ throughout the premises of the paradox. To reveal this ambiguity, we display the diverse existential co…Read more
  •  120
    Research in experimental epistemology has revealed a great, yet unsolved mystery: why do ordinary evaluations of knowledge ascribing sentences involving stakes and error appear to diverge so systematically from the predictions professional epistemologists make about them? Two recent solutions to this mystery by Keith DeRose (2011) and N. Ángel Pinillos (2012) argue that these differences arise due to specific problems with the designs of past experimental studies. This paper presents two new exp…Read more
  •  179
    Gettier Made ESEE
    Philosophical Psychology 27 (3): 368-383. 2014.
    Previous research in experimental philosophy has suggested that moral judgments can influence the ordinary application of a number of different concepts, including attributions of knowledge. But should epistemologists care? The present set of studies demonstrate that this basic effect can be extended to overturn intuitions in some of the most theoretically central experiments in contemporary epistemology: Gettier cases. Furthermore, experiment three shows that this effect is unlikely mediated…Read more
  •  48
    The Genuine Attitude View of Fictional Belief
    with Katherine Tullmann
    In Bradley H., Sullivan-Bissett E. & Noordhof P. (eds.), Art and Belief, Oxford University Press. 2017.
    The distinct-attitude view of fictional narratives is a standard position in contemporary aesthetics. This is the view that cognitive attitudes formed in response to fictions are a distinct kind of mental state from beliefs formed in response to non-fictional scenarios, such as pretend or imaginary states. In this paper we argue that the balance of functional, behavioral, and neuroscientific evidence best supports the genuine-attitude view of belief. According to the genuine-attitude view, cogni…Read more
  •  316
    Gettier Cases: A Taxonomy
    with Peter Blouw and John Turri
    In R. Borges, C. de Almeida & P. Klein (eds.), Explaining Knowledge: New Essays on the Gettier Problem, Oxford University Press. pp. 242-252. 2017.
    The term “Gettier Case” is a technical term frequently applied to a wide array of thought experiments in contemporary epistemology. What do these cases have in common? It is said that they all involve a justified true belief which, intuitively, is not knowledge, due to a form of luck called “Gettiering.” While this very broad characterization suffices for some purposes, it masks radical diversity. We argue that the extent of this diversity merits abandoning the notion of a “Gettier case” in…Read more
  •  192
    Analytic Functionalism and Mental State Attribution
    Philosophical Topics 40 (2): 129-154. 2012.
    We argue that the causal account offered by analytic functionalism provides the best account of the folk psychological theory of mind, and that people ordinarily define mental states relative to the causal roles these states occupy in relation to environmental impingements, external behaviors, and other mental states. We present new empirical evidence, as well as review several key studies on mental state ascription to diverse types of entities such as robots, cyborgs, corporations and God, and …Read more
  •  280
    Non-Traditional Factors in Judgments about Knowledge
    Philosophy Compass 7 (4): 278-289. 2012.
    One recent trend in contemporary epistemology is to study the way in which the concept of knowledge is actually applied in everyday settings. This approach has inspired an exciting new spirit of collaboration between experimental philosophers and traditional epistemologists, who have begun using the techniques of the social sciences to investigate the factors that influence ordinary judgments about knowledge attribution. This paper provides an overview of some of the results these researchers …Read more
  •  233
    Knowledge and Luck
    with John Turri and Peter Blouw
    Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 22 (2): 378-390. 2015.
    Nearly all success is due to some mix of ability and luck. But some successes we attribute to the agent’s ability, whereas others we attribute to luck. To better understand the criteria distinguishing credit from luck, we conducted a series of four studies on knowledge attributions. Knowledge is an achievement that involves reaching the truth. But many factors affecting the truth are beyond our control and reaching the truth is often partly due to luck. Which sorts of luck are compatible with kn…Read more
  •  250
    Experimental Philosophy
    with Joshua Knobe, Shaun Nichols, N. Ángel Pinillos, Philip Robbins, Hagop Sarkissian, Chris Weigel, and Jonathan M. Weinberg
    Oxford Bibliographies Online (1): 81-92. 2012.
    Bibliography of works in experimental philosophy.
  •  368
    Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2): 378-410. 2016.
    Experimental philosophers have empirically challenged the connection between intuition and philosophical expertise. This paper reviews these challenges alongside other research findings in cognitive science on expert performance and argues for three claims. First, evidence taken to challenge philosophical expertise may also be explained by the well-researched failures and limitations of genuine expertise. Second, studying the failures and limitations of experts across many fields provides a prom…Read more
  •  293
    Descartes’s Schism, Locke’s Reunion: Completing the Pragmatic Turn in Epistemology
    with John Turri
    American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1): 25-46. 2017.
