•  814
    We report the results of a study that investigated the views of researchers working in seven scientific disciplines and in history and philosophy of science in regard to four hypothesized dimensions of scientific realism. Among other things, we found that natural scientists tended to express more strongly realist views than social scientists, that history and philosophy of science scholars tended to express more antirealist views than natural scientists, that van Fraassen’s characterization of s…Read more
  •  547
    Moral Relativism in Context
    Noûs 44 (4): 691-724. 2010.
    Consider the following facts about the average, philosophically untrained moral relativist: (1.1) The average moral relativist denies the existence of “absolute moral truths.” (1.2) The average moral relativist often expresses her commitment to moral relativism with slogans like ‘What’s true (or right) for you may not be what’s true (or right) for me’ or ‘What’s true (or right) for your culture may not be what’s true (or right) for my culture.’ (1.3) The average moral relativist endorses relativ…Read more
  •  540
    The Empirical Case for Folk Indexical Moral Relativism
    Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 4. forthcoming.
    Recent empirical work on folk moral objectivism has attempted to examine the extent to which folk morality presumes that moral judgments are objectively true or false. Some researchers report findings that they take to indicate folk commitment to objectivism (Goodwin & Darley, 2008, 2010, 2012; Nichols & Folds-Bennett, 2003; Wainryb et al., 2004), while others report findings that may reveal a more variable commitment to objectivism (Beebe, 2014; Beebe et al., 2015; Beebe & Sackris, 2016; Sarkis…Read more
  •  477
    Logical problem of evil
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2003.
    The existence of evil and suffering in our world seems to pose a serious challenge to belief in the existence of a perfect God. If God were all-knowing, it seems that God would know about all of the horrible things that happen in our world. If God were all-powerful, God would be able to do something about all of the evil and suffering. Furthermore, if God were morally perfect, then surely God would want to do something about it. And yet we find that our world is filled with countless instances o…Read more
  •  385
    We report the results of four empirical studies designed to investigate the extent to which an epistemic closure principle for knowledge is reflected in folk epistemology. Previous work by Turri (2015a) suggested that our shared epistemic practices may only include a source-relative closure principle—one that applies to perceptual beliefs but not to inferential beliefs. We argue that the results of our studies provide reason for thinking that individuals are making a performance error when their…Read more
  •  374
    We report the results of an exploratory study that examines the judgments of climate scientists, climate policy experts, astrophysicists, and non-experts (N = 3367) about the factors that contribute to the creation and persistence of disagreement within climate science and astrophysics and about how one should respond to expert disagreement. We found that, as compared to non-experts, climate experts believe that within climate science (i) there is less disagreement about climate change, (ii) met…Read more
  •  305
    A Priori Skepticism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3): 583-602. 2011.
    In this article I investigate a neglected form of radical skepticism that questions whether any of our logical, mathematical and other seemingly self-evident beliefs count as knowledge. ‘A priori skepticism,’ as I will call it, challenges our ability to know any of the following sorts of propositions: (1.1) The sum of two and three is five. (1.2) Whatever is square is rectangular. (1.3) Whatever is red is colored. (1.4) No surface can be uniformly red and uniformly blue at the same time. (1.5) I…Read more
  •  299
    Evaluative Effects on Knowledge Attributions
    In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy, Blackwell. pp. 359-367. 2016.
    Experimental philosophers have investigated various ways in which non‐epistemic evaluations can affect knowledge attributions. For example, several teams of researchers (Beebe and Buckwalter 2010; Beebe and Jensen 2012; Schaffer and Knobe 2012; Beebe and Shea 2013; Buckwalter 2014b; Turri 2014) report that the goodness or badness of an agent’s action can affect whether the agent is taken to have certain kinds of knowledge. These findings raise important questions about how patterns of folk knowl…Read more
  •  296
    How Different Kinds of Disagreement Impact Folk Metaethical Judgments
    In Jennifer Cole Wright & Hagop Sarkissian (eds.), Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology, Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 167-187. 2014.
    Th e present article reports a series of experiments designed to extend the empirical investigation of folk metaethical intuitions by examining how different kinds of ethical disagreement can impact attributions of objectivity to ethical claims.
  •  295
    The Abductivist Reply to Skepticism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3): 605-636. 2009.
    Abductivists claim that explanatory considerations (e.g., simplicity, parsimony, explanatory breadth, etc.) favor belief in the external world over skeptical hypotheses involving evil demons and brains in vats. After showing how most versions of abductivism succumb fairly easily to obvious and fatal objections, I explain how rationalist versions of abductivism can avoid these difficulties. I then discuss the most pressing challenges facing abductivist appeals to the a priori and offer suggestion…Read more
  •  286
    Bonjour’s Arguments against Skepticism about the A Priori
    Philosophical Studies 137 (2): 243-267. 2008.
