•  1059
    People suffering from severe monothematic delusions, such as Capgras, Fregoli, or Cotard patients, regularly assert extraordinary and unlikely things. For example, some say that their loved ones have been replaced by impostors. A popular view in philosophy and cognitive science is that such monothematic delusions aren't beliefs because they don't guide behaviour and affect in the way that beliefs do. Or, if they are beliefs, they are somehow anomalous, atypical, or marginal beliefs. We present e…Read more
  •  748
    Pedagogy is a pillar of human culture and society. Telling each other information and showing each other how to do things comes naturally to us. A strong case has been made that declarative knowledge is the norm of assertion, which is our primary way of telling others information. This article presents an analogous case for the hypothesis that procedural knowledge is the norm of instructional demonstration, which is a primary way of showing others how to do things. Knowledge is the norm of telli…Read more
  •  667
    Knowledge, Stakes, and Mistakes
    with Jonathan Schaffer
    Noûs 49 (2). 2015.
    According to a prominent claim in recent epistemology, people are less likely to ascribe knowledge to a high stakes subject for whom the practical consequences of error are severe, than to a low stakes subject for whom the practical consequences of error are slight. We offer an opinionated "state of the art" on experimental research about the role of stakes in knowledge judgments. We draw on a first wave of empirical studies--due to Feltz & Zarpentine (2010), May et al (2010), and Buckwalter (2…Read more
  •  441
    Belief through Thick and Thin
    Noûs 49 (4): 748-775. 2015.
    We distinguish between two categories of belief—thin belief and thick belief—and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philo…Read more
  •  368
    Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2): 378-410. 2016.
    Experimental philosophers have empirically challenged the connection between intuition and philosophical expertise. This paper reviews these challenges alongside other research findings in cognitive science on expert performance and argues for three claims. First, evidence taken to challenge philosophical expertise may also be explained by the well-researched failures and limitations of genuine expertise. Second, studying the failures and limitations of experts across many fields provides a prom…Read more
  •  361
    Moral Intuitions: Are Philosophers Experts?
    with Kevin Tobia and Stephen Stich
    Philosophical Psychology 26 (5): 629-638. 2013.
    Recently psychologists and experimental philosophers have reported findings showing that in some cases ordinary people's moral intuitions are affected by factors of dubious relevance to the truth of the content of the intuition. Some defend the use of intuition as evidence in ethics by arguing that philosophers are the experts in this area, and philosophers' moral intuitions are both different from those of ordinary people and more reliable. We conducted two experiments indicating that philoso…Read more
  •  358
    Experimental Philosophy
    with Joshua Knobe, Shaun Nichols, Philip Robbins, Hagop Sarkissian, and Tamler Sommers
    Annual Review of Psychology 63 (1): 81-99. 2012.
    Experimental philosophy is a new interdisciplinary field that uses methods normally associated with psychology to investigate questions normally associated with philosophy. The present review focuses on research in experimental philosophy on four central questions. First, why is it that people's moral judgments appear to influence their intuitions about seemingly nonmoral questions? Second, do people think that moral questions have objective answers, or do they see morality as fundamentally rela…Read more
  •  316
    Gettier Cases: A Taxonomy
    with Peter Blouw and John Turri
    In R. Borges, C. de Almeida & P. Klein (eds.), Explaining Knowledge: New Essays on the Gettier Problem, Oxford University Press. pp. 242-252. 2017.
    The term “Gettier Case” is a technical term frequently applied to a wide array of thought experiments in contemporary epistemology. What do these cases have in common? It is said that they all involve a justified true belief which, intuitively, is not knowledge, due to a form of luck called “Gettiering.” While this very broad characterization suffices for some purposes, it masks radical diversity. We argue that the extent of this diversity merits abandoning the notion of a “Gettier case” in…Read more
  •  293
    Descartes’s Schism, Locke’s Reunion: Completing the Pragmatic Turn in Epistemology
    with John Turri
    American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1): 25-46. 2017.
    Centuries ago, Descartes and Locke initiated a foundational debate in epistemology over the relationship between knowledge, on the one hand, and practical factors, on the other. Descartes claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally separate. Locke claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally united. After a period of dormancy, their disagreement has reignited on the contemporary scene. Latter-day Lockeans claim that knowledge itself is essentially connected to, and perhaps eve…Read more
  •  280
    Non-Traditional Factors in Judgments about Knowledge
    Philosophy Compass 7 (4): 278-289. 2012.
