•  4
    Eliminating Footnotes Makes Philosophy More Accessible
    Blog of the American Philosophical Association. 2019.
    It’s 2019. Computers can drive cars, operate stores, and outperform humans in sophisticated games. However, computers cannot correctly read a PDF with footnotes. Alas, many people have to rely on their computers to read PDF papers. So, many people face significant obstacles while trying to consume written research. That seems bad. Insofar as we can prevent this bad outcome without making matters worse, we should.
  •  3
    How does reflective thinking impact decisions about ethics, mind, politics, or other philosophical domains? Reflective reasoning often correlates with better decision-making performance and certain philosophical preferences (e.g., utilitarian moral decisions). However, experiments suggest that reflection is not always the cause of these outcomes. Further, some evidence casts doubt on the trustworthiness of data from certain online crowd work platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk). This…Read more
  •  30
    Tell Us What You Really Think: A think aloud protocol analysis of the verbal cognitive reflection test
    with Brianna Joseph, Gabriela Gongora, and Miroslav Sirota
    Journal of Intelligence 11 (4). 2023.
    The standard interpretation of cognitive reflection tests assumes that correct responses are reflective and lured responses are unreflective. However, prior process-tracing of mathematical reflection tests has cast doubt on this interpretation. In two studies (N = 201), we deployed a validated think-aloud protocol in-person and online to test how this assumption is satisfied by the new, validated, less familiar, and less mathematical verbal Cognitive Reflection Test (vCRT). Importantly, thinking…Read more
  •  278
    Prior research found correlations between reflection test performance and philosophical tendencies among laypeople. In two large studies (total N = 1299)—one pre-registered—many of these correlations were replicated in a sample that included both laypeople and philosophers. For example, reflection test performance predicted preferring atheism over theism and instrumental harm over harm avoidance on the trolley problem. However, most reflection-philosophy correlations were undetected when control…Read more
  •  59
    Our understanding of implicit bias and how to measure it has yet to be settled. Various debates between cognitive scientists are unresolved. Moreover, the public’s understanding of implicit bias tests continues to lag behind cognitive scientists’. These discrepancies pose potential problems. After all, a great deal of implicit bias research has been publicly funded. Further, implicit bias tests continue to feature in discourse about public- and private-sector policies surrounding discrimination,…Read more
  •  489
    Bounded Reflectivism and Epistemic Identity
    Metaphilosophy 53 (1): 53-69. 2022.
    Reflectivists consider reflective reasoning crucial for good judgment and action. Anti-reflectivists deny that reflection delivers what reflectivists seek. Alas, the evidence is mixed. So, does reflection confer normative value or not? This paper argues for a middle way: reflection can confer normative value, but its ability to do this is bound by such factors as what we might call epistemic identity: an identity that involves particular beliefs—for example, religious and political identities. W…Read more
  •  884
    Reflective Reasoning & Philosophy
    Philosophy Compass 16 (11). 2021.
    Philosophy is a reflective activity. So perhaps it is unsurprising that many philosophers have claimed that reflection plays an important role in shaping and even improving our philosophical thinking. This hypothesis seems plausible given that training in philosophy has correlated with better performance on tests of reflection and reflective reasoning has correlated with demonstrably better judgments in a variety of domains. This article reviews the hypothesized roles of reflection in philosophi…Read more
  •  340
    One: but not the same
    Philosophical Studies (6). 2021.
    Ordinary judgments about personal identity are complicated by the fact that phrases like “same person” and “different person” have multiple uses in ordinary English. This complication calls into question the significance of recent experimental work on this topic. For example, Tobia (2015) found that judgments of personal identity were significantly affected by whether the moral change described in a vignette was for the better or for the worse, while Strohminger and Nichols (2014) found that los…Read more
  •  65
    Some have argued that our sense of free will is an illusion. And some base this free will skepticism on claims about when we become consciously aware of our intentions. Evidence suggests that unreflective intentions form before we are conscious of them. And that is supposed to challenge our sense of free will. This inference from unreflective intention to free will skepticism may seem intuitive at first. However, upon reflection, this argument seems to entail a magical view of free will. So, ins…Read more
  •  35
    In response to crises, people sometimes prioritize fewer specific identifiable victims over many unspecified statistical victims. How other factors can explain this bias remains unclear. So two experiments investigated how complying with public health recommendations during the COVID19 pandemic depended on victim portrayal, reflection, and philosophical beliefs (Total N = 998). Only one experiment found that messaging about individual victims increased compliance compared to messaging about stat…Read more
  •  91
    Philosophers have probably been organizing conferences since at least the time of Plato’s academy (Barnes, 1998). More recently, philosophers have brought some of their conferences online (e.g., Brown, 2009; Buckner, Byrd, Rushing, & Schwenkler, 2017; Calzavarini & Viola, 2018; Nadelhoffer, 2006). However, the adoption of online conferences is limited. One might wonder if scholars prefer traditional conferences for their ability to provide goods that online conferences cannot. While this may be …Read more
  •  346
    Causal Network Accounts Of Ill-being: Depression & Digital Well-being
    In Christopher Burr & Luciano Floridi (eds.), Ethics of Digital Well-being: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Springer International Publishing. pp. 221-245. 2020.
    Depression is a common and devastating instance of ill-being which deserves an account. Moreover, the ill-being of depression is impacted by digital technology: some uses of digital technology increase such ill-being while other uses of digital technology increase well-being. So a good account of ill-being would explicate the antecedents of depressive symptoms and their relief, digitally and otherwise. This paper borrows a causal network account of well-being and applies it to ill-being, particu…Read more
  •  53
    Conventional sacrificial moral dilemmas propose directly causing some harm to prevent greater harm. Theory suggests that accepting such actions (consistent with utilitarian philosophy) involves more reflective reasoning than rejecting such actions (consistent with deontological philosophy). However, past findings do not always replicate, confound different kinds of reflection, and employ conventional sacrificial dilemmas that treat utilitarian and deontological considerations as opposite. In two…Read more
  •  121
    The received view of implicit bias holds that it is associative and unreflective. Recently, the received view has been challenged. Some argue that implicit bias is not predicated on “any” associative process, but it is unreflective. These arguments rely, in part, on debiasing experiments. They proceed as follows. If implicit bias is associative and unreflective, then certain experimental manipulations cannot change implicitly biased behavior. However, these manipulations can change such behavior…Read more
  •  2854
    Intuitive And Reflective Responses In Philosophy
    Dissertation, University of Colorado. 2014.
    Cognitive scientists have revealed systematic errors in human reasoning. There is disagreement about what these errors indicate about human rationality, but one upshot seems clear: human reasoning does not seem to fit traditional views of human rationality. This concern about rationality has made its way through various fields and has recently caught the attention of philosophers. The concern is that if philosophers are prone to systematic errors in reasoning, then the integrity of philosophy wo…Read more