    I reconstruct and critique two arguments Laurence BonJour has recently offered against skepticism about the a priori. While the arguments may provide anti-skeptical, internalist foundationalists with reason to accept the a priori, I show that neither argument provides sufficient reason for believing the more general conclusion that there is no rational alternative to accepting the a priori.
  •  230
    The Epistemic Side-Effect Effect
    Mind and Language 25 (4): 474-498. 2010.
    Knobe (2003a, 2003b, 2004b) and others have demonstrated the surprising fact that the valence of a side-effect action can affect intuitions about whether that action was performed intentionally. Here we report the results of an experiment that extends these findings by testing for an analogous effect regarding knowledge attributions. Our results suggest that subjects are less likely to find that an agent knows an action will bring about a side-effect when the effect is good than when it is bad. …Read more
  •  227
    Can rationalist abductivism solve the problem of induction?
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2): 151-168. 2008.
    Abstract: According to Laurence BonJour, the problem of induction can be solved by recognizing the a priori necessity that inductive conclusions constitute the best explanations of inductive premises. I defend an interpretation of the key probability claims BonJour makes about inductive premises and show that they are not susceptible to many of the objections that have been lodged against them. I then argue that these purportedly necessary probability claims nevertheless remain deeply problemati…Read more
  •  213
    Recent work in experimental philosophy has shown that people are more likely to attribute intentionality, knowledge, and other psychological properties to someone who causes a bad side effect than to someone who causes a good one. We argue that all of these asymmetries can be explained in terms of a single underlying asymmetry involving belief attribution because the belief that one’s action would result in a certain side effect is a necessary component of each of the psychological attitudes in …Read more
  •  207
    Weakness of will, reasonability, and compulsion
    Synthese 190 (18): 4077-4093. 2013.
    Experimental philosophers have recently begun to investigate the folk conception of weakness of will (e.g., Mele in Philos Stud 150:391–404, 2010; May and Holton in Philos Stud 157:341–360, 2012; Beebe forthcoming; Sousa and Mauro forthcoming). Their work has focused primarily on the ways in which akrasia (i.e., acting contrary to one’s better judgment), unreasonable violations of resolutions, and variations in the moral valence of actions modulate folk attributions of weakness of will. A key fi…Read more
  •  194
    Experimental Epistemology
    In Andrew Cullison (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Epistemology, Continuum. pp. 248-269. 2012.
    An overview of the main areas of epistemological debate to which experimental philosophers have been contributing and the larger, philosophical challenges these contributions have raised.
  •  172
    In order to shed light on the question of whether reliabilism entails or excludes certain kinds of truth theories, I examine two arguments that purport to establish that reliabilism cannot be combined with antirealist and epistemic theories of truth. I take antirealism about truth to be the denial of the recognition-transcendence of truth, and epistemic theories to be those that identify truth with some kind of positive epistemic status. According to one argument, reliabilism and antirealism are…Read more
  •  168
    Is Justification Necessary for Knowledge?
    In James R. Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology, Bloomsbury. pp. 175-192. 2014.
    Justification has long been considered a necessary condition for knowledge, and theories that deny the necessity of justification have been dismissed as nonstarters. In this chapter, we challenge this long-standing view by showing that many of the arguments offered in support of it fall short and by providing empirical evidence that individuals are often willing to attribute knowledge when epistemic justification is lacking.
  •  162
    According to the thought experiment most commonly used to argue against reliabilism, Mr. Truetemp is given an unusual but reliable cognitive faculty. Since he is unaware of the existence of this faculty, its deliverances strike him as rather odd. Many think that Truetemp would not have justified beliefs. Since he satisfies the reliabilist conditions for justified belief, reliabilism appears to be mistaken. I argue that the Truetemp case is underdescribed and that this leads readers to make erron…Read more
  •  159
    Within the cognitive science of religion, some scholars hypothesize (1) that minimally counterintuitive (MCI) concepts enjoy a transmission advantage over both intuitive and highly counterintuitive concepts, (2) that religions concern counterintuitive agents, objects, or events, and (3) that the transmission advantage of MCI concepts makes them more likely to be found in the world’s religions than other kinds of concepts. We hypothesized that the memorability of many MCI supernatural concepts wa…Read more
  •  158
    BonJour’s Abductivist Reply to Skepticism
    Philosophia 35 (2): 181-196. 2007.
    The abductivist reply to skepticism is the view that commonsense explanations of the patterns and regularities that appear in our sensory experiences should be rationally preferred to skeptical explanations of those same patterns and regularities on the basis of explanatory considerations. In this article I critically examine Laurence BonJour’s rationalist version of the abductivist position. After explaining why BonJour’s account is more defensible than other versions of the view, I argue that …Read more
  •  157
    A number of researchers have begun to demonstrate that the widely discussed ?Knobe effect? (wherein participants are more likely to think that actions with bad side-effects are brought about intentionally than actions with good or neutral side-effects) can be found in theory of mind judgments that do not involve the concept of intentional action. In this article we report experimental results that show that attributions of knowledge can be influenced by the kinds of (non-epistemic) concerns that…Read more
  •  142
    A Knobe Effect for Belief Ascriptions
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2): 235-258. 2013.
