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Profile: Edouard Machery (University of Pittsburgh)
  1. Edouard Machery (web). Discovery and Confirmation in Evolutionary Psychology. In Jesse J. Prinz (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press.
    The defining insight of evolutionary psychology consists of bringing considerations drawn from evolutionary biology to bear on the study of human psychology. So characterized, evolutionary psychology encompasses a large range of views about the nature and evolution of human psychology as well as diverging opinions about the proper method for studying them.1 In this article, I propose to clarify and evaluate various aspects of evolutionary psychologists’ methodology, with a special focus on their heuristics of discovery—i.e., their methods for developing plausible (...)
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  2. Daniel Kelly, Edouard Machery & Ron Mallon, Race.
    A core question of contemporary social morality concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization. By this we mean, for instance, classifying or thinking of a person as Black, Korean, Latino, White, etc.2 While it is widely agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about the ideal role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to do away (...)
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  3. Edouard Machery, 04.12.
    Evolution, Rationality, and Cognition: A Cognitive Science for the Twenty-First Century is a fine collection of essays edited by António Zilhão. Most of the essays are written by prominent philosophers of biology and psychology, while a roboticist, Inman Harvey, and a psychologist, Barbara Tversky, complete the list of contributors. Eight of the nine essays are original, although several of the essays are partly made up of material published elsewhere. Most of these articles belong to a growing field at the intersection (...)
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  4. Edouard Machery, All In The Mind.
    Natasha Mitchell: This is All in the Mind on Radio National abc.net.au/rn I'm Natasha Mitchell and really this past fortnight has been hellish for Australia, the bushfires in Victoria have claimed hundreds of human lives and it's almost been impossible to comprehend the scale of the disaster. Today's show links in a small way to the debate now being waged over what, or who, causes bushfires. It's a discussion about the philosophy of intentions and their profound moral weight.
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  5. Edouard Machery, Author Queries.
    3 Please specify whether it is Meaney (2001a or 2001b) throughout the article. 4 Please provide location of the publisher for reference Ariew (2006). 5 Please update the following reference: Griffiths et al. (submitted); Jones..
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  6. Edouard Machery, From Meehl to Fast and Frugal Heuristics (and Back).
    It is difficult to overestimate Paul Meehl’s influence on judgment and decision-making research. His ‘disturbing little book’ (Meehl, 1986, p. 370) Clinical versus Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence (1954) is known as an attack on human judgment and a call for replacing clinicians with actuarial methods. More than 40 years later, fast and frugal heuristics—proposed as models of human judgment—were formalized, tested, and found to be surprisingly accurate, often more so than the actuarial models (...)
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  7. Edouard Machery, Philosophical Psychology.
    This article maybe used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.
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  8. Edouard Machery & Luc Faucher, Why Do We Think Racially? Culture, Evolution, and Cognition.
    Contemporary research on racial categorization is mostly encompassed by two research traditions—social constructionism and the cognitive-cum-evolutionary approach. Although both literatures have some plausible empirical evidence and some theoretical insights to contribute to a full understanding of racial categorization, there has been little contact between their proponents. In order to foster such contacts, we critically review both traditions, focusing particularly on the recent evolutionary/cognitive explanations of racial categorization. On the basis of this critical survey, we put forward a list of (...)
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  9. Edouard Machery, Do We Talk to Be Relevant?
    In Why we Talk, cognitive scientist Jean-Louis Dessalles presents an original, in-depth account of the nature and evolution of human language. Written in a clear and engaging manner, Why we Talk is an impressive achievement. Dessalles reviews and contributes to most controversies about human language. He compares human language to other systems of communication found in the animal world, arguing for the originality of the former; he clearly shows that language is a biological trait and that we should study its (...)
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  10. Edouard Machery, What We All Think About Knowing:Cross-Cultural Uniformity and Diversity in Epistemic Assessments.
    Describing a person as knowing a proposition involves a rich array of abilities: psychological capacities to attribute mental states to others, linguistic competence with mental state verbs, conceptual grasp of the nature of knowledge and its relation to features such as reliability and evidence. One might wonder whether these abilities are all part of our natural endowment as human beings, or whether any of them is a product of a person's specific cultural context. This one-day workshop brings together researchers from (...)
