•  3
    Are we Teleologically Essentialist?
    with Sami R. Yousif
    Cognitive Science 46 (11). 2022.
    People may conceptualize certain categories as held together by a category-specific “essence”—some unobservable, critical feature that causes the external features of a category to emerge. But what is the nature of this essence? Recently, Rose and Nichols have argued that something's essence is fundamentally its telos or purpose. However, Neufeld has challenged this work on theoretical grounds, arguing that these effects arise only because people infer an underlying internal change when reasonin…Read more
  •  11
    Understanding “Why:” How Implicit Questions Shape Explanation Preferences
    with Sami R. Yousif and Frank C. Keil
    Cognitive Science 46 (2). 2022.
    Cognitive Science, Volume 46, Issue 2, February 2022.
  •  122
    Teleology beyond explanation
    with Sami Yousif and Joshua Knobe
    Mind and Language. forthcoming.
    People often think of and define objects teleologically. For instance, we might understand a hammer in terms of its purpose of driving in nails. Such teleological thinking also influences many further judgments, including of category membership, essence, causation, persistence, and mereology. But how should we understand teleological thinking in the first place? This paper addresses this question by separating two senses of teleological thinking: mere teleology (simply ascribing a telos to an ob…Read more