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  1. Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma & David Rose, Following the FAD: Folk Attributions and Theories of Actual Causation.
    Using structural equations and directed graphs, Christopher Hitchcock (2007a) proposes a theory specifying the circumstances in which counterfactual dependence of one event e on another event c is necessary and sufficient for c to count as an actual cause of e. In this paper, we argue that Hitchcock is committed to a widely-endorsed folk attribution desideratum (FAD) for theories of actual causation. We then show experimentally that Hitchcock’s theory does not satisfy the FAD, and hence, it is in need of (...)
     
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  2. Justin Sytsma (ed.) (forthcoming). Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind. Continuum.
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  3. Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.) (forthcoming). A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell.
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  4. Justin Sytsma, Jonathan Livengood, Ryoji Sato & Mineki Oguchi (forthcoming). Reference in the Land of the Rising Sun: A Cross-Cultural Study on the Reference of Proper Names. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-18.
    A standard methodology in philosophy of language is to use intuitions as evidence. Machery, Mallon, Nichols, and Stich (2004) challenged this methodology with respect to theories of reference by presenting empirical evidence that intuitions about one prominent example from the literature on the reference of proper names (Kripke’s Gödel case) vary between Westerners and East Asians. In response, Sytsma and Livengood (2011) conducted experiments to show that the questions Machery and colleagues asked participants in their study were ambiguous, and that (...)
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  5. Dylan Murray, Justin Sytsma & Jonathan Livengood (2013). God Knows (but Does God Believe?). Philosophical Studies 166 (1):83-107.
    The standard view in epistemology is that propositional knowledge entails belief. Positive arguments are seldom given for this entailment thesis, however; instead, its truth is typically assumed. Against the entailment thesis, Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel (Noûs, forthcoming) report that a non-trivial percentage of people think that there can be propositional knowledge without belief. In this paper, we add further fuel to the fire, presenting the results of four new studies. Based on our results, we argue that the entailment thesis does not (...)
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  6. Justin Sytsma (2012). Experimental Philosophy and Philosophical Disputes. Essays in Philosophy (1):9.
    One view of philosophy that is sometimes expressed, especially by scientists, is that while philosophers are good at asking questions, they are poor at producing convincing answers. And the perceived divide between philosophical and scientific methods is often pointed to as the major culprit behind this lack of progress. Looking back at the history of philosophy, however, we find that this methodological divide is a relatively recent invention. Further, it is one that has been challenged over the past decade by (...)
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  7. Justin Sytsma, Jonathan Livengood & David Rose (2012). Two Types of Typicality: Rethinking the Role of Statistical Typicality in Ordinary Causal Attributions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (4):814-820.
    Empirical work on the use of causal language by ordinary people indicates that their causal attributions tend to be sensitive not only to purely descriptive considerations, but also to broadly moral considerations. For example, ordinary causal attributions appear to be highly sensitive to whether a behavior is permissible or impermissible. Recently, however, a consensus view has emerged that situates the role of permissibility information within a broader framework: According to the consensus, ordinary causal attributions are sensitive to whether or not (...)
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  8. Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery (2012). On the Relevance of Folk Intuitions: A Commentary on Talbot. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):654-660.
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  9. Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery (2012). The Two Sources of Moral Standing. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):303-324.
    There are two primary traditions in philosophical theorizing about moral standing—one emphasizing Experience (the capacity to feel pain and pleasure) and one emphasizing Agency (complexity of cognition and lifestyle). In this article we offer an explanation for this divide: Lay judgments about moral standing depend importantly on two independent cues (Experience and Agency), and the two philosophical traditions reflect this aspect of folk moral cognition. In support of this two-source hypothesis, we present the results of a series of new experiments (...)
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  10. Edouard Machery & Justin Sytsma (2011). Robot Pains and Corporate Feelings. The Philosophers' Magazine 52 (52):78-82.
    Most philosophers of mind follow Thomas Nagel and hold that subjective experiences are characterised by the fact that there is “something it is like” to have them. Philosophers of mind have sometimes speculated that ordinary people endorse, perhaps implicitly, this conception of subjective experiences. Some recent findings cast doubt on this view.
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  11. David Rose, Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery (2011). Deep Trouble for the Deep Self. Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):629 - 646.
    Chandra Sripada's (2010) Deep Self Concordance Account aims to explain various asymmetries in people's judgments of intentional action. On this account, people distinguish between an agent's active and deep self; attitude attributions to the agent's deep self are then presumed to play a causal role in people's intentionality ascriptions. Two judgments are supposed to play a role in these attributions?a judgment that specifies the attitude at issue and one that indicates that the attitude is robust (Sripada & Konrath, 2011). In (...)
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  12. Justin Sytsma & Jonathan Livengood (2011). A New Perspective Concerning Experiments on Semantic Intuitions. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):315-332.
    Machery, Mallon, Nichols, and Stich [2004; forthcoming] use experimental methods to raise a spectre of doubt about reliance on intuitions in developing theories of reference which are then deployed in philosophical arguments outside the philosophy of language. Machery et al. ran a cross-cultural survey asking Western and East Asian participants about a famous case from the philosophical literature on reference (Kripke's G del example). They interpret their results as indicating that there is significant variation in participants' intuitions about semantic reference (...)
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  13. Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma, Adam Feltz, Richard Scheines & Edouard Machery (2010). Philosophical Temperament. Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):313-330.
    Many philosophers have worried about what philosophy is. Often they have looked for answers by considering what it is that philosophers do. Given the diversity of topics and methods found in philosophy, however, we propose a different approach. In this article we consider the philosophical temperament, asking an alternative question: What are philosophers like? Our answer is that one important aspect of the philosophical temperament is that philosophers are especially reflective. This claim is supported by a study of more than (...)