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  11. Edouard Machery & Selja Säppälä, Against Hybrid Theories of Concepts.
    Psychologists of concepts’ traditional assumption that there are many properties common to all concepts has been subject to devastating critiques in psychology and in the philosophy of psychology. However, it is currently unclear what approach to concepts is best suited to replace this traditional assumption. In this article, we compare two competing approaches, the Heterogeneity Hypothesis and the hybrid theories of concepts, and we present an empirical argument that tentatively supports the former over the latter.
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  12. David Colaco, Wesley Buckwalter, Stephen Stich & Edouard Machery (forthcoming). Epistemic Intuitions in Fake-Barn Thought Experiments. Episteme.
    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-barn cases do count as knowledge is negatively correlated with (...)
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  13. Edouard Machery (forthcoming). In Defense of Reverse Inference. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axs044.
    Reverse inference is the most commonly used inferential strategy for bringing images of brain activation to bear on psychological hypotheses, but its inductive validity has recently been questioned. In this article, I show that, when it is analyzed in likelihoodist terms, reverse inference does not suffer from the problems highlighted in the recent literature, and I defend the appropriateness of treating reverse inference in these terms. 1 Introduction2 Reverse Inference3 Reverse Inference Defended3.1 Typical reverse inferences are fallacious3.2 No quick and (...)
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  14. Edouard Machery (forthcoming). One Hundred Years of Psychology of Concepts: Theoretical Notions and Their Operationalization. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.
  15. Edouard Machery (forthcoming). Pour une approche évolutionniste de la cognition animale, Étude critique de J. Proust, Les animaux pensent-ils ? Dialogue.
    Cet article recense et discute le récent livre de Joëlle Proust, Les animaux pensent-ils ?. Proust s'appuie sur les récents développements en psychologie animale et en éthologie pour fournir des réponses nouvelles à des questions philosophiques traditionnelles, comme « les animaux pensent-ils » ou « les animaux parlent-ils ? ». Ce livre est à recommander aussi bien aux étudiants qu'aux chercheurs confirmés. Toutefois, malgré son intérêt, je souligne une limite critique de l'approche de Proust : plusieurs arguments souffrent du fait (...)
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  16. Edouard Machery & David Rose (forthcoming). Encyclopedia of Mind.
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  17. Edouard Machery & Elizabeth O'Neill (eds.) (2014). Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. Routledge.

    Experimental philosophy is one of the most active and exciting areas in philosophy today. In Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy, Elizabeth O’Neill and Edouard Machery have brought together twelve leading philosophers to debate four topics central to recent research in experimental philosophy. The result is an important and enticing contribution to contemporary philosophy which thoroughly reframes traditional philosophical questions in light of experimental philosophers’ use of empirical research methods, and brings to light the lively debates within experimental philosophers’ intellectual community. (...)

    • Language (Edouard Machery & Genoveva Martí)
    • Consciousness (Brian Fala, Adam Arico, and Shaun Nicols & Justin Sytsma)
    • Free Will and Responsibility (Joshua Knobe & Eddy Nahmias and Morgan Thompson)
    • Epistemology and the Reliability of Intuitions (Kenneth Boyd and Jennifer Nagel & Joshua Alexander and Jonathan Weinberg).

    Preliminary descriptions of each chapter, annotated bibliographies for each controversy, and a supplemental guide to further controversies in experimental philosophy (with bibliographies) help provide clearer and richer views of these live controversies for all readers.

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  18. David Danks, David Rose & Edouard Machery (2013). Demoralizing Causation. Philosophical Studies:1-27.
    There have recently been a number of strong claims that normative considerations, broadly construed, influence many philosophically important folk concepts and perhaps are even a constitutive component of various cognitive processes. Many such claims have been made about the influence of such factors on our folk notion of causation. In this paper, we argue that the strong claims found in the recent literature on causal cognition are overstated, as they are based on one narrow type of data about a particular (...)
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  19. Stephen M. Downes & Edouard Machery (eds.) (2013). Arguing About Human Nature: Contemporary Debates. Routledge.