    Centuries ago, Descartes and Locke initiated a foundational debate in epistemology over the relationship between knowledge, on the one hand, and practical factors, on the other. Descartes claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally separate. Locke claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally united. After a period of dormancy, their disagreement has reignited on the contemporary scene. Latter-day Lockeans claim that knowledge itself is essentially connected to, and perhaps eve…Read more
  •  748
    Pedagogy is a pillar of human culture and society. Telling each other information and showing each other how to do things comes naturally to us. A strong case has been made that declarative knowledge is the norm of assertion, which is our primary way of telling others information. This article presents an analogous case for the hypothesis that procedural knowledge is the norm of instructional demonstration, which is a primary way of showing others how to do things. Knowledge is the norm of telli…Read more
  •  157
    It is often thought that judgments about what we ought to do are limited by judgments about what we can do, or that “ought implies can.” We conducted eight experiments to test the link between a range of moral requirements and abilities in ordinary moral evaluations. Moral obligations were repeatedly attributed in tandem with inability, regardless of the type (Experiments 1–3), temporal duration (Experiment 5), or scope (Experiment 6) of inability. This pattern was consistently observed using a…Read more
  •  47
    Neuroscientific Prediction and the Intrusion of Intuitive Metaphysics
    with David Rose and Shaun Nichols
    Cognitive Science 41 (2): 482-502. 2017.
    How might advanced neuroscience—in which perfect neuro-predictions are possible—interact with ordinary judgments of free will? We propose that peoples' intuitive ideas about indeterminist free will are both imported into and intrude into their representation of neuroscientific scenarios and present six experiments demonstrating intrusion and importing effects in the context of scenarios depicting perfect neuro-prediction. In light of our findings, we suggest that the intuitive commitment to inde…Read more
  •  59
    Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy (edited book)
    with Justin Sytsma
    Blackwell. 2016.
    This is an anthology of experimental papers relevant to philosophical inquiry across many areas of philosophy.
  •  203
    Neuroscientific Prediction and the Intrusion of Intuitive Metaphysics
    with David Rose and Shaun Nichols
    Cognitive Science 39 (7). 2015.
    How might advanced neuroscience—in which perfect neuro-predictions are possible—interact with ordinary judgments of free will? We propose that peoples' intuitive ideas about indeterminist free will are both imported into and intrude into their representation of neuroscientific scenarios and present six experiments demonstrating intrusion and importing effects in the context of scenarios depicting perfect neuro-prediction. In light of our findings, we suggest that the intuitive commitment to inde…Read more
  •  178
    Phenomenal Consciousness Disembodied
    In Justin Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind, Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 45-74. 2014.
    We evaluate the role of embodiment in ordinary mental state ascriptions. Presented are five experiments on phenomenal state ascriptions to disembodied entities such as ghosts and spirits. Results suggest that biological embodiment is not a central principle of folk psychology guiding ascriptions of phenomenal consciousness. By contrast, results continue to support the important role of functional considerations in theory of mind judgments.
  •  250
    Factive Verbs and Protagonist Projection
    Episteme 11 (4): 391-409. 2014.
    Nearly all philosophers agree that only true things can be known. But does this principle reflect actual patterns of ordinary usage? Several examples in ordinary language seem to show that ‘know’ is literally used non-factively. By contrast, this paper reports five experiments utilizing explicit paraphrasing tasks, which suggest that non-factive uses are actually not literal. Instead, they are better explained by a phenomenon known as protagonist projection. It is argued that armchair philosophi…Read more
  •  269
    Knowledge Isn’t Closed on Saturday: A Study in Ordinary Language
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3): 395-406. 2010.
    Recent theories of epistemic contextualism have challenged traditional invariantist positions in epistemology by claiming that the truth conditions of knowledge attributions fluctuate between conversational contexts. Contextualists often garner support for this view by appealing to folk intuitions regarding ordinary knowledge practices. Proposed is an experiment designed to test the descriptive conditions upon which these types of contextualist defenses rely. In the cases tested, the folk patt…Read more
  •  160
    Moderate scientism in philosophy
    with John Turri
    In Jereon de Ridder, Rik Peels & René van Woudenberg (eds.), Scientism: Prospects and Problems, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Moderate scientism is the view that empirical science can help answer questions in nonscientific disciplines. In this paper, we evaluate moderate scientism in philosophy. We review several ways that science has contributed to research in epistemology, action theory, ethics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. We also review several ways that science has contributed to our understanding of how philosophers make judgments and decisions. Based on this research, we conclude that the case…Read more
  •  259
    Epistemic Intuitions in Fake-Barn Thought Experiments
    with David Colaço, Stephen Stich, and Edouard Machery
    Episteme 11 (2): 199-212. 2014.
    In epistemology, fake-barn thought experiments are often taken to be intuitively clear cases in which a justified true belief does not qualify as knowledge. We report a study designed to determine whether non-philosophers share this intuition. The data suggest that while participants are less inclined to attribute knowledge in fake-barn cases than in unproblematic cases of knowledge, they nonetheless do attribute knowledge to protagonists in fake-barn cases. Moreover, the intuition that fake-bar…Read more