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  14. Edouard Machery, Max Deutsch, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols, Justin Sytsma & Stephen Stich (2010). Semantic Intuitions: Reply to Lam. Cognition 117 (3):363-366.
  15. Justin Sytsma (2010). Dennetts Theory of the Folk Theory of Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (3-4):3-4.
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  16. Justin Sytsma (2010). Folk Psychology and Phenomenal Consciousness. Philosophy Compass 5 (8):700-711.
    In studying folk psychology, cognitive and developmental psychologists have mainly focused on how people conceive of non-experiential states such as beliefs and desires. As a result, we know very little about how non-philosophers (or the folk) understand the mental states that philosophers typically classify as being phenomenally conscious. In particular, it is not known whether the folk even tend to classify mental states in terms of their being or not being phenomenally conscious in the first place. Things have changed dramatically (...)
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  17. Justin Sytsma (2010). The Proper Province of Philosophy. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):427-445.
    The practice of conceptual analysis has undergone a revival in recent years. Although the extent of its role in philosophy is controversial, many now accept that conceptual analysis has at least some role to play. Granting this, I consider the relevance of empirical investigation to conceptual analysis. I do so by contrasting an extreme position (anti-empirical conceptual analysis) with a more moderate position (non-empirical conceptual analysis). I argue that anti-empirical conceptual analysis is not a viable position because it has no (...)
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  18. Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery (2010). Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience. Philosophical Studies 151 (2):299-327.
    Do philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in the same way? In this article, we argue that they do not and that the philosophical concept of phenomenal consciousness does not coincide with the folk conception. We first offer experimental support for the hypothesis that philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in markedly different ways. We then explore experimentally the folk conception, proposing that for the folk, subjective experience is closely linked to valence. We conclude by considering (...)
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  19. Peter Machamer & Justin Sytsma (2009). Philosophy and the Brain Sciences. Iris 1 (2):353-374.
    What are the differences between philosophy and science, or between the methods of philosophy and the methods of science? Unlike some philosophers we do not find philosophy and the methods of philosophy to be sui generis. Science, and in particular neuroscience, has much to tell us about the nature of the world and the concepts that we must use to understand and explain it. Yet science cannot function well without reflective analysis of the concepts, methods, and practices that constitute it. (...)
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  20. Justin Sytsma (2009). Phenomenological Obviousness and the New Science of Consciousness. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):958-969.
    Is phenomenal consciousness a problem for the brain sciences? An increasing number of researchers hold not only that it is but that its very existence is a deep mystery. That this problematic phenomenon exists is generally taken for granted: It is asserted that phenomenal consciousness is just phenomenologically obvious. In contrast, I hold that there is no such phenomenon and, thus, that it does not pose a problem for the brain sciences. For this denial to be plausible, however, I need (...)
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  21. Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery (2009). How to Study Folk Intuitions About Phenomenal Consciousness. Philosophical Psychology 22 (1):21 – 35.
    The assumption that the concept of phenomenal consciousness is pretheoretical is often found in the philosophical debates on consciousness. Unfortunately, this assumption has not received the kind of empirical attention that it deserves. We suspect that this is in part due to difficulties that arise in attempting to test folk intuitions about consciousness. In this article we elucidate and defend a key methodological principle for this work. We draw this principle out by considering recent experimental work on the topic by (...)
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  22. Justin Sytsma (2007). Language Police Running Amok. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 27 (1):89-103.
    In this article I critique Kathleen Slaney and Michael Maraun’s (2005) addition to the ongoing philosophical charge that neuroscientific writing often transgresses the bounds of sense. While they sometimes suggest a minimal, cautious thesis–that certain usage can generate confusion and in some cases has–they also bandy about charges of meaninglessness, conceptual confusion, and nonsense freely. These charges rest on the premise that terms have specific correct usages that correspond with Slaney and Maraun’s sense of everyday linguistic practice. I challenge this (...)
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  23. Peter K. Machamer, James E. McGuire & Justin Sytsma (2005). Knowing Causes: Descartes on the World of Matter. Philosophica 76.
    In this essay, we discuss how Descartes arrives at his mature view of material causation. Descartes’ position changes over time in some very radical ways. The last section spells out his final position as to how causation works in the world of material objects. When considering Descartes’ causal theories, it is useful to distinguish between ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ causation. The vertical perspective addresses God’s relation to creation. God is essential being, and every being other than God depends upon God in (...)
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  24. Peter Machamer & Justin Sytsma (2005). Neuroscienze e natura della filosofia. Iride 18 (3):495-514.
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  25. Justin Sytsma, Searching for Evidence of Phenomenal Consciousness in Ncc Research.
    Recent scientific work aiming to give a neurobiological explanation of phenomenal consciousness has largely focused on finding neural correlates of consciousness (NCC). The hope is that by locating neural correlates of phenomenally conscious mental states, some light will be cast on how the brain is able to give rise to such states. In this paper I argue that NCC research is unable to produce evidence of such neural correlates. I do this by considering two alternative interpretations of NCC research—an eliminativist (...)
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  26. Justin Sytsma, Information Supply and Demand: Resolving Sterelny's Paradox of Cultural Accumulation.
    Gene-Culture Coevolution (GCC) theory is an intriguing new entry in the quest to understand human culture. Nonetheless, it has received relatively little philosophical attention. One notable exception is Kim Sterelny’s (2006) critique which raises three primary objections against the GCC account. Most importantly, he argues that GCC theory, as it stands, is unable to resolve “the paradox of cultural accumulation” (151); that while social learning should generally be prohibitively expensive for the pupils, it nonetheless occurs as the principle means of (...)
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