Two types of typicality: Rethinking the role of statistical typicality in ordinary causal attributions
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (4):814-820 (2012)
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 a behavior is generally out of the norm, where being out of the norm might indicate deviation from a prescriptive norm (a broadly moral consideration) or deviation from a statistical norm (a purely descriptive consideration). In contrast, we conjecture that ordinary causal attributions are more directly connected to broadly moral judgments about normative responsibility (the responsibility view). We present the results of a series of new experimental studies that are consistent with the responsibility view, while indicating that the consensus position is seriously mistaken.
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References found in this work BETA
Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe (2009). Cause and Norm. Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
Joshua Knobe & Ben Fraser (2008). Causal Judgment and Moral Judgment: Two Experiments. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology. MIT Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
David Danks, David Rose & Edouard Machery (2013). Demoralizing Causation. Philosophical Studies (2):1-27.
David Rose & David Danks (2013). In Defense of a Broad Conception of Experimental Philosophy. Metaphilosophy 44 (4):512-532.
David Rose & David Danks (2012). Causation: Empirical Trends and Future Directions. Philosophy Compass 7 (9):643-653.
Joshua Knobe & Richard Samuels (2013). Thinking Like a Scientist: Innateness as a Case Study. Cognition 126 (1):72-86.
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