Folk psychological concepts: Causation

Philosophical Psychology 22 (2):205-213 (2009)
Which factors influence the folk application of the concept of causation? Knobe has argued that causal judgments are primarily influenced by the moral valence of the behavior under consideration. Whereas Driver has pointed out that the data Knobe relies on can also be used to support the claim that it is the atypicality of the agent's behavior that influences our willingness to assign causality to that agent. While Knobe and Fraser have provided a further study to address the cogency of this alternative explanation, we argue that they have not provided a complete analysis. We present a variation on this study that addresses the relation between atypical and moral considerations as they contribute to the application of the concept causation. Our results indicate that atypicality cannot be ignored in an analysis of the folk concept of causation. That is, Knobe and Fraser's response to Driver is inadequate.
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DOI 10.1080/09515080902802769
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Joshua Knobe (2010). Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.

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