•  1797
    The Ship of Theseus Puzzle
    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, 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
  •  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.
  •  453
    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
  •  383
    No luck for moral luck
    Cognition 182 331-348. 2019.
    Moral philosophers and psychologists often assume that people judge morally lucky and morally unlucky agents differently, an assumption that stands at the heart of the Puzzle of Moral Luck. We examine whether the asymmetry is found for reflective intuitions regarding wrongness, blame, permissibility, and punishment judg- ments, whether people’s concrete, case-based judgments align with their explicit, abstract principles regarding moral luck, and what psychological mechanisms might drive the eff…Read more
  •  380
    Two conceptions of subjective experience
    Philosophical Studies 151 (2): 299-327. 2010.
    Do philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in the same way? In this article, we argue that they do not and that the philosophical concept of phenomenal consciousness does not coincide with the folk conception. We first offer experimental support for the hypothesis that philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in markedly different ways. We then explore experimentally the folk conception, proposing that for the folk, subjective experience is cl…Read more
  •  361
    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
  •  338
    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
  •  338
    In several disciplines within science—evolutionary biology, molecular biology, astrobiology, synthetic biology, artificial life—and outside science—primarily ethics—efforts to define life have recently multiplied. However, no consensus has emerged. In this article, I argue that this is no accident. I propose a dilemma showing that the project of defining life is either impossible or pointless. The notion of life at stake in this project is either the folk concept of life or a scientific concept.…Read more
  •  310
    Philosophical temperament
    with Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma, Adam Feltz, and Richard Scheines
    Philosophical Psychology 23 (3): 313-330. 2010.
    Many philosophers have worried about what philosophy is. Often they have looked for answers by considering what it is that philosophers do. Given the diversity of topics and methods found in philosophy, however, we propose a different approach. In this article we consider the philosophical temperament, asking an alternative question: what are philosophers like? Our answer is that one important aspect of the philosophical temperament is that philosophers are especially reflective: they are less l…Read more
  •  286
    Expertise and Intuitions about Reference
    Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 27 (1): 37-54. 2012.
    Many philosophers hold that experts’ semantic intuitions are more reliable and provide better evidence than lay people’s intuitions—a thesis commonly called “the Expertise Defense.” Focusing on the intuitions about the reference of proper names, this article critically assesses the Expertise Defense.
  •  274
    Concepts are not a natural kind
    Philosophy of Science 72 (3): 444-467. 2005.
    In cognitive psychology, concepts are those data structures that are stored in long-term memory and are used by default in human beings.
  •  265
    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
  •  237
    The bleak implications of moral psychology
    Neuroethics 3 (3): 223-231. 2010.
    In this article, I focus on two claims made by Appiah in Experiments in Ethics: Doris’s and Harman’s criticism of virtue ethics fails, and moral psychology can be used to identify erroneous moral intuitions. I argue that both claims are erroneous.
  •  232
    Love and Power: Grau and Pury (2014) as a Case Study in the Challenges of X-Phi Replication
    with Christopher Grau and Cynthia L. Pury
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology (4): 1-17. 2020.
    Grau and Pury (Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 5, 155–168, 2014) reported that people’s views about love are related to their views about reference. This surprising effect was however not replicated in Cova et al.’s (in press) replication study. In this article, we show that the replication failure is probably due to the replication’s low power and that a metaanalytic reanalysis of the result in Cova et al. suggests that the effect reported in Grau and Pury is real. We then report a large, …Read more
  •  222
    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
  •  202
    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
  •  200
    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
  •  199
    Massive Modularity and Brain Evolution
    Philosophy of Science 74 (5): 825-838. 2007.
    Quartz (2002) argues that some recent findings about the evolution of the brain (Finlay & Darlington, 1995) are inconsistent with evolutionary psychologists’ massive modularity hypothesis. In substance, Quartz contends that since the volume of the neocortex evolved in a concerted manner, natural selection did not act on neocortical systems independently of each other, which is a necessary condition for the massive modularity of our cognition to be true. I argue however that Quartz’s argument fai…Read more
  •  191
    A plea for human nature
    Philosophical Psychology 21 (3). 2008.
    Philosophers of biology, such as David Hull and Michael Ghiselin, have argued that the notion of human nature is incompatible with modern evolutionary biology and they have recommended rejecting this notion. In this article, I rebut this argument: I show that an important notion of human nature is compatible with modern evolutionary biology.
  •  187
    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
  •  178
    Recent experimental fi ndings by Knobe and others ( Knobe, 2003; Nadelhoffer, 2006b; Nichols and Ulatowski, 2007 ) have been at the center of a controversy about the nature of the folk concept of intentional action. I argue that the signifi cance of these fi ndings has been overstated. My discussion is two-pronged. First, I contend that barring a consensual theory of conceptual competence, the signifi cance of these experimental fi ndings for the nature of the concept of intentional action canno…Read more
  •  176
    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
  •  166
    Social construction and the concept of race
    with Edouard Machery and Luc Faucher
    Philosophy of Science 72 (5): 1208-1219. 2005.
    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
  •  156
    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
  •  153
    The Two Sources of Moral Standing
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3): 303-324. 2012.
    There are two primary traditions in philosophical theorizing about moral standing—one emphasizing Experience (the capacity to feel pain and pleasure) and one emphasizing Agency (complexity of cognition and lifestyle). In this article we offer an explanation for this divide: Lay judgments about moral standing depend importantly on two independent cues (Experience and Agency), and the two philosophical traditions reflect this aspect of folk moral cognition. In support of this two-source hypothesis…Read more
  •  151
    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
  •  150
    Concept empiricism: A methodological critique
    Cognition 104 (1): 19-46. 2006.
    Thanks to Barsalou
  •  150
    Semantic Epistemology: A Brief Response to Devitt
    Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 27 (2): 223-227. 2012.
    In this article, I argue that philosophers’ intuitions about reference are not more reliable than lay people’s and that intuitions about the reference of proper names and uses of proper names provide equally good evidence for theories of reference.
  •  141
    Editorial: Psychology and Experimental Philosophy
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2): 157-160. 2010.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of new work at the intersection of philosophy and experimental psychology. This work takes the concerns with moral and conceptual issues that have so long been associated with philosophy and connects them with the use of systematic and well-controlled empirical investigations that one more typically finds in psychology. Work in this new field often goes under the name "experimental philosophy".
  •  139
    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