    One recent trend in contemporary epistemology is to study the way in which the concept of knowledge is actually applied in everyday settings. This approach has inspired an exciting new spirit of collaboration between experimental philosophers and traditional epistemologists, who have begun using the techniques of the social sciences to investigate the factors that influence ordinary judgments about knowledge attribution. This paper provides an overview of some of the results these researchers …Read more
  •  279
    Rini 2015 [Synthese 192, (2): 431-452] claims to have identified a methodological flaw that invalidates the results of two experimental studies [Schwitzgebel & Cushman (2012) Mind and Language 27, (2): 135-153; Tobia, Buckwalter & Stich (2013) Philosophical Psychology 26, (5): 629–638] demonstrating order effects in professional philosophical intuition. This conclusion is reached on the basis of unsupported empirical premises for which no evidence is given. Subsequent findings in experimental co…Read more
  •  269
    In the Thick of Moral Motivation
    with John Turri
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2): 433-453. 2017.
    We accomplish three things in this paper. First, we provide evidence that the motivational internalism/externalism debate in moral psychology could be a false dichotomy born of ambiguity. Second, we provide further evidence for a crucial distinction between two different categories of belief in folk psychology: thick belief and thin belief. Third, we demonstrate how careful attention to deep features of folk psychology can help diagnose and defuse seemingly intractable philosophical disagreement…Read more
  •  269
    Knowledge Isn’t Closed on Saturday: A Study in Ordinary Language
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3): 395-406. 2010.
    Recent theories of epistemic contextualism have challenged traditional invariantist positions in epistemology by claiming that the truth conditions of knowledge attributions fluctuate between conversational contexts. Contextualists often garner support for this view by appealing to folk intuitions regarding ordinary knowledge practices. Proposed is an experiment designed to test the descriptive conditions upon which these types of contextualist defenses rely. In the cases tested, the folk patt…Read more
  •  259
    Epistemic Intuitions in Fake-Barn Thought Experiments
    with David Colaço, Stephen Stich, and Edouard Machery
    Episteme 11 (2): 199-212. 2014.
    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
  •  250
    Experimental Philosophy
    with Joshua Knobe, Shaun Nichols, N. Ángel Pinillos, Philip Robbins, Hagop Sarkissian, Chris Weigel, and Jonathan M. Weinberg
    Oxford Bibliographies Online (1): 81-92. 2012.
    Bibliography of works in experimental philosophy.
  •  250
    Factive Verbs and Protagonist Projection
    Episteme 11 (4): 391-409. 2014.
    Nearly all philosophers agree that only true things can be known. But does this principle reflect actual patterns of ordinary usage? Several examples in ordinary language seem to show that ‘know’ is literally used non-factively. By contrast, this paper reports five experiments utilizing explicit paraphrasing tasks, which suggest that non-factive uses are actually not literal. Instead, they are better explained by a phenomenon known as protagonist projection. It is argued that armchair philosophi…Read more
  •  236
    Implicit attitudes and the ability argument
    Philosophical Studies 176 (11): 2961-2990. 2019.
    According to one picture of the mind, decisions and actions are largely the result of automatic cognitive processing beyond our ability to control. This picture is in tension with a foundational principle in ethics that moral responsibility for behavior requires the ability to control it. The discovery of implicit attitudes contributes to this tension. According to the ability argument against moral responsibility, if we cannot control implicit attitudes, and implicit attitudes cause behavior, t…Read more
  •  234
    Philosophers of mind typically group experiential states together and distinguish these from intentional states on the basis of their purportedly obvious phenomenal character. Sytsma and Machery (Phil Stud 151(2): 299–327, 2010) challenge this dichotomy by presenting evidence that non-philosophers do not classify subjective experiences relative to a state’s phenomenological character, but rather by its valence. However we argue that S&M’s results do not speak to folk beliefs about the nature of …Read more
  •  233
    Knowledge and Luck
    with John Turri and Peter Blouw
    Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 22 (2): 378-390. 2015.
    Nearly all success is due to some mix of ability and luck. But some successes we attribute to the agent’s ability, whereas others we attribute to luck. To better understand the criteria distinguishing credit from luck, we conducted a series of four studies on knowledge attributions. Knowledge is an achievement that involves reaching the truth. But many factors affecting the truth are beyond our control and reaching the truth is often partly due to luck. Which sorts of luck are compatible with kn…Read more
  •  233
    Epistemic Injustice in Social Cognition
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2): 294-308. 2019.
