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Profile: Florian Cova (University of Geneva)
  1. Paul Egré & Florian Cova (forthcoming). Moral Asymmetries and the Semantics of Many. Semantics and Pragmatics.
    We present the results of four experiments concerning the evaluation people make of sentences involving “many”, showing that two sentences of the form “many As are Bs” vs. “many As are Cs” need not be equivalent when evaluated relative to a background in which B and C have the same cardinality and proportion to A, but in which B and C are predicates with opposite semantic and affective values. The data provide evidence that subjects lower the standard relevant to ascribe (...)
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  2. Adam Feltz & Florian Cova (forthcoming). Moral Responsibility and Free Will: A Meta-Analysis. Consciousness and Cognition.
    Fundamental beliefs about free will and moral responsibility are often thought to shape our ability to have healthy relationships with others and ourselves. Emotional reactions have also been shown to have an important and pervasive impact on judgments and behaviors. Recent research suggests that emotional reactions play a prominent role in judgments about free will, influencing judgments about determinism’s relation to free will and moral responsibility. However, the extent to which affect influences these judgments is unclear. We conducted a metaanalysis (...)
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  3. Florian Cova (2014). Frankfurt-Style Cases User Manual: Why Frankfurt-Style Enabling Cases Do Not Necessitate Tech Support. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):505-521.
    ‘Frankfurt-style cases’ (FSCs) are widely considered as having refuted the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP) by presenting cases in which an agent is morally responsible even if he could not have done otherwise. However, Neil Levy (J Philos 105:223–239, 2008) has recently argued that FSCs fail because we are not entitled to suppose that the agent is morally responsible, given that the mere presence of a counterfactual intervener is enough to make an agent lose responsibility-grounding abilities. Here, I distinguish two (...)
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  4. Florian Cova (2013). Unconsidered Intentional Actions: An Assessment of Scaife and Webber's 'Consideration Hypothesis'. Journal of Moral Philosophy (1):1-22.
  5. Florian Cova & Julien Deonna (2013). Being Moved. Philosophical Studies (3):1-20.
    In this paper, we argue that, barring a few important exceptions, the phenomenon we refer to using the expression “being moved” is a distinct type of emotion. In this paper’s first section, we motivate this hypothesis by reflecting on our linguistic use of this expression. In section two, pursuing a methodology that is both conceptual and empirical, we try to show that the phenomenon satisfies the five most commonly used criteria in philosophy and psychology for thinking that some affective episode (...)
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  6. Florian Cova, Julien Deonna & David Sander (2013). The Emotional Shape of Our Moral Life: Anger-Related Emotions and Mutualistic Anthropology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (1):86 - 87.
    The evolutionary hypothesis advanced by Baumard et al. makes precise predictions on which emotions should play the main role in our moral lives: morality should be more closely linked to emotions (like contempt and disgust) than to emotions (like anger). Here, we argue that these predictions run contrary to most psychological evidence.
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  7. Florian Cova & Yasuko Kitano (2013). Experimental Philosophy and the Compatibility of Free Will and Determinism: A Survey. Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science:17-37.
    The debate over whether free will and determinism are compatible is controversial, and produces wide scholarly discussion. This paper argues that recent studies in experimental philosophy suggest that people are in fact “natural compatibilists”. To support this claim, it surveys the experimental literature bearing directly (section 1) or indirectly (section 2) upon this issue, before pointing to three possible limitations of this claim (section 3). However, notwithstanding these limitations, the investigation concludes that the existing empirical evidence seems to support the (...)
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  8. Florian Cova, Maxime Bertoux, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & Bruno Dubois (2012). Judgments About Moral Responsibility and Determinism in Patients with Behavioural Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia: Still Compatibilists. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):851-864.
    Do laypeople think that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism? Recently, philosophers and psychologists trying to answer this question have found contradictory results: while some experiments reveal people to have compatibilist intuitions, others suggest that people could in fact be incompatibilist. To account for this contradictory answers, Nichols and Knobe (2007) have advanced a ‘performance error model’ according to which people are genuine incompatibilist that are sometimes biased to give compatibilist answers by emotional reactions. To test for this hypothesis, we (...)
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  9. Florian Cova, Emmanuel Dupoux & Pierre Jacob (2012). On Doing Things Intentionally. Mind and Language 27 (4):378-409.
