•  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.
  •  551
    Semantics, cross-cultural style
    with Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols, and Stephen Stich
    Cognition 92 (3): 1-12. 2004.
    Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al. 2001) has shown systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some wor…Read more
  •  486
    Against Arguments from Reference
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2). 2009.
    It is common in various quarters of philosophy to derive philosophically significant conclusions from theories of reference. In this paper, we argue that philosophers should give up on such 'arguments from reference.' Intuitions play a central role in establishing theories of reference, and recent cross-cultural work suggests that intuitions about reference vary across cultures and between individuals within a culture (Machery et al. 2004). We argue that accommodating this variation within a the…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
  •  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
  •  296
    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
  •  293
    The Gettier Intuition from South America to Asia
    Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3): 517-541. 2017.
    This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition (viz. that someone who has a true justified belief that p may nonetheless fail to know that p) in 24 sites, located in 23 countries (counting Hong-Kong as a distinct country) 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 “…Read more
  •  262
    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
  •  251
    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.
  •  246
    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
  •  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.
  •  233
    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
  •  227
    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.
  •  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
  •  213
    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
  •  205
    If Folk Intuitions Vary, Then What?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3): 618-635. 2013.
    We have recently presented evidence for cross-cultural variation in semantic intuitions and explored the implications of such variation for philosophical arguments that appeal to some theory of reference as a premise. Devitt (2011) and Ichikawa and colleagues (forthcoming) offer critical discussions of the experiment and the conclusions that can be drawn from it. In this response, we reiterate and clarify what we are really arguing for, and we show that most of Devitt’s and Ichikawa and colleagu…Read more
  •  198
    Nothing at Stake in Knowledge
    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, 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
  •  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
  •  193
    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
  •  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
  •  183
    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
  •  183
    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
  •  180
    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
  •  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
  •  161
    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
  •  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
  •  158
    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.
  •  157
    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
  •  153
    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
  •  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