Shaun Nichols University of Arizona
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  • Faculty, University of Arizona
  • PhD, Rutgers University, 1992.

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  1. Shaun Nichols, Is Religion What We Want? Motivation and the Cultural Transmission of Religious Representations.
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  2. Shaun Nichols (web). Mindreading and the Philosophy of Mind. In J. Prinz (ed.), The Oxford Handbook on Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press.
    In J. Prinz (ed.) The Oxford Handbook on Philosophy of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.
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  3. Joshua Knobe, Tania Lombrozo & Shaun Nichols (eds.) (forthcoming). Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
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  4. Joshua Knobe, Tania Lombrozo & Shaun Nichols (eds.) (forthcoming). Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 1. Oxford University Press.
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  5. Hannah Tierney, Chris Howard, Victor Kumar, Trevor Kvaran & Shaun Nichols (forthcoming). How Many of Us Are There? In Justin Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind. Continuum Press.
  6. Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.) (2014). Experimental Philosophy: Volume 2. OUP USA.
    Experimental Philosophy: Volume 2 contains fourteen articles -- thirteen previously published and one new -- that reflect the fast-moving changes in the field over the last five years.
     
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  7. Nina Strohminger & Shaun Nichols (2014). The Essential Moral Self. Cognition 131 (1):159-171.
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  8. D. M. Bartels, T. Kvaran & S. Nichols (2013). Selfless Giving. Cognition 129 (2):392-403.
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  9. Susan Blackmore, Thomas W. Clark, Mark Hallett, John-Dylan Haynes, Ted Honderich, Neil Levy, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Shaun Nichols, Michael Pauen, Derk Pereboom, Susan Pockett, Maureen Sie, Saul Smilansky, Galen Strawson, Daniela Goya Tocchetto, Manuel Vargas, Benjamin Vilhauer & Bruce Waller (2013). Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books.
     
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  10. Oisín Deery, Matthew S. Bedke & Shaun Nichols (2013). Phenomenal Abilities: Incompatibilism and the Experience of Agency. In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. 126–50.
    Incompatibilists often claim that we experience our agency as incompatible with determinism, while compatibilists challenge this claim. We report a series of experiments that focus on whether the experience of having an ability to do otherwise is taken to be at odds with determinism. We found that participants in our studies described their experience as incompatibilist whether the decision was (i) present-focused or retrospective, (ii) imagined or actual, (iii) morally salient or morally neutral. The only case in which participants did (...)
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  11. Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2013). If Folk Intuitions Vary, Then What? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):618-635.
    We have recently presented evidence for cross-cultural variation in semantic intuitions and explored the implications of such variation for philosophical arguments that appeal to some theory of reference as a premise. Devitt (2011) and Ichikawa and colleagues (forthcoming) offer critical discussions of the experiment and the conclusions that can be drawn from it. In this response, we reiterate and clarify what we are really arguing for, and we show that most of Devitt’s and Ichikawa and colleagues’ criticisms fail to address (...)
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  12. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Saeideh Heshmati, Deanna Kaplan & Shaun Nichols (2013). Folk Retributivism And The Communication Confound. Economics and Philosophy 29 (2):235-261.
    Retributivist accounts of punishment maintain that it is right to punish wrongdoers, even if the punishment has no future benefits. Research in experimental economics indicates that people are willing to pay to punish defectors. A complementary line of work in social psychology suggests that people think that it is right to punish wrongdoers. This work suggests that people are retributivists about punishment. However, all of the extant work contains an important potential confound. The target of the punishment is expected to (...)
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  13. Shaun Nichols (2013). Brute Retributivisrn. In Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.), The Future of Punishment. Oup Usa. 25.
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  14. Shaun Nichols (2013). Free Will and Error. In Gregg Caruso (ed.), Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books. 203.
  15. Shaun Nichols (2013). The Indeterminist Intuition: Source and Status. The Monist 95 (2):290-307.
    Evidence from experimental philosophy indicates that people think that their choices are not determined. What remains unclear is why people think this. Denying determinism is rather presumptuous given people’s general ignorance about the nature of the universe. In this paper, I’ll argue that the belief in indeterminism depends on a default presumption that we know the factors that influence our decision making. That presumption was reasonable at earlier points in intellectual history. But in light of work in cognitive science, we (...)
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  16. Shaun Nichols & Mark Timmons (2013). Experimental Ethics. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  17. Mark Phelan, Adam Arico & Shaun Nichols (2013). Thinking Things and Feeling Things: On an Alleged Discontinuity in Folk Metaphysics of Mind. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):703-725.
    According to the discontinuity view, people recognize a deep discontinuity between phenomenal and intentional states, such that they refrain from attributing feelings and experiences to entities that do not have the right kind of body, though they may attribute thoughts to entities that lack a biological body, like corporations, robots, and disembodied souls. We examine some of the research that has been used to motivate the discontinuity view. Specifically, we focus on experiments that examine people's aptness judgments for various mental (...)
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  18. David Rose & Shaun Nichols (2013). The Lesson of Bypassing. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):599-619.
    The idea that incompatibilism is intuitive is one of the key motivators for incompatibilism. Not surprisingly, then philosophers who defend incompatibilism often claim that incompatibilism is the natural, commonsense view about free will and moral responsibility (e.g., Pereboom 2001, Kane Journal of Philosophy 96:217–240 1999, Strawson 1986). And a number of recent studies find that people give apparently incompatibilist responses in vignette studies. When participants are presented with a description of a causal deterministic universe, they tend to deny that people (...)
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  19. Wesley Buckwalter, Joshua Knobe, Shaun Nichols, N. Ángel Pinillos, Philip Robbins, Hagop Sarkissian, Chris Weigel & Jonathan M. Weinberg (2012). Experimental Philosophy. Oxford Bibliographies Online (1):81-92.
    Bibliography of works in experimental philosophy.
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  20. Florian Cova, Julien Dutant, Edouard Machery, Joshua Knobe, Shaun Nichols & Eddy Nahmias (eds.) (2012). La Philosophie Expérimentale. Vuibert.
    La philosophie expérimentale est un mouvement récent qui tente de faire progresser certains débats philosophiques grâce à l'utilisation de méthodes expérimentales. À la différence de la philosophie conventionnelle qui privilégie l'analyse conceptuelle ou la spéculation, la philosophie expérimentale préconise le recours aux études empiriques pour mieux comprendre les concepts philosophiques. Apparue il y a une dizaine d'années dans les pays anglo-saxons, cette approche constitue actuellement l'une des branches les plus dynamiques de la philosophie contemporaine. -/- L'objectif de cet ouvrage est (...)