    Recent empirical and conceptual research has shown that moral considerations have an influence on the way we use the adverb ‘intentionally’. Here we propose our own account of these phenomena, according to which they arise from the fact that the adverb ‘intentionally’ has three different meanings that are differently selected by contextual factors, including normative expectations. We argue that our hypotheses can account for most available data and present some new results that support this. We end by discussing the implications (...)
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  10. 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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  11. Florian Cova & Hichem Naar (2012). Side-Effect Effect Without Side Effects: The Pervasive Impact of Moral Considerations on Judgments of Intentionality. Philosophical Psychology 25 (6):837-854.
    Studying the folk concept of intentional action, Knobe (2003a) discovered a puzzling asymmetry: most people consider some bad side effects as intentional while they consider some good side effects as unintentional. In this study, we extend these findings with new experiments. The first experiment shows that the very same effect can be found in ascriptions of intentionality in the case of means for action. The second and third experiments show that means are nevertheless generally judged more intentional than side effects, (...)
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  12. Florian Cova & Hichem Naar (2012). Testing Sripada's Deep Self Model. Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):647 - 659.
    Sripada has recently advanced a new account for asymmetries that have been uncovered in folk judgments of intentionality: the ?Deep Self model,? according to which an action is more likely to be judged as intentional if it matches the agent's central and stable attitudes and values (i.e., the agent's Deep Self). In this paper, we present new experiments that challenge this model in two ways: first, we show that the Deep Self model makes predictions that are falsified, then we present (...)
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  13. Florian Cova & Nicolas Pain (2012). Can Folk Aesthetics Ground Aesthetic Realism? The Monist 95 (2):241-263.
    We challenge an argument that aims to support Aesthetic Realism by claiming, first, that common sense is realist about aesthetic judgments because it considers that aesthetic judgments can be right or wrong, and, second, that becauseAesthetic Realism comes from and accounts for “folk aesthetics,” it is the best aesthetic theory available.We empirically evaluate this argument by probing whether ordinary people with no training whatsoever in the subtle debates of aesthetic philosophy consider their aesthetic judgments as right or wrong. Having shown (...)
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  14. Florian Cova (ed.) (2011). Qu'en Pensez-Vous ? Introduction À la Philosophie Expérimentale. Germina.
    À quoi les philosophes sont-ils bons ? Faire de la philosophie rend-il meilleur ? Les jugements esthétiques gardent-ils encore quelque secret, ou bien Kant a-t-il tout dit sur la question ? La culture et le statut socio-économique de votre professeur de philosophie a-t-il une influence sur ses options philosophiques ? Pourquoi avons-nous l'impression que la pensée ne saurait être un état de notre cerveau ? Que nous ne serions pas libres si nous n'étions qu'un tas de neurone ? C'est pour (...)
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  15. Florian Cova (2010). Le Statut Intentionnel d'Une Action Dépend-Il de Sa Valeur Morale ? Une Énigme Encore À Résoudre. Vox Philosophiae 2 (1):100-128.
    Dans cet article, nous introduisons le lecteur à une énigme qui a émergé récemment dans la littérature philosophique : celle de l’influence de nos évaluations morales sur nos intuitions au sujet de la nature des actions intentionnelle. En effet, certaines données issues de la philosophie expérimentale semblent suggérer que nos jugements quant au statut intentionnel d’une action dépendent de notre évaluation de ladite action. De nombreuses théories ont été proposées pour rendre compte de ces résultats. Nous défendons la thèse selon (...)
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  16. Florian Cova, Emmanuel Dupoux & Pierre Jacob (2010). Moral Evaluation Shapes Linguistic Reports of Others' Psychological States, Not Theory-of-Mind Judgments. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):334-335.
    We use psychological concepts (e.g., intention and desire) when we ascribe psychological states to others for purposes of describing, explaining, and predicting their actions. Does the evidence reported by Knobe show, as he thinks, that moral evaluation shapes our mastery of psychological concepts? We argue that the evidence so far shows instead that moral evaluation shapes the way we report, not the way we think about, others' psychological states.
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  17. Florian Cova & Jérôme Ravat (2008). Sens commun et objectivisme moral : Objectivisme "global" ou objectivisme "local" ? Une introduction par l'exemple à la philosophie expérimentale. Klesis 