•  4
    Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (eds.), The Mystery of Skepticism: New Explorations
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 11 (1): 66-70. 2019.
  •  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.
  •  75
    Does Skepticism Presuppose Explanationism?
    In Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation, Oxford University Press. pp. 173-187. 2017.
    A common response to radical skeptical challenges to our knowledge of the external world has been that there are explanatory reasons (e.g., simplicity, coherence, explanatory power, conservatism) for favoring commonsense explanations of our sensory experiences over skeptical explanations. Despite the degree of visibility this class of response has enjoyed, it has often been viewed with skepticism [sic] by the epistemological community because of concerns about the epistemic merits of explanatory…Read more
  •  539
    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
  •  158
    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
  •  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
  •  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
  •  72
    Moral objectivism across the lifespan
    Philosophical Psychology 29 (6): 912-929. 2016.
    We report the results of two studies that examine folk metaethical judgments about the objectivity of morality. We found that participants attributed almost as much objectivity to ethical statements as they did to statements of physical fact and significantly more objectivity to ethical statements than to statements about preferences or tastes. In both studies, younger participants attributed less objectivity to ethical statements than older participants. Females were observed to attribute sligh…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.
  •  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
  •  813
    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
  •  94
    Confused Terms in Ordinary Language
    Journal of Logic, Language and Information 29 (2): 197-219. 2020.
    Confused terms appear to signify more than one entity. Carnap maintained that any putative name that is associated with more than one object in a relevant universe of discourse fails to be a genuine name. Although many philosophers have agreed with Carnap, they have not always agreed among themselves about the truth-values of atomic sentences containing such terms. Some hold that such atomic sentences are always false, and others claim they are always truth-valueless. Field maintained that confu…Read more
  •  12
    The Paradox of Irrationality and the Normativity of Weakness of Will Attributions
    Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 18 (4): 603-609. 2019.
  •  21
    The Mystery of Skepticism: New Explorations, edited by Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (review)
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1-5. forthcoming.
  •  94
    Moral Valence and Semantic Intuitions
    with Ryan J. Undercoffer
    Erkenntnis 80 (2): 445-466. 2015.
    Despite the swirling tide of controversy surrounding the work of Machery et al. , the cross-cultural differences they observed in semantic intuitions about the reference of proper names have proven to be robust. In the present article, we report cross-cultural and individual differences in semantic intuitions obtained using new experimental materials. In light of the pervasiveness of the Knobe effect and the fact that Machery et al.’s original materials incorporated elements of wrongdoing but di…Read more
  • Walter Jost and Michael J. Hyde, eds., Rhetoric and Hermeneutics in Our Time (review)
    Philosophy in Review 18 271-273. 1998.
  •  33
    If a person requires an organ or tissue donation to survive, many philosophers argue that whatever moral responsibility a biological relative may have to donate to the person in need will be grounded at least partially, if not entirely, in biological relations the potential donor bears to the recipient. We contend that such views ignore the role that a potential donor's unique ability to help the person in need plays in underwriting such judgments. If, for example, a sperm donor is judged to hav…Read more
  •  16
    Corrigendum Corrigendum to: Moral Objectivism in Cross-Cultural Perspective 386–401, doi: 10.1163/15685373-12342157)
    with Miguel A. Endara, Tomasz Wysocki, and Runya Qiaoan
    Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (5): 543-544. 2015.
  •  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
  •  36
    Interpretation and Epistemic Evaluation in Goldman’s Descriptive Epistemology
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (2): 163-186. 2001.
    One branch of Alvin Goldman's proposed "scientific epistemology" is devoted to the scientific study of how folk epistemic evaluators acquire and deploy the concepts of knowledge and justified belief. The author argues that such a "descriptive epistemology," as Goldman calls it, requires a more sophisticated theory of interpretation than is provided by the simulation theory Goldman adopts. The author also argues that any adequate account of folk epistemic concepts must reconstruct the intersubjec…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
  •  97
    Correction to: 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 12 (1): 45-48. 2018.
    Appendix 1 was incomplete in the initial online publication. The original article has been corrected.
  •  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
  •  46
    Brower and Saenz on Divine Truthmaker Simplicity
    Faith and Philosophy 35 (4): 473-484. 2018.
    Jeffrey Brower has recently articulated a way to make sense of the doctrine of divine simplicity using resources from contemporary truthmaker theory. Noël Saenz has advanced two objections to Brower’s account, arguing that it violates constraints on adequate metaphysical explanations at various points. I argue that Saenz’s objections fail to show that Brower’s account is explanatorily inadequate.
  •  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
  •  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.
  •  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
  •  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.