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  21. Stan Klein & Shaun Nichols (2012). Memory and the Sense of Personal Identity. Mind 121 (483):677-702.
    Memory of past episodes provides a sense of personal identity — the sense that I am the same person as someone in the past. We present a neurological case study of a patient who has accurate memories of scenes from his past, but for whom the memories lack the sense of mineness. On the basis of this case study, we propose that the sense of identity derives from two components, one delivering the content of the memory and the other generating (...)
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  22. Joshua Knobe, Wesley Buckwalter, Philip Robbins, Hagop Sarkissian, Tamler Sommers & Shaun Nichols (2012). Experimental Philosophy. Annual Review of Psychology 63 (50):72-73.
    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 relative? Third, do people believe in free will, and do they see free (...)
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  23. Ron Mallon & Shaun Nichols (2012). Philosophy: Traditional and Experimental Readings. Oup Usa.
    Recently, the fields of empirical and experimental philosophy have generated tremendous excitement, due to unexpected results that have challenged philosophical dogma. Responding to this trend, Philosophy: Traditional and Experimental Readings is the first introductory philosophy reader to integrate cutting-edge work in empirical and experimental philosophy with traditional philosophy. Featuring coverage that is equal parts historical, contemporary, and empirical/experimental, this topically organized reader provides students with a unique introduction to both the core and the vanguard of philosophy.
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  24. Shaun Nichols (2012). The Indeterminist Intuition. The Monist 95 (2):290-307.
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  25. Adam Arico, Brian Fiala, Robert F. Goldberg & Shaun Nichols (2011). The Folk Psychology of Consciousness. Mind and Language 26 (3):327-352.
    This paper proposes the ‘AGENCY model’ of conscious state attribution, according to which an entity's displaying certain relatively simple features (e.g. eyes, distinctive motions, interactive behavior) automatically triggers a disposition to attribute conscious states to that entity. To test the model's predictions, participants completed a speeded object/attribution task, in which they responded positively or negatively to attributions of mental properties (including conscious and non-conscious states) to different sorts of entities (insects, plants, artifacts, etc.). As predicted, participants responded positively to conscious (...)
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  26. Brian Fiala, Adam Arico & Shaun Nichols (2011). On the Psychological Origins of Dualism: Dual-Process Cognition and the Explanatory Gap. In Edward Slingerland & Mark Collard (eds.), Creating Consilience: Issues and Case Studies in teh Integration of the Sciences and Humanities. OUP.
    Consciousness often presents itself as a problem for materialists because no matter which physical explanation we consider, there seems to remain something about conscious experience that hasn't been fully explained. This gives rise to an apparent explanatory gap. The explanatory gulf between the physical and the conscious is reflected in the broader population, in which dualistic intuitions abound. Drawing on recent empirical evidence, this essay presents a dual-process cognitive model of consciousness attribution. This dual-process model, we suggest, provides an important (...)
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  27. Christopher Freiman & Shaun Nichols (2011). Is Desert in the Details? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):121-133.
  28. Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (2011). Free Will and the Bounds of the Self. In Robert Kane (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford.
    If you start taking courses in contemporary cognitive science, you will soon encounter a particular picture of the human mind. This picture says that the mind is a lot like a computer. Specifically, the mind is made up of certain states and certain processes. These states and processes interact, in accordance with certain general rules, to generate specific behaviors. If you want to know how those states and processes got there in the first place, the only answer is that they (...)
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  29. Benjamin Kozuch & Shaun Nichols (2011). Awareness of Unawareness Folk Psychology and Introspective Transparency. Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (11-12):11-12.
  30. Ron Mallon & Shaun Nichols (2011). Dual Processes and Moral Rules. Emotion Review 3 (3):284-285.
    Recent work proclaims a dominant role for automatic, intuitive, and emotional processes in producing ordinary moral judgment, despite the fact that we have little direct evidence about moral judgment “in the wild.” Indirect support comes via an assumption of dual-process theory: that conscious, reasoning processes are resource intensive. We argue that reasoning that employs consciously available moral rules undermines this assumption, but this has not been appreciated because of a failure to distinguish between explanation and justification. We conclude that it (...)
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  31. Shaun Nichols (2011). Experimental Philosophy and the Problem of Free Will. Science 331 (6023):1401-1403.
    Many philosophical problems are rooted in everyday thought, and experimental philosophy uses social scientific techniques to study the psychological underpinnings of such problems. In the case of free will, research suggests that people in a diverse range of cultures reject determinism, but people give conflicting responses on whether determinism would undermine moral responsibility. When presented with abstract questions, people tend to maintain that determinism would undermine responsibility, but when presented with concrete cases of wrongdoing, people tend to say that determinism (...)
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  32. Shaun Nichols (2011). Is Desert in the Details? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):121 - 133.
    Modern political philosophers have been notoriously reluctant to recognize desert in their theories of distributive justice.2 A large measure of the philosophical resistance to desert can be attributed to the fact that much of what people possess ultimately derives from brute luck. If a person’s assets come from brute luck, then she cannot be said truly to deserve those assets. John Rawls suggests that this idea is “one of the fixed points of our considered judgments;”3 Eric Rakowski calls it “uncontroversial;”4 (...)
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  33. Michael Bruno & Shaun Nichols (2010). Intuitions About Personal Identity: An Empirical Study. Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):293-312.
    Williams (1970) argues that our intuitions about personal identity vary depending on how a given thought experiment is framed. Some frames lead us to think that persistence of self requires persistence of one's psychological characteristics; other frames lead us to think that the self persists even after the loss of one's distinctive psychological characteristics. The current paper takes an empirical approach to these issues. We find that framing does affect whether or not people judge that persistence of psychological characteristics is (...)
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  34. Michael Bruno & Shaun Nichols (2010). Intuitions About Personal Identity: An Empirical Study. Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):293-312.
    Williams (1970) argues that our intuitions about personal identity vary depending on how a given thought experiment is framed. Some frames lead us to think that persistence of self requires persistence of one's psychological characteristics; other frames lead us to think that the self persists even after the loss of one's distinctive psychological characteristics. The current paper takes an empirical approach to these issues. We find that framing does affect whether or not people judge that persistence of psychological characteristics is (...)
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  35. Jonathan Cohen & Shaun Nichols (2010). Colours, Colour Relationalism and the Deliverances of Introspection. Analysis 70 (2):218 - 228.
    An important motivation for relational theories of color is that they resolve apparent conflicts about color: x can, without contradiction, be red relative to S1 and not red relative to S2. Alas, many philosophers claim that the view is incompatible with naive, phenomenally grounded introspection. However, when we presented normal adults with apparent conflicts about color (among other properties), we found that many were open to the relationalist's claim that apparently competing variants can simultaneously be correct. This suggests that, philosophers' (...)