    Arguing About Human Nature covers recent debates--arising from biology, philosophy, psychology, and physical anthropology--that together systematically examine what it means to be human. Thirty-five essays--several of them appearing here for the first time in print--were carefully selected to offer competing perspectives on 12 different topics related to human nature. The context and main threads of the debates are highlighted and explained by the editors in a short, clear introduction to each of the 12 topics. Authors include Louise Anthony, Patrick Bateson, (...)
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  20. Stephan Hartmann, Chiara Lisciandra & Edouard Machery (2013). Editorial: Formal Epistemology Meets Experimental Philosophy. [REVIEW] Synthese 190 (8):1333-1335.
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  21. Edouard Machery (2013). Semantic Epistemology. Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 27 (2):223-227.
    In this article, I argue that philosophers’ intuitions about reference are not more reliable than lay people’s and that intuitions about the reference of proper names and uses of proper names provide equally good evidence for theories of reference.En este artículo defiendo que las intuiciones de los filósofos sobre la referencia no son más fiables que las de los legos y que las intuciones sobre la referencia de los nombres propios y los usos de los nombres propios ofrecen evidencia de (...)
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  22. 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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  23. Edouard Machery & David Rose (2013). Experimental Philosophy. In Encyclopedia of Mind. Sage.
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  24. Edouard Machery & Stephen Stich (2013). You Can't Have It Both Ways: What is the Relation Between Morality and Fairness? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (1):95 - 95.
    Baumard and colleagues put forward a new hypothesis about the nature and evolution of fairness. In this commentary, we discuss the relation between morality and their views about fairness.
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  25. 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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  26. Daniel Mt Fessler & Edouard Machery (2012). Culture and Cognition. In E. Margolis, R. Samuels & S. Stich (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press.
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  27. Edouard Machery (2012). Dissociations in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. Philosophy of Science 79 (4):490-518.
  28. Edouard Machery (2012). Delineating the Moral Domain. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7 (1).
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  29. Edouard Machery (2012). Expertise and Intuitions About Reference. Theoria 27 (1):37-54.
    Many philosophers hold that experts’ semantic intuitions are more reliable and provide better evidence than lay people’s intuitions—a thesis commonly called “the Expertise Defense.” Focusing on the intuitions about the reference of proper names, this article critically assesses the Expertise Defense.
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  30. Edouard Machery (2012). Power and Negative Results. Philosophy of Science 79 (5):808-820.
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  31. Edouard Machery (2012). Reconceptualizing Human Nature: Response to Lewens. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):475-478.
    There is a growing consensus that the traditional notion of human nature has failed and that human nature needs to be reconceptualized in light of our current scientific knowledge, including the knowledge gained in genetics and evolutionary biology. In “A Plea for Human Nature,” I highlighted this need, and I engaged in this reconceptualization effort, proposing a new notion of human nature, “the nomological notion of human nature” [Machery (Philosophical Psychology 21:321–330, 2008)]; for some more recent work, see Griffiths (Arts: (...)
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  32. Edouard Machery (2012). Semantic Epistemology: A Brief Response to Devitt. Theoria 27 (2):223-227.
    In this article, I argue that philosophers’ intuitions about reference are not more reliable than lay people’s and that intuitions about the reference of proper names and uses of proper names provide equally good evidence for theories of reference.
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  33. Edouard Machery (2012). Why I Stopped Worrying About the Definition of Life... And Why You Should as Well. Synthese 185 (1):145-164.
    In several disciplines within science—evolutionary biology, molecular biology, astrobiology, synthetic biology, artificial life—and outside science—primarily ethics—efforts to define life have recently multiplied. However, no consensus has emerged. In this article, I argue that this is no accident. I propose a dilemma showing that the project of defining life is either impossible or pointless. The notion of life at stake in this project is either the folk concept of life or a scientific concept. In the former case, empirical evidence shows that (...)
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  34. Hisashi Nakao & Edouard Machery (2012). The Evolution of Punishment. Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):833-850.