    Knobe (Analysis 63:190-193, 2003a, Philosophical Psychology 16:309-324, 2003b, Analysis 64:181-187, 2004b) found that people are more likely to attribute intentionality to agents whose actions resulted in negative side-effects that to agents whose actions resulted in positive ones. Subsequent investigation has extended this result to a variety of other folk psychological attributions. The present article reports experimental findings that demonstrate an analogous effect for belief ascriptions. P…Read more
  •  133
    Estimating the Reproducibility of Experimental Philosophy
    with Florian Cova, Brent Strickland, Angela Abatista, Aurélien Allard, James Andow, Mario Attie, Renatas Berniūnas, Jordane Boudesseul, Matteo Colombo, Fiery Cushman, Rodrigo Diaz, Noah N’Djaye Nikolai van Dongen, Vilius Dranseika, Brian D. Earp, Antonio Gaitán Torres, Ivar Hannikainen, José V. Hernández-Conde, Wenjia Hu, François Jaquet, Kareem Khalifa, Hanna Kim, Markus Kneer, Joshua Knobe, Miklos Kurthy, Anthony Lantian, Shen-yi Liao, Edouard Machery, Tania Moerenhout, Christian Mott, Mark Phelan, Jonathan Phillips, Navin Rambharose, Kevin Reuter, Felipe Romero, Paulo Sousa, Jan Sprenger, Emile Thalabard, Kevin Tobia, Hugo Viciana, Daniel Wilkenfeld, and Xiang Zhou
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology (1): 1-36. 2018.
    Responding to recent concerns about the reliability of the published literature in psychology and other disciplines, we formed the X-Phi Replicability Project to estimate the reproducibility of experimental philosophy. Drawing on a representative sample of 40 x-phi studies published between 2003 and 2015, we enlisted 20 research teams across 8 countries to conduct a high-quality replication of each study in order to compare the results to the original published findings. We found that x-phi stud…Read more
  •  122
    Gettierized Knobe effects
    with Joseph Shea
    Episteme 10 (3): 219-240. 2013.
    We report experimental results showing that participants are more likely to attribute knowledge in familiar Gettier cases when the would-be knowers are performing actions that are negative in some way (e.g. harmful, blameworthy, norm-violating) than when they are performing positive or neutral actions. Our experiments bring together important elements from the Gettier case literature in epistemology and the Knobe effect literature in experimental philosophy and reveal new insights into folk patt…Read more
  •  122
    Folk Judgments About Conditional Excluded Middle
    In Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics, Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 251-276. 2019.
    In this chapter we consider three philosophical perspectives (including those of Stalnaker and Lewis) on the question of whether and how the principle of conditional excluded middle should figure in the logic and semantics of counterfactuals. We articulate and defend a third view that is patterned after belief revision theories offered in other areas of logic and philosophy. Unlike Lewis’ view, the belief revision perspective does not reject conditional excluded middle, and unlike Stalnaker’s, i…Read more
  •  120
    In this paper I critically examine the Generality Problem and argue that it does not succeed as an objection to reliabilism. Although those who urge the Generality Problem are correct in claiming that any process token can be given indefinitely many descriptions that pick out indefinitely many process types, they are mistaken in thinking that reliabilists have no principled way to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant process types.
  •  118
    A Priori Skepticism and the KK Thesis
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 5 (4): 315-326. 2015.
    _ Source: _Page Count 12 In a previous article, I argued against the widespread reluctance of philosophers to treat skeptical challenges to our a priori knowledge of necessary truths with the same seriousness as skeptical challenges to our a posteriori knowledge of contingent truths. Hamid Vahid has recently offered several reasons for thinking the unequal treatment of these two kinds of skepticism is justified, one of which is a priori skepticism’s seeming dependence upon the widely scorned kk …Read more
  •  116
    Constraints on sceptical hypotheses
    Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240): 449-470. 2010.
    I examine the conditions which hypotheses must satisfy if they are to be used to raise significant sceptical challenges. I argue that sceptical hypotheses do not have to be logically, metaphysically or epistemically possible: they need only to depict scenarios subjectively indistinguishable from the actual world and to show how subjects can believe what they do while not having knowledge. I also argue that sceptical challenges can be raised against a priori beliefs, even if those beliefs are nec…Read more
  •  113
    Knowledge in and out of Contrast
    Noûs 50 (1): 133-164. 2016.
    We report and discuss the results of a series of experiments that address a contrast effect exhibited by folk judgments about knowledge ascriptions. The contrast effect, which was first reported by Schaffer and Knobe, is an important aspect of our folk epistemology. However, there are competing theoretical accounts of it. We shed light on the various accounts by providing novel empirical data and theoretical considerations. Our key findings are, firstly, that belief ascriptions exhibit a similar…Read more