    ABSTRACTSilencing is a practice that disrupts linguistic and communicative acts, but its relationship to knowledge and justice is not fully understood. Prior models of epistemic injustice tend to c...
  •  222
    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
  •  217
    Does the Paradox of Fiction Exist?
    with Katherine Tullmann
    Erkenntnis 79 (4): 779-796. 2014.
    Many philosophers have attempted to provide a solution to the paradox of fiction, a triad of sentences that lead to the conclusion that genuine emotional responses to fiction are irrational. We suggest that disagreement over the best response to this paradox stems directly from the formulation of the paradox itself. Our main goal is to show that there is an ambiguity regarding the word ‘exist’ throughout the premises of the paradox. To reveal this ambiguity, we display the diverse existential co…Read more
  •  212
    The Role of Justification in the Ordinary Concept of Scientific Progress
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1): 151-166. 2014.
    Alexander Bird and Darrell Rowbottom have argued for two competing accounts of the concept of scientific progress. For Bird, progress consists in the accumulation of scientific knowledge. For Rowbottom, progress consists in the accumulation of true scientific beliefs. Both appeal to intuitions elicited by thought experiments in support of their views, and it seems fair to say that the debate has reached an impasse. In an attempt to avoid this stalemate, we conduct a systematic study of the facto…Read more
  •  203
    Neuroscientific Prediction and the Intrusion of Intuitive Metaphysics
    with David Rose and Shaun Nichols
    Cognitive Science 39 (7). 2015.
    How might advanced neuroscience—in which perfect neuro-predictions are possible—interact with ordinary judgments of free will? We propose that peoples' intuitive ideas about indeterminist free will are both imported into and intrude into their representation of neuroscientific scenarios and present six experiments demonstrating intrusion and importing effects in the context of scenarios depicting perfect neuro-prediction. In light of our findings, we suggest that the intuitive commitment to inde…Read more
  •  192
    Analytic Functionalism and Mental State Attribution
    Philosophical Topics 40 (2): 129-154. 2012.
    We argue that the causal account offered by analytic functionalism provides the best account of the folk psychological theory of mind, and that people ordinarily define mental states relative to the causal roles these states occupy in relation to environmental impingements, external behaviors, and other mental states. We present new empirical evidence, as well as review several key studies on mental state ascription to diverse types of entities such as robots, cyborgs, corporations and God, and …Read more
  •  179
    Gettier Made ESEE
    Philosophical Psychology 27 (3): 368-383. 2014.
    Previous research in experimental philosophy has suggested that moral judgments can influence the ordinary application of a number of different concepts, including attributions of knowledge. But should epistemologists care? The present set of studies demonstrate that this basic effect can be extended to overturn intuitions in some of the most theoretically central experiments in contemporary epistemology: Gettier cases. Furthermore, experiment three shows that this effect is unlikely mediated…Read more
  •  178
    Phenomenal Consciousness Disembodied
    In Justin Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind, Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 45-74. 2014.
    We evaluate the role of embodiment in ordinary mental state ascriptions. Presented are five experiments on phenomenal state ascriptions to disembodied entities such as ghosts and spirits. Results suggest that biological embodiment is not a central principle of folk psychology guiding ascriptions of phenomenal consciousness. By contrast, results continue to support the important role of functional considerations in theory of mind judgments.
  •  168
    We report two experiments exploring the perception of how contemporary philosophy is often conducted. We find that (1) participants associate philosophy with the practice of conducting thought experiments and collating intuitions about them, and (2) that this form of inquiry is viewed much less favourably than the typical form of inquiry in psychology: research conducted by teams using controlled experiments and observation. We also found (3) an effect whereby relying on intuition is viewed more…Read more
  •  160
    Moderate scientism in philosophy
    with John Turri
    In Jereon de Ridder, Rik Peels & René van Woudenberg (eds.), Scientism: Prospects and Problems, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Moderate scientism is the view that empirical science can help answer questions in nonscientific disciplines. In this paper, we evaluate moderate scientism in philosophy. We review several ways that science has contributed to research in epistemology, action theory, ethics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. We also review several ways that science has contributed to our understanding of how philosophers make judgments and decisions. Based on this research, we conclude that the case…Read more