    Many researchers have assumed that punishment evolved as a behavior-modification strategy, i.e. that it evolved because of the benefits resulting from the punishees modifying their behavior. In this article, however, we describe two alternative mechanisms for the evolution of punishment: punishment as a loss-cutting strategy (punishers avoid further exploitation by punishees) and punishment as a cost-imposing strategy (punishers impair the violator’s capacity to harm the punisher or its genetic relatives). Through reviewing many examples of punishment in a wide range of (...)
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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. Markus Werning, Wolfram Hinzen & Edouard Machery (eds.) (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality. OUP Oxford.
    In this book leading scholars from every relevant field report on all aspects of compositionality, the notion that the meaning of an expression can be derived from its parts. Understanding how compositionality works is a central element of syntactic and semantic analysis and a challenge for models of cognition. It is a key concept in linguistics and philosophy and in the cognitive sciences more generally, and is without question one of the most exciting fields in the study of language and (...)
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  38. Edouard Machery (2011). A Better Philosophy for a Better Psychology: Comment on Slaney and Racine (2011). Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 31 (2):90-95.
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  39. Edouard Machery (2011). Comments and Response-A Better Philosophy for a Better Psychology. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 31 (2):90.
     
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  40. Edouard Machery (2011). Developmental Disorders and Cognitive Architecture. In Pieter R. Adriaens & Andreas de Block (eds.), Maladapting Minds: Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Evolutionary Theory. Oxford University Press.
    For the last thirty years, cognitive scientists have attempted to describe the cognitive architecture of typically developing human beings, using, among other sources of evidence, the dissociations that result from developmental psychopathologies such as autism spectrum disorders, Williams syndrome, and Down syndrome. Thus, in his recent defense of the massive modularity hypothesis, Steven Pinker insists on the importance of such dissociations to identify the components of the typical cognitive architecture (2005, 4; my emphasis): This kind of faculty psychology has numerous (...)
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  41. Édouard Machery (2011). Précis de Doing Without Concepts. Dialogue 50 (1):141-152.
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  42. Édouard Machery (2011). Replies to Lombrozo, Piccinini, and Poirier and Beaulac. Dialogue 50 (1):195-212.
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  43. Edouard Machery (2011). Thought Experiments and Philosophical Knowledge. Metaphilosophy 42 (3):191-214.
    Abstract: While thought experiments play an important role in contemporary analytic philosophy, much remains unclear about thought experiments. In particular, it is still unclear whether the judgments elicited by thought experiments can provide evidence for the premises of philosophical arguments. This article argues that, if an influential and promising view about the nature of the judgments elicited by thought experiments is correct, then many thought experiments in philosophy fail to provide any evidence for the premises of philosophical arguments.
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  44. Edouard Machery (2011). What is the Significance of The Origin of Concepts for Philosophers' and Psychologists' Theories of Concepts? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (3):137-138.
    Carey holds that the study of conceptual development bears on the theories of concepts developed by philosophers and psychologists. In this commentary, I scrutinize her claims about the significance of the study of conceptual development.
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  45. 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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  46. 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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  47. Jean-Louis Dessalles, Edouard Machery, Fiona Cowie & Jason Mckenzie Alexander (2010). Symposium on J.-L. Dessalles's Why We Talk. Biology and Philosophy 25 (5).
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  48. Daniel Kelly, Luc Faucher & Edouard Machery (2010). Getting Rid of Racism: Assessing Three Proposals in Light of Psychological Evidence. Journal of Social Philosophy 41 (3):293-322.
    At the end of a chapter in his book Race, Racism and Reparations, Angelo Corlett notes that “[t]here remain other queries about racism [than those he addressed in his chapter], which need philosophical exploration. … Perhaps most important, how might racism be unlearned?” (2003, 93). We agree with Corlett’s assessment of its importance, but find that philosophers have not been very keen to directly engage with the issue of how to best deal with, and ultimately do away with, racism. Rather, (...)
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  49. Daniel Kelly, Edouard Machery & Ron Mallon (2010). Race and Racial Cognition. In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
    A core question of contemporary social morality concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization. By this we mean, for instance, classifying or thinking of a person as Black, Korean, Latino, White, etc.² While it is widely FN:2 agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about the ideal role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to do (...)
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