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  36. Edouard Machery, Max Deutsch, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols, Justin Sytsma & Stephen Stich (2010). Semantic Intuitions: Reply to Lam. Cognition 117 (3):363-366.
  37. Ron Mallon & Shaun Nichols (2010). 1. Moral Rules and Moral Reasoning. In John Doris (ed.), Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press. 297.
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  38. Ron Mallon & Shaun Nichols (2010). Rules. In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
    Is it wrong to torture prisoners of war for fun? Is it wrong to yank on someone’s hair with no provocation? Is it wrong to push an innocent person in front of a train in order to save five innocent people tied to the tracks? If you are like most people, you answered "yes" to each of these questions. A venerable account of human moral judgment, influential in both philosophy and psychology, holds that these judgments are underpinned by internally represented (...)
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  39. Thomas Nadelhoffer, Eddy A. Nahmias & Shaun Nichols (eds.) (2010). Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings is the first book to bring together the most significant contemporary and historical works on the topic from both philosophy and psychology. Provides a comprehensive introduction to moral psychology, which is the study of psychological mechanisms and processes underlying ethics and morality Unique in bringing together contemporary texts by philosophers, psychologists and other cognitive scientists with foundational works from both philosophy and psychology Approaches moral psychology from an empirically informed perspective Explores a wide range (...)
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  40. Shaun Nichols (2010). An Inquiry Into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue. In Thomas Nadelhoffer, Eddy A. Nahmias & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings. Wiley-Blackwell. 111.
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  41. Shaun Nichols (2010). Emotions, Norms, and the Genealogy of Fairness. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 9 (3):275-296.
    In The Grammar of Society, Bicchieri maintains that behavior in the Ultimatum game (and related economic games) depends on people’s allegiance to ‘social norms’. In this article, I follow Bicchieri in maintaining that an adequate account of people’s behavior in such games must make appeal to norms, including a norm of equal division; I depart from Bicchieri in maintaining that at least part of the population desires to follow such norms even when they do not expect others to follow them. (...)
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  42. Shaun Nichols (2010). Selections fromBeyond Good and Evil and Twilight of the Idols. In Thomas Nadelhoffer, Eddy A. Nahmias & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings. Wiley-Blackwell. 251.
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  43. Shaun Nichols (2010). The Mind's “I” and the Theory of Mind's “I”. Philosophical Topics 28 (2):171-199.
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  44. Shaun Nichols (2010). Timothy Schroeder, Adina L. Roskies, And. In John Doris (ed.), Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press. 72.
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  45. Jesse J. Prinz & Shaun Nichols (2010). Moral Emotions. In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
     
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  46. Jessej Prinz & Shaun Nichols (2010). 1. The Role ofEmotions in Moral Cognition. In John Doris (ed.), Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press. 111.
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  47. Hagop Sarkissian, Amita Chatterjee, Felipe De Brigard, Joshua Knobe, Shaun Nichols & Smita Sirker (2010). Is Belief in Free Will a Cultural Universal? Mind and Language 25 (3):346-358.
    Recent experimental research has revealed surprising patterns in people's intuitions about free will and moral responsibility. One limitation of this research, however, is that it has been conducted exclusively on people from Western cultures. The present paper extends previous research by presenting a cross-cultural study examining intuitions about free will and moral responsibility in subjects from the United States, Hong Kong, India and Colombia. The results revealed a striking degree of cross-cultural convergence. In all four cultural groups, the majority of (...)
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  48. Timothy Schroeder, Adina L. Roskies & Shaun Nichols (2010). Moral Motivation. In John Doris (ed.), Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter, we begin with a discussion of motivation itself, and use that discussion to sketch four possible theories of distinctively moral motivation: caricature versions of familiar instrumentalist, cognitivist, sentimentalist, and personalist theories about morally worthy motivation. To test these theories, we turn to a wealth of scientific, particularly neuroscientific, evidence. Our conclusions are that (1) although the scientific evidence does not at present mandate a unique philosophical conclusion, it does present formidable obstacles to a number of popular philosophical (...)
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  49. Liane Young, Shaun Nichols & Rebecca Saxe (2010). Investigating the Neural and Cognitive Basis of Moral Luck. [REVIEW] Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):333-349.
    Moral judgments, we expect, ought not to depend on luck. A person should be blamed only for actions and outcomes that were under the person’s control. Yet often, moral judgments appear to be influenced by luck. A father who leaves his child by the bath, after telling his child to stay put and believing that he will stay put, is judged to be morally blameworthy if the child drowns (an unlucky outcome), but not if his child stays put and doesn’t (...)
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  50. Brian Fiala & Shaun Nichols (2009). Confabulation, Confidence, and Introspection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2):144-145.
    Carruthers' arguments depend on a tenuous interpretation of cases from the confabulation literature. Specifically, Carruthers maintains that cases of confabulation are from cases of alleged introspection. However, in typical cases of confabulation, the self-attributions are characterized by low confidence, in contrast to cases of alleged introspection.
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  51. Theresa Lopez, Jennifer Zamzow, Michael Gill & Shaun Nichols (2009). Side Constraints and the Structure of Commonsense Ethics. Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):305-319.
    In our everyday moral deliberations, we attend to two central types of considerations – outcomes and moral rules. How these considerations interrelate is central to the long-standing debate between deontologists and utilitarians. Is the weight we attach to moral rules reducible to their conduciveness to good outcomes (as many utilitarians claim)? Or do we take moral rules to be absolute constraints on action that normatively trump outcomes (as many deontologists claim)? Arguments over these issues characteristically appeal to commonsense intuitions about (...)
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  52. Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich (2009). Against Arguments From Reference. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
    It is common in various quarters of philosophy to derive philosophically significant conclusions from theories of reference. In this paper, we argue that philosophers should give up on such 'arguments from reference.' Intuitions play a central role in establishing theories of reference, and recent cross-cultural work suggests that intuitions about reference vary across cultures and between individuals within a culture (Machery et al. 2004). We argue that accommodating this variation within a theory of reference undermines arguments from reference.
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  53. Shaun Nichols (2009). How Can Psychology Contribute to the Free Will Debate? In J. Baer, J. Kaufman & R. Baumeister (eds.), Psychology and Free Will. Oxford University Press.
    Are people free and morally responsible? Or are their actions determined, i.e. inevitable outcomes of the past conditions and the laws of nature? These seem fairly straightforward questions, but it is important to distinguish 3 different dimensions of the free will debate: a descriptive project, a substantive project, and a prescriptive project. In this chapter, I’ll consider how psychology can contribute to each project in turn. First, I should say a bit more about the projects.
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  54. Shaun Nichols & Brian Fiala (2009). Confabulation, Confidence, and Introspection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2):144.
    Carruthers’ arguments depend on a tenuous interpretation of cases from the confabulation literature. Specifically, Carruthers maintains that cases of confabulation are “subjectively indistinguishable” from cases of alleged introspection. However, in typical cases of confabulation, the self-attributions are characterized by low confidence, in contrast to cases of alleged introspection.
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  55. Shaun Nichols & Jennifer L. Zamzow (2009). Variations in Ethical Intuitions. In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.. 368-388.
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  56. Jennifer L. Zamzow & Shaun Nichols (2009). Variations in Ethical Intuitions. Philosophical Issues 19 (1):368-388.
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  57. Jennifer Zamzow & Shaun Nichols (2009). Variations in Ethical Intuitions. In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.. 368-388.
    Philosophical theorizing is often, either tacitly or explicitly, guided by intuitions about cases. Theories that accord with our intuitions are generally considered to be prima facie better than those that do not. However, recent empirical work has suggested that philosophically significant intuitions are variable and unstable in a number of ways. This variability of intuitions has led naturalistically inclined philosophers to disparage the practice of relying on intuitions for doing philosophy in general (e.g. Stich & Weinberg 2001) and for doing (...)
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  58. Michael B. Gill & Shaun Nichols (2008). Sentimentalist Pluralism: Moral Psychology and Philosophical Ethics. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):143-163.
    When making moral judgments, people are typically guided by a plurality of moral rules. These rules owe their existence to human emotions but are not simply equivalent to those emotions. And people’s moral judgments ought to be guided by a plurality of emotion-based rules. The view just stated combines three positions on moral judgment: [1] moral sentimentalism, which holds that sentiments play an essential role in moral judgment,1 [2] descriptive moral pluralism, which holds that commonsense moral judgment is guided by (...)
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  59. Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.) (2008). Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    The present volume provides an introduction to the major themes of work in experimental philosophy, bringing together some of the most influential articles in ...
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  60. Shaun Nichols (2008). Great Philosophical Debates. Teaching Co..
    Part 1. lecture 1. Free will and determinism-- the basic debate -- lecture 2. Fate and karma -- lecture 3. Divine predestination and foreknowledge -- lecture 4. Causal determinism -- lecture 5. Ancient and medieval indeterminism -- lecture 6. Agent causation -- lecture 7. Ancient and classical compatibilism -- lecture 8. Contemporary compatibilism -- lecture 9. Hard determinism -- lecture 10. Free will impossibilism -- lecture 11. The belief in free will -- lecture 12. Physics and free will --.
     
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  61. Shaun Nichols (2008). Imagination and theI. Mind and Language 23 (5):518-535.
    Abstract: Thought experiments about the self seem to lead to deeply conflicting intuitions about the self. Cases imagined from the 3rd person perspective seem to provoke different responses than cases imagined from the 1st person perspective. This paper argues that recent cognitive theories of the imagination, coupled with standard views about indexical concepts, help explain our reactions in the 1st person cases. The explanation helps identify intuitions that should not be trusted as a guide to the metaphysics of the self.
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  62. Shaun Nichols & Manuel Vargas (2008). How to Be Fair to Psychopaths. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):153-155.
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  63. Adina L. Roskies & Shaun Nichols (2008). Bringing Moral Responsibility Down to Earth. Journal of Philosophy 105 (7):371-388.
    Thought experiments have played a central role in philosophical methodology, largely as a means of elucidating the nature of our concepts and the implications of our theories.1 Particular attention is given to widely shared “folk” intuitions – the basic untutored intuitions that the layperson has about philosophical questions.2 The folk intuition is meant to underlie our core metaphysical concepts, and philosophical analysis is meant to explicate or sometimes refine these naïve concepts. Consistency with the deliverances of folk intuitions is a (...)
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  64. Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (2007). An Experimental Philosophy Manifesto. In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press. 3--14.
    It used to be a commonplace that the discipline of philosophy was deeply concerned with questions about the human condition. Philosophers thought about human beings and how their minds worked. They took an interest in reason and passion, culture and innate ideas, the origins of people’s moral and religious beliefs. On this traditional conception, it wasn’t particularly important to keep philosophy clearly distinct from psychology, history, or political science. Philosophers were concerned, in a very general way, with questions about how..
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  65. Shaun Nichols (2007). After Incompatibilism: A Naturalistic Defense of the Reactive Attitudes. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):405-428.
    From the first time I encountered the problem of free will in college, it struck me that a clear-eyed view of free will and moral responsibility demanded some form of nihilism. Libertarianism seemed delusional, and compatibilism seemed in bad faith. Hence I threw my lot in with philosophers like Paul d’Holbach, Galen Strawson, and Derk Pereboom who conclude that no one is truly moral responsible. But after two decades of self- identifying as a nihilist, it occurred to me that I (...)
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  66. Shaun Nichols (2007). Imagination and Immortality: Thinking of Me. Synthese 159 (2):215 - 233.
    Recent work in developmental psychology indicates that children naturally think that psychological states continue after death. One important candidate explanation for why this belief is natural appeals to the idea that we believe in immortality because we can't imagine our own nonexistence. This paper explores this old idea. To begin, I present a qualified statement of the thesis that we can't imagine our own nonexistence. I argue that the most prominent explanation for this obstacle, Freud's, is problematic. I go on (...)
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  67. Shaun Nichols (2007). The Rise of Compatibilism: A Case Study in the Quantitative History of Philosophy. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):260-270.
    Incompatibilists about free will and responsibility often maintain that incompatibilism is the intuitive, commonsense position. Recently, this claim has come under unfavorable scrutiny from naturalistic philosophers who have surveyed philosophically uneducated undergraduates.1 But there is a much older problem for the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive – if incompatibilism is intuitive, why is compatibilism so popular in the history of philosophy? In this paper I will try to answer this question by pursuing a rather different naturalistic methodology. The idea is (...)
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  68. Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe (2007). Moral Responsibility and Determinism: The Cognitive Science of Folk Intuitions. Noûs 41 (4):663–685.
    An empirical study of people's intuitions about freedom of the will. We show that people tend to have compatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more concrete, emotional way but that they tend to have incompatiblist intuitions when they think about the problem in a more abstract, cognitive way.
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  69. Shaun Nichols & Joseph Ulatowski (2007). Intuitions and Individual Differences: The Knobe Effect Revisited. Mind and Language 22 (4):346–365.
    Recent work by Joshua Knobe indicates that people’s intuition about whether an action was intentional depends on whether the outcome is good or bad. This paper argues that part of the explanation for this effect is that there are stable individual differences in how ‘intentional’ is interpreted. That is, in Knobe’s cases, different people interpret the term in different ways. This interpretive diversity of ‘intentional’ opens up a new avenue to help explain Knobe’s results. Furthermore, the paper argues that the (...)
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  70. Manuel Vargas & Shaun Nichols (2007). Psychopaths and Moral Knowledge. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):157-162.
  71. S. Nichols & R. Mallon (2006). Moral Rules and Moral Dilemmas. Cognition 100:530-542.
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  72. Shaun Nichols (2006). Free Will and the Folk: Responses to Commentators. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6:305-320.
    Experimental research on folk intuitions concerning free will is still in its infancy. So it is especially helpful to have such an excellent set of commentaries, and I greatly appreciate the work of the commentators in advancing the project. Because of space limitations, I can’t respond to all of the comments. I will focus on just a few issues that emerge from the comments that I think are especially promising for illumination.
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  73. Shaun Nichols (2006). Do Children Think of the Self as the Soul? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):481-482.
    Bering's work provides new insight into the child's concept of the self. For his results indicate that children don't regard bodily identity as required for identity of self across time. Bering's methodology for investigating afterlife beliefs might also be exploited to explore the extent to which children think that psychological similarity is required for sameness of self.
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  74. Shaun Nichols (2006). Folk Intuitions on Free Will. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6:57-86.
    This paper relies on experimental methods to explore the psychological underpinnings of folk intuitions about free will and responsibility. In different conditions, people give conflicting responses about agency and responsibility. In some contexts, people treat agency as indeterminist; in other contexts, they treat agency as determinist. Furthermore, in some contexts people treat responsibility as incompatible with determinism, and in other contexts people treat responsibility as compatible with determinism. The paper considers possible accounts of the psychological mechanisms that underlie these conflicting (...)
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  75. Shaun Nichols (2006). Introduction. In , The Architecture of the Imagination: New Essays on Pretence, Possibility, and Fiction. Clarendon Press.
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  76. Shaun Nichols (2006). Imaginative Blocks and Impossibility: An Essay in Modal Psychology. In , The Architecture of the Imagination: New Essays on Pretence, Possibility, and Fiction. Clarendon Press.
  77. Shaun Nichols (2006). Just the Imagination: Why Imagining Doesn't Behave Like Believing. Mind and Language 21 (4):459–474.
    According to recent accounts of the imagination, mental mechanisms that can take input from both imagining and from believing will process imagination-based inputs (pretense representations) and isomorphic beliefs in much the same way. That is, such a mechanism should produce similar outputs whether its input is the belief that p or the pretense representation that p. Unfortunately, there seem to be clear counterexamples to this hypothesis, for in many cases, imagining that p and believing that p have quite different psychological (...)
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  78. Shaun Nichols (ed.) (2006). The Architecture of the Imagination: New Essays on Pretence, Possibility, and Fiction. Oxford University Press.
    This volume brings together specially written essays by leading researchers on the propositional imagination. This is the mental capacity we exploit when we imagine that Holmes has a bad habit or that there are zombies. It plays an essential role in philosophical theorizing, engaging with fiction, and indeed in everyday life. The Architecture of the Imagination capitalizes on recent attempts to give a cognitive account of this capacity, extending the theoretical picture and exploring the philosophical implications.
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  79. Shaun Nichols & Ron Mallon (2006). Moral Dilemmas and Moral Rules. Cognition 100 (3):530-542.
    Recent work shows an important asymmetry in lay intuitions about moral dilemmas. Most people think it is permissible to divert a train so that it will kill one innocent person instead of five, but most people think that it is not permissible to push a stranger in front of a train to save five innocents. We argue that recent emotion-based explanations of this asymmetry have neglected the contribution that rules make to reasoning about moral dilemmas. In two experiments, we find (...)
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  80. Shaun Nichols (2005). Although Linguistic Nativism has Received the Bulk of Attention in Contemporary. In Peter Carruthers (ed.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York. 1--353.
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  81. Shaun Nichols (2005). Innateness and Moral Psychology. In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York. 353--369.
    Although linguistic nativism has received the bulk of attention in contemporary innateness debates, moral nativism has perhaps an even deeper ancestry. If linguistic nativism is Cartesian, moral nativism is Platonic. Moral nativism has taken a backseat to linguistic nativism in contemporary discussions largely because Chomsky made a case for linguistic nativism characterized by unprecedented rigor. Hence it is not surprising that recent attempts to revive the thesis that we have innate moral knowledge have drawn on Chomsky’s framework. I’ll argue, however, (...)
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  82. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2005). Reading One's Own Mind: Self-Awareness and Developmental Psychology. In M. Ezcurdia, R. Stainton & C. Viger (eds.), New Essays in Philosophy of Language and Mind. University of Calgary Press. 297-339.
    The idea that we have special access to our own mental states has a distinguished philosophical history. Philosophers as different as Descartes and Locke agreed that we know our own minds in a way that is quite different from the way in which we know other minds. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, this idea came under serious attack, first from philosophy (Sellars 1956) and more recently from developmental psychology.1 The attack from developmental psychology arises from the (...)
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  83. Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2004). Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style. Cognition 92 (3):1-12.
    Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al. 2001) has shown systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some work indicates that this extends to intuitions about philosophical cases (...)
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  84. Shaun Nichols (2004). An Example of Conceptual Analysis Using Intuitions About Cases. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (11):514-518.
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  85. Shaun Nichols (2004). After Objectivity: An Empirical Study of Moral Judgment. Philosophical Psychology 17 (1):3 – 26.
    This paper develops an empirical argument that the rejection of moral objectivity leaves important features of moral judgment intact. In each of five reported experiments, a number of participants endorsed a nonobjectivist claim about a canonical moral violation. In four of these experiments, participants were also given a standard measure of moral judgment, the moral/conventional task. In all four studies, participants who respond as nonobjectivists about canonical moral violations still treat such violations in typical ways on the moral/conventional task. In (...)
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  86. Shaun Nichols (2004). Folk Concepts and Intuitions: From Philosophy to Cognitive Science. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (11):514-518.
    Analytic philosophers have long used a priori methods to characterize folk concepts like knowledge, belief, and wrongness. Recently, researchers have begun to exploit social scientific methodologies to characterize such folk concepts. One line of work has explored folk intuitions on cases that are disputed within philosophy. A second approach, with potentially more radical implications, applies the methods of cross-cultural psychology to philosophical intuitions. Recent work suggests that people in different cultures have systematically different intuitions surrounding folk concepts like wrong, knows, (...)
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  87. Shaun Nichols (2004). Imagining and Believing: The Promise of a Single Code. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2):129-39.
    Recent cognitive accounts of the imagination propose that imagining and believing are in the same “code”. According to the single code hypothesis, cognitive mechanisms that can take input from both imagining and from believing will process imagination-based inputs (“pretense representations”) and isomorphic beliefs in much the same way. In this paper, I argue that the single code hypothesis provides a unified and independently motivated explanation for a wide range of puzzles surrounding fiction.
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  88. Shaun Nichols (2004). Review: Recreative Minds. [REVIEW] Mind 113 (450):329-334.
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  89. Shaun Nichols (2004). Sentimental Rules: On the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgment. Oxford University Press.
    Sentimental Rules is an ambitious and highly interdisciplinary work, which proposes and defends a new theory about the nature and evolution of moral judgment. In it, philosopher Shaun Nichols develops the theory that emotions play a critical role in both the psychological and the cultural underpinnings of basic moral judgment. Nichols argues that our norms prohibiting the harming of others are fundamentally associated with our emotional responses to those harms, and that such 'sentimental rules' enjoy an advantage in cultural evolution, (...)
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  90. Shaun Nichols (2004). The Folk Psychology of Free Will: Fits and Starts. Mind and Language 19 (5):473-502.
    According to agent-causal accounts of free will, agents have the capacity to cause actions, and for a given action, an agent could have done otherwise. This paper uses existing results and presents experimental evidence to argue that young children deploy a notion of agent-causation. If young children do have such a notion, however, it remains quite unclear how they acquire it. Several possible acquisition stories are canvassed, including the possibility that the notion of agent-causation develops from a prior notion of (...)
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  91. Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich (2004). Reading One's Own Mind. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (Supplement):297-339.
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  92. Stephen Stich & Shaun Nichols (2004). Reading One's Own Mind: Self-Awareness and Developmental Psychology. In R. Stanton, M. Ezcurdia & C. Viger (eds.), New Essays in Philosophy of Language and Mind, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 30. University of Calgary Press. 297-339.
    The idea that we have special access to our own mental states has a distinguished philosophical history. Philosophers as different as Descartes and Locke agreed that we know our own minds in a way that is quite different from the way in which we know other minds. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, this idea came under serious attack, first from philosophy (Sellars 1956) and more recently from developmental psychology.1 The attack from developmental psychology arises from the (...)
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  93. Shaun Nichols & T. Folds-Bennett (2003). Are Children Moral Objectivists? Children's Judgments About Moral and Response-Dependent Properties. Cognition 90 (2):23-32.
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  94. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2003). Mindreading. An Integrated Account of Pretence, Self-Awareness, and Understanding Other Minds. Oxford University Press.
    The everyday capacity to understand the mind, or 'mindreading', plays an enormous role in our ordinary lives. Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich provide a detailed and integrated account of the intricate web of mental components underlying this fascinating and multifarious skill. The imagination, they argue, is essential to understanding others, and there are special cognitive mechanisms for understanding oneself. The account that emerges has broad implications for longstanding philosophical debates over the status of folk psychology. Mindreading is another trailblazing volume (...)
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  95. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2003). Reading One's Own Mind: A Cognitive Theory of Self-Awareness. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oup.
  96. Shaun Nichols, Stephen Stich & Jonathan M. Weinberg (2003). Metaskepticism: Meditations in Ethnoepistemology. In S. Luper (ed.), The Skeptics. Ashgate. 227--247.
    Throughout the 20th century, an enormous amount of intellectual fuel was spent debating the merits of a class of skeptical arguments which purport to show that knowledge of the external world is not possible. These arguments, whose origins can be traced back to Descartes, played an important role in the work of some of the leading philosophers of the 20th century, including Russell, Moore and Wittgenstein, and they continue to engage the interest of contemporary philosophers. (e.g., Cohen 1999, DeRose 1995, (...)
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  97. Luc Faucher, Ron Mallon, Daniel Nazer, Shaun Nichols, Aaron Ruby, Stephen Stich & Jonathan Weinberg (2002). 18 The Baby in the Lab-Coat: Why Child Development is Not an Adequate Model for Understanding the Development of Science. In Peter Carruthers, Stephen P. Stich & Michael Siegal (eds.), The Cognitive Basis of Science. Cambridge University Press.
  98. Michael Friedman, Robert DiSalle, J. D. Trout, Shaun Nichols, Maralee Harrell, Clark Glymour, Carl G. Wagner, Kent W. Staley, Jesús P. Zamora Bonilla & Frederick M. Kronz (2002). 10. Interpreting Quantum Field Theory Interpreting Quantum Field Theory (Pp. 348-378). Philosophy of Science 69 (2).
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  99. Daniel Nazer, Aaron Ruby, Shaun Nichols, Jonathan Weinberg, Stephen Stich, Luc Faucher & Ron Mallon (2002). The Baby in the Lab-Coat: Why Child Development is Not an Adequate Model for Understanding the Development of Science. In P. Carruthers, S. Stich & M. Siegal (eds.), The Cognitive Basis of Science. Cambridge University Press.
    Alison Gopnik and her collaborators have recently proposed a bold and intriguing hypothesis about the relationship between scientific cognition and cognitive development in childhood. According to this view, the processes underlying cognitive development in infants and children and the processes underlying scientific cognition are _identical_. We argue that Gopnik’s bold hypothesis is untenable because it, along with much of cognitive science, neglects the many important ways in which human minds are designed to operate within a social environment. This leads to (...)
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  100. Shaun Nichols (2002). Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. London: Nature Publishing Group.
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  101. Shaun Nichols (2002). How Psychopaths Threaten Moral Rationalism. The Monist 85 (2):285-303.
    Over the last 20 years, a number of central figures in moral philosophy have defended some version of moral rationalism, the idea that morality is based on reason or rationality (e.g., Gewirth 1978, Darwall 1983, Nagel 1970, 1986, Korsgaard 1986, Singer 1995; Smith 1994, 1997). According to rationalism, morality is based on reason or rationality rather than the emotions or cultural idiosyncrasies, and this has seemed to many to be the best way of securing a kind of objectivism about moral (...)
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  102. Shaun Nichols (2002). Imagination and the Puzzles of Iteration. Analysis 62 (3):182-87.
    Iteration presents opposing puzzles for a theory of the imagination. The first puzzle, noted by David Lewis, is that when a person pretends to pretend, the iteration is often preserved. Let’s call this the puzzle of ‘pre- served iteration’. At the other pole, Gregory Currie has noted that very often when we pretend to pretend, the iteration does collapse. We might call this the puzzle of ‘collapsed iteration’. Somehow a theory of the imagination must be able to address these two (...)
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  103. Shaun Nichols (2002). Is It Irrational to Be Amoral? How Psychopaths Threaten Moral Rationalism. The Monist 85:285-304.
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  104. Shaun Nichols (2002). Norms with Feeling: Towards a Psychological Account of Moral Judgment. Cognition 84 (2):221–236.
    There is a large tradition of work in moral psychology that explores the capacity for moral judgment by focusing on the basic capacity to distinguish moral violations (e.g. hitting another person) from conventional violations (e.g. playing with your food). However, only recently have there been attempts to characterize the cognitive mechanisms underlying moral judgment (e.g. Cognition 57 (1995) 1; Ethics 103 (1993) 337). Recent evidence indicates that affect plays a crucial role in mediating the capacity to draw the moral/conventional distinction. (...)
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  105. Shaun Nichols (2002). On The Genealogy Of Norms: A Case For The Role Of Emotion In Cultural Evolution. Philosophy of Science 69 (2):234-255.
    One promising way to investigate the genealogy of norms is by considering not the origin of norms, but rather, what makes certain norms more likely to prevail. Emotional responses, I maintain, constitute one important set of mechanisms that affects the cultural viability of norms. To corroborate this, I exploit historical evidence indicating that 16th century etiquette norms prohibiting disgusting actions were much more likely to survive than other 16th century etiquette norms. This case suggests more broadly that work on cultural (...)
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  106. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (2002). Folk Psychology. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. 35-71.
    For the last 25 years discussions and debates about commonsense psychology (or “folk psychology,” as it is often called) have been center stage in the philosophy of mind. There have been heated disagreements both about what folk psychology is and about how it is related to the scientific understanding of the mind/brain that is emerging in psychology and the neurosciences. In this chapter we will begin by explaining why folk psychology plays such an important role in the philosophy of mind. (...)
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  107. Shaun Nichols (2001). Mindreading and the Cognitive Architecture Underlying Altruistic Motivation. Mind and Language 16 (4):425-455.
    In recent attempts to characterize the cognitive mechanisms underlying altruistic motivation, one central question is the extent to which the capacity for altruism depends on the capacity for understanding other minds, or ‘mindreading’. Some theorists maintain that the capacity for altruism is independent of any capacity for mindreading; others maintain that the capacity for altruism depends on fairly sophisticated mindreading skills. I argue that none of the prevailing accounts is adequate. Rather, I argue that altruistic motivation depends on a basic (...)
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  108. Jonathan M. Weinberg, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich (2001). Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions. Philosophical Topics, 29 (1-2):429-460.
    In this paper we propose to argue for two claims. The first is that a sizeable group of epistemological projects – a group which includes much of what has been done in epistemology in the analytic tradition – would be seriously undermined if one or more of a cluster of empirical hypotheses about epistemic intuitions turns out to be true. The basis for this claim will be set out in Section 2. The second claim is that, while the jury is (...)
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  109. Shaun Nichols (2000). The Mind's "I" and the Theory of Mind's "I": Introspection and Two Concepts of Self. Philosophical Topics 28 (2):171-99.
    Introspection plays a crucial role in Modern philosophy in two different ways. From the beginnings of Modern philosophy, introspection has been used a tool for philosophical exploration in a variety of thought experiments. But Modern philosophers (e.g., Locke and Hume) also tried to characterize the nature of introspection as a psychological phenomenon. In contemporary philosophy, introspection is still frequently used in thought experiments. And in the analytic tradition, philosophers have tried to characterize conceptually necessary features of introspection.2 But over the (...)
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  110. Shaun Nichols & Todd A. Grantham (2000). Adaptive Complexity and Phenomenal Consciousness. Philosophy Of Science 67 (4):648-670.
    Arguments about the evolutionary function of phenomenal consciousness are beset by the problem of epiphenomenalism. For if it is not clear whether phenomenal consciousness has a causal role, then it is difficult to begin an argument for the evolutionary role of phenomenal consciousness. We argue that complexity arguments offer a way around this problem. According to evolutionary biology, the structural complexity of a given organ can provide evidence that the organ is an adaptation, even if nothing is known about the (...)
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  111. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (2000). A Cognitive Theory of Pretense. Cognition 74 (2):115-147.
    Recent accounts of pretense have been underdescribed in a number of ways. In this paper, we present a much more explicit cognitive account of pretense. We begin by describing a number of real examples of pretense in children and adults. These examples bring out several features of pretense that any adequate theory of pretense must accommodate, and we use these features to develop our theory of pretense. On our theory, pretense representations are contained in a separate mental workspace, a Possible (...)
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  112. Claudia Uller & Shaun Nichols (2000). Goal Attribution in Chimpanzees. Cognition 76 (2):B27-B34.
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  113. Todd A. Grantham & Shaun Nichols (1999). Evolutionary Psychology: Ultimate Explanations and Panglossian Predictions. In Valerie Gray Hardcastle (ed.), Where Biology Meets Psychology. MIT Press. 47--66.
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  114. Shaun Nichols (1999). Mind, Meaning, and Mental Disorder. Philosophical Review 108 (4):559-562.
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  115. Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich (1999). Pretense in Prediction: Simulation and Understanding Minds. In. In Denis Fisette (ed.), Consciousness and Intentionality: Models and Modalities of Attribution. Springer. 199--216.
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  116. Shaun Nichols & Claudia Uller (1999). Explicit Factuality and Comparative Evidence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):776-777.
    We argue that Dienes & Perner's (D&P's) proposal needs to specify independent criteria when a subject explicitly represents factuality. This task is complicated by the fact that people typically “tacitly” believe that each of their beliefs is a fact. This problem does not arise for comparative evidence on monkeys, for they presumably lack the capacity to represent factuality explicitly. D&P suggest that explicit visual processing and declarative memory depend on explicit representations of factuality, whereas the analogous implicit processes do not (...)
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  117. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (1998). Rethinking Co-Cognition: A Reply to Heal. Mind and Language 13 (4):499-512.
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  118. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (1998). Theory Theory to the Max. Mind and Language 13 (3):421-449.
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  119. Shaun Nichols (1997). Lyons, William. Approaches to Intentionality. Review of Metaphysics 50 (3):672-673.
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  120. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (1997). Cognitive Penetrability, Rationality, and Restricted Simulation. Mind and Language 12 (3-4):297-326.
    In a series of recent papers, Jane Heal (1994, 1995a, 1995b, 1996a, 1996b) has developed her own quite distinctive version of simulation theory and offered a detailed critique of the arguments against simulation theory that we and our collaborators presented in earlier papers. Heal's theory is clearly set out and carefully defended, and her critique of our arguments is constructive and well informed. Unlike a fair amount of what has been written in this area in recent years, her work is (...)
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  121. Alan M. Leslie, Shaun Nichols, Stephen P. Stich & David B. Klein (1996). Varieties of Off-Line Simulation. In P. Carruthers & P. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press. 39-74.
    In the last few years, off-line simulation has become an increasingly important alternative to standard explanations in cognitive science. The contemporary debate began with Gordon (1986) and Goldman's (1989) off-line simulation account of our capacity to predict behavior. On their view, in predicting people's behavior we take our own decision making system `off line' and supply it with the `pretend' beliefs and desires of the person whose behavior we are trying to predict; we then let the decision maker reach a (...)
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  122. Shaun Nichols, Stephen P. Stich, Alan M. Leslie & David B. Klein (1996). Varieties of Off-Line Simulation. In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Cambridge University Press. 39-74.
    The debate over off-line simulation has largely focussed on the capacity to predict behavior, but the basic idea of off-line simulation can be cast in a much broader framework. The central claim of the off-line account of behavior prediction is that the practical reasoning mechanism is taken off-line and used for predicting behavior. However, there's no reason to suppose that the idea of off-line simulation can't be extended to mechanisms other than the practical reasoning system. In principle, any cognitive component (...)
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  123. Shaun Nichols, Stephen P. Stich & Alan M. Leslie (1995). Choice Effects and the Ineffectiveness of Simulation. Mind and Language 10 (4):437-45.
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  124. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (1995). Second Thoughts on Simulation. In Martin Davies & Tony Stone (eds.), Mental Simulation. Blackwell.
    The essays in this volume make it abundantly clear that there is no shortage of disagreement about the plausibility of the simulation theory. As we see it, there are at least three factors contributing to this disagreement. In some instances the issues in dispute are broadly empirical. Different people have different views on which theory is favored by experiments reported in the literature, and different hunches about how future experiments are likely to turn out. In 3.1 and 3.3 we will (...)
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  125. Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (1994). Folk Psychology. Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science:235--255.
    For the last 25 years discussions and debates about commonsense psychology (or “folk psychology,” as it is often called) have been center stage in the philosophy of mind. There have been heated disagreements both about what folk psychology is and about how it is related to the scientific understanding of the mind/brain that is emerging in psychology and the neurosciences. In this chapter we will begin by explaining why folk psychology plays such an important role in the philosophy of mind. (...)
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  126. Shaun Nichols (1993). Developmental Evidence and Introspection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):64.
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  127. Shaun Nichols (1993). New Inquiries Into Truth and Meaning. Mind and Language 8 (1):157-161.
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  128. Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (1993). Folk Psychology: Simulation or Tacit Theory? Mind and Language 7 (1-2):35-71.
    A central goal of contemporary cognitive science is the explanation of cognitive abilities or capacities. [Cummins 1983] During the last three decades a wide range of cognitive capacities have been subjected to careful empirical scrutiny. The adult's ability to produce and comprehend natural language sentences and the child's capacity to acquire a natural language were among the first to be explored. [Chomsky 1965, Fodor, Bever & Garrett 1974, Pinker 1989] There is also a rich literature on the ability to solve (...)
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  129. S. Stich & S. Nichols (1992). Folk Psychology: Simulation Versus Tacit Theory. Mind and Language 7:29-65.
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  130. Shaun Nichols (1991). The Mundane Matter of the Mental Language. Mind and Language 6 (4):386-389.
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  131. Shaun Nichols, College of Charleston.
    Introspection plays a crucial role in Modern philosophy in two different ways. From the beginnings of Modern philosophy, introspection has been used a tool for philosophical exploration in a variety of thought experiments. But Modern philosophers (e.g., Locke and Hume) also tried to characterize the nature of introspection as a psychological phenomenon. In contemporary philosophy, introspection is still frequently used in thought experiments. And in the analytic tradition, philosophers have tried to characterize conceptually necessary features of introspection.2 But over the (...)
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  132. Shaun Nichols, On the Psychological Diversity of Moral Insensitivity.
    When we learn of atrocities committed by psychopaths and by suicide terrorists, we are shocked by the evident lack of normal feeling for their fellow human beings. (By suicide terrorists, I mean to include not just the people who..
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  133. Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich, How to Read Your Own Mind: A Cognitive Theory of Self-Consciousness.
    The topic of self-awareness has an impressive philosophical pedigree, and sustained discussion of the topic goes back at least to Descartes. More recently, selfawareness has become a lively issue in the cognitive sciences, thanks largely to the emerging body of work on “mindreading”, the process of attributing mental states to people (and other organisms). During the last 15 years, the processes underlying mindreading have been a major focus of attention in cognitive and developmental psychology. Most of this work has been (...)
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  134. Shaun Nichols, Moral Rationalism and Empirical Immunity.
    With the rapid recent growth of naturalized metaethics, Richard Joyce’s paper sounds an appropriate cautionary note. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by sexy new data and to neglect the difficulties in using the data to draw major philosophical conclusions. One of the central views in the sights of naturalists has been moral rationalism. Jonathan Haidt (2001), Joshua Greene (this volume), Jesse Prinz (forthcoming), and I (2002, 2004b) have all used recent empirical findings to challenge moral rationalist views. Although Joyce is (...)
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  135. Shaun Nichols, Sentiment, Intention, and Disagreement: Replies to Blair & D'Arms.
    I am most grateful to James Blair and Justin D’Arms for commenting on my work. I would be hard put to name two other moral psychologists whose reactions I’d be so keen to hear. There is a striking asymmetry in their commentaries. Blair prefers a minimalist story about moral judgment, maintaining that the appeal to rules is unnecessary. D’Arms, by contrast, maintains that the account I offer is overly simple and that children lack moral concepts despite their partial facility (...)
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  136. Shaun Nichols, Sentimentalism Naturalized.
    Sentimentalism, the idea that the emotions or sentiments are crucial to moral judgment, has a long and distinguished history. Throughout this history, sentimentalists have often viewed themselves as offering a more naturalistically respectable account of moral judgment. In this paper, I’ll argue that they have not been naturalistic enough. The early, simple versions of sentimentalism met with decisive objections. The contemporary sentimentalist accounts successfully dodge these objections, but only by promoting an account of moral judgment that is far too complex (...)
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  137. Shaun Nichols, Shikhar Kumar & Theresa Lopez, Rational Learners and Non-Utilitarian Rules.
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