•  243
    Cause and burn
    Cognition 207 (104517): 104517. 2021.
    Many philosophers maintain that causation is to be explicated in terms of a kind of dependence between cause and effect. These “dependence” theories are opposed by “production” accounts which hold that there is some more fundamental causal “oomph”. A wide range of experimental research on everyday causal judgments seems to indicate that ordinary people operate primarily with a dependence-based notion of causation. For example, people tend to say that absences and double preventers are causes. …Read more
  •  467
    Intentional Action Without Knowledge
    Synthese 197 1-13. 2020.
    In order to be doing something intentionally, must one know that one is doing it? Some philosophers have answered yes. Our aim is to test a version of this knowledge thesis, what we call the Knowledge/Awareness Thesis, or KAT. KAT states that an agent is doing something intentionally only if he knows that he is doing it or is aware that he is doing it. Here, using vignettes featuring skilled action and vignettes featuring habitual action, we provide evidence that, in various scenarios, a majori…Read more
  •  127
    Impossible Intentions
    American Philosophical Quarterly. forthcoming.
    Philosophers are divided on whether it is possible to intend believed-impossible outcomes. Several thought experiments in the action theory literature suggest that this is conceptually possible, though they have not been tested in ordinary social cognition. We conducted three experiments to determine whether, on the ordinary view, it is conceptually possible to intend believed-impossible outcomes. Our findings indicate that participants firmly countenance the possibility of intending believed-im…Read more
  •  133
    The claim that common sense regards free will and moral responsibility as compatible with determinism has played a central role in both analytic and experimental philosophy. In this paper, we show that evidence in favor of this “natural compatibilism” is undermined by the role that indeterministic metaphysical views play in how people construe deterministic scenarios. To demonstrate this, we re-examine two classic studies that have been used to support natural compatibilism. We find that althoug…Read more
  •  205
    Mentalizing Objects
    Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 4. forthcoming.
    We have a mentalistic view of objects. This is due to the interdependence of folk psychology and folk physics, where these are interconnected by what I call Teleological Commingling. When considering events that don’t involve agents, we naturally default to tracking intentions, goal-directed processes, despite the fact that agents aren’t involved. We have a deep-seated intentionality bias which is the result of the pervasive detection of agency cues, such as order or non-randomness. And this …Read more
  •  509
    Teleological Essentialism: Generalized
    Cognitive Science 44 (3). 2020.
    Natural/social kind essentialism is the view that natural kind categories, both living and non-living natural kinds, as well as social kinds (e.g., race, gender), are essentialized. On this view, artifactual kinds are not essentialized. Our view—teleological essentialism—is that a broad range of categories are essentialized in terms of teleology, including artifacts. Utilizing the same kinds of experiments typically used to provide evidence of essentialist thinking—involving superficial chang…Read more
  •  65
    For Whom Does Determinism Undermine Moral Responsibility? Surveying the Conditions for Free Will Across Cultures
    with Ivar R. Hannikainen, Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, Christopher Y. Olivola, Paulo Sousa, Florian Cova, Emma E. Buchtel, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniûnas, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Vilius Dranseika, Ángeles Eraña Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Minwoo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Jorge Ornelas, Barbara Osimani, Carlos Romero, Alejandro Rosas López, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro Vázquez del Mercado, Hrag A. Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Frontiers in Psychology 10. 2019.
    Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ordinarily reason about the conditions for free will, we conducted a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic survey (N = 5,268) spanning twenty countries and…Read more
  •  1447
    The Ship of Theseus Puzzle
    with Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Florian Cova, Vilius Dranseika, Angeles Eraña Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Min-Woo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Christopher Y. Olivola, Jorge Ornelas, Barbara Osimani, Alejandro Rosas, Carlos Romero, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro Vázquez Del Vázquez Del Mercado, Giorgio Volpe, Hrag A. Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 3. forthcoming.
    Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-t…Read more
  •  651
    Teleological Essentialism
    with Shaun Nichols
    Cognitive Science 43 (4). 2019.
    Placeholder essentialism is the view that there is a causal essence that holds category members together, though we may not know what the essence is. Sometimes the placeholder can be filled in by scientific essences, such as when we acquire scientific knowledge that the atomic weight of gold is 79. We challenge the view that placeholders are elaborated by scientific essences. On our view, if placeholders are elaborated, they are elaborated Aristotelian essences, a telos. Utilizing the same k…Read more
  •  1235
    Nothing at Stake in Knowledge
    with Edouard Machery, 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, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Minwoo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Christopher Y. Olivola, Jorge Ornelas, Barbara Osimani, Carlos Romero, Alejandro Rosas Lopez, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro Vázquez del Mercado, Giorgio Volpe, Hrag Abraham Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Noûs 53 (1): 224-247. 2019.
    In the remainder of this article, we will disarm an important motivation for epistemic contextualism and interest-relative invariantism. We will accomplish this by presenting a stringent test of whether there is a stakes effect on ordinary knowledge ascription. Having shown that, even on a stringent way of testing, stakes fail to impact ordinary knowledge ascription, we will conclude that we should take another look at classical invariantism. Here is how we will proceed. Section 1 lays out some …Read more
  •  23
    Causal deviance and the ascription of intent and blame
    with Ross Rogers, Mark D. Alicke, Sarah G. Taylor, Teresa L. Davis, and Dori Bloom
    Philosophical Psychology 32 (3): 404-427. 2019.
  •  860
    Persistence through function preservation
    Synthese 192 (1): 97-146. 2015.
    When do the folk think that material objects persist? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view which fits with folk intuitions, yet there is little agreement about what the folk intuit. I provide a range of empirical evidence which suggests that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence: the folk tend to intuit that a material object survives alterations when its function is preserved. Given that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence, I argue for a debunking expla…Read more
  •  105
    De Pulchritudine non est Disputandum? A cross‐cultural investigation of the alleged intersubjective validity of aesthetic judgment
    with Florian Cova, Christopher Y. Olivola, Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Vilius Dranseika, Ángeles E. Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Minwoo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Jorge Ornelas, Barbara Osimani, Carlos Romero, Alejandro Rosas, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro V. del Mercado, Giorgio Volpe, Hrag A. Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Mind and Language 34 (3): 317-338. 2019.
    Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. Moreover, this apparent intersubjective validity has been taken to constitute one of the main explananda for philosophical accounts of aesthetic judgment.…Read more
  •  121
    Culpable Control or Moral Concepts?
    with Mark Alicke and David Rose
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4): 330-331. 2010.
    Knobe argues in his target article that asymmetries in intentionality judgments can be explained by the view that concepts such as intentionality are suffused with moral considerations. We believe that the “culpable control” model of blame can account both for Knobe's side effect findings and for findings that do not involve side effects.
  •  90
    The Gettier Intuition from South America to Asia
    with Edouard Machery, 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, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Minwoo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Christopher Y. Olivola, Jorge Ornelas, Barbara Osimani, Carlos Romero, Alejandro Rosas Lopez, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro Vázquez del Mercado, Giorgio Volpe, Hrag Abraham Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3): 517-541. 2017.
    This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition in 24 sites, located in 23 countries and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition with a very large sample size. Finally, we examine whether the Gettier intuition varies across people as a function of their disposition to engage in “reflective” thinking.
  •  359
    Two types of typicality: Rethinking the role of statistical typicality in ordinary causal attributions
    with Justin Sytsma and Jonathan Livengood
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (4): 814-820. 2012.
    Empirical work on the use of causal language by ordinary people indicates that their causal attributions tend to be sensitive not only to purely descriptive considerations, but also to broadly moral considerations. For example, ordinary causal attributions appear to be highly sensitive to whether a behavior is permissible or impermissible. Recently, however, a consensus view has emerged that situates the role of permissibility information within a broader framework: According to the consensus, o…Read more
  •  83
    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.
  •  47
    Neuroscientific Prediction and the Intrusion of Intuitive Metaphysics
    with Wesley Buckwalter 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
  •  709
    Folk teleology drives persistence judgments
    with Jonathan Schaffer and Kevin Tobia
    Synthese 197 (12): 5491-5509. 2020.
    Two separate research programs have revealed two different factors that feature in our judgments of whether some entity persists. One program—inspired by Knobe—has found that normative considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when the changes it undergoes lead to improvements. The other program—inspired by Kelemen—has found that teleological considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined…Read more
  •  452
    Belief through Thick and Thin
    Noûs 49 (4): 748-775. 2015.
    We distinguish between two categories of belief—thin belief and thick belief—and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philo…Read more
  •  418
    Behavioral Circumscription and the Folk Psychology of Belief: A Study in Ethno-Mentalizing
    with Edouard Machery, 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
  •  51
    Behavioral Circumscription and the Folk Psychology of Belief: A Study in Ethno-Mentalizing
    with Machery Edouard, Stephen Stich, Mario Alai, Angelucci Adriano, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In‐Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Cova Florian, Vilius Dranseika, Eraña Lagos Ángeles, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Kim Hackjin, Kim Yeonjeong, Lee Minwoo, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Moruzzi Sebastiano, Christopher Y. Olivola, Jorge Ornelas, Barbara Osimani, Carlos Romero, Alejandro Rosas, Sangoi Massimo, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, del Mercado Alejandro Vázquez, Giorgio Volpe, A. Vosgerichian Hrag, Xueyi Zhang, and Jing Zhu
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (3): 193-203. 2017.
    Is behavioral integration a necessary feature of belief in folk psychology? Our data from over 5,000 people across 26 samples, spanning 22 countries suggests that it is not. Given the surprising cross-cultural robustness of our findings, we argue that the types of evidence for the ascription of a belief are, at least in some circumstances, lexicographically ordered: assertions are first taken into account, and when an agent sincerely asserts that p, nonlinguistic behavioral evidence is disregard…Read more
  •  282
    Gettier Across Cultures
    with Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, Amita Chatterjee, Kaori Karasawa, Noel Struchiner, Smita Sirker, Naoki Usui, and Takaaki Hashimoto
    Noûs 645-664. 2015.
    In this article, we present evidence that in four different cultural groups that speak quite different languages there are cases of justified true beliefs that are not judged to be cases of knowledge. We hypothesize that this intuitive judgment, which we call “the Gettier intuition,” may be a reflection of an underlying innate and universal core folk epistemology, and we highlight the philosophical significance of its universality.
  •  1359
    Knowledge entails dispositional belief
    with Jonathan Schaffer
    Philosophical Studies 166 (S1): 19-50. 2013.
    Knowledge is widely thought to entail belief. But Radford has claimed to offer a counterexample: the case of the unconfident examinee. And Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel have claimed empirical vindication of Radford. We argue, in defense of orthodoxy, that the unconfident examinee does indeed have belief, in the epistemically relevant sense of dispositional belief. We buttress this with empirical results showing that when the dispositional conception of belief is specifically elicited, people’s i…Read more
  •  2193
    Causation, Norm violation, and culpable control
    with Mark Alicke and Dori Bloom
    Journal of Philosophy 108 (12): 670-696. 2011.
    Causation is one of philosophy's most venerable and thoroughly-analyzed concepts. However, the study of how ordinary people make causal judgments is a much more recent addition to the philosophical arsenal. One of the most prominent views of causal explanation, especially in the realm of harmful or potentially harmful behavior, is that unusual or counternormative events are accorded privileged status in ordinary causal explanations. This is a fundamental assumption in psychological theories of c…Read more
  •  140
    Choosing and refusing: doxastic voluntarism and folk psychology
    Philosophical Studies 175 (10): 2507-2537. 2018.
    A standard view in contemporary philosophy is that belief is involuntary, either as a matter of conceptual necessity or as a contingent fact of human psychology. We present seven experiments on patterns in ordinary folk-psychological judgments about belief. The results provide strong evidence that voluntary belief is conceptually possible and, granted minimal charitable assumptions about folk-psychological competence, provide some evidence that voluntary belief is psychologically possible. We al…Read more
  •  369
    Cognitive Science for the Revisionary Metaphysician
    In Alvin Goldman & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.), Cognitive Science and Metaphysics, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Many philosophers insist that the revisionary metaphysician—i.e., the metaphysician who offers a metaphysical theory which conflicts with folk intuitions—bears a special burden to explain why certain folk intuitions are mistaken. I show how evidence from cognitive science can help revisionist discharge this explanatory burden. Focusing on composition and persistence, I argue that empirical evidence indicates that the folk operate with a promiscuous teleomentalist view of composition and persis…Read more
  •  607
    On the Matter of Robot Minds
    with Brian P. McLaughlin
    Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy. forthcoming.
    The view that phenomenally conscious robots are on the horizon often rests on a certain philosophical view about consciousness, one we call “nomological behaviorism.” The view entails that, as a matter of nomological necessity, if a robot had exactly the same patterns of dispositions to peripheral behavior as a phenomenally conscious being, then the robot would be phenomenally conscious; indeed it would have all and only the states of phenomenal consciousness that the phenomenally conscious bei…Read more
  •  374
    Diversity in Representations; Uniformity in Learning
    with David Danks
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3): 330-331. 2010.
    Henrich et al.'s conclusion that psychologists ought not assume uniformity of psychological phenomena depends on their descriptive claim that there is no pattern to the great diversity in psychological phenomena. We argue that there is a pattern: uniformity of learning processes (broadly construed), and diversity of (some) mental contents (broadly construed)
  •  164
    Deep trouble for the deep self
    with Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma, and Edouard Machery
    Philosophical Psychology 25 (5). 2012.
    Chandra Sripada's (2010) Deep Self Concordance Account aims to explain various asymmetries in people's judgments of intentional action. On this account, people distinguish between an agent's active and deep self; attitude attributions to the agent's deep self are then presumed to play a causal role in people's intentionality ascriptions. Two judgments are supposed to play a role in these attributions?a judgment that specifies the attitude at issue and one that indicates that the attitude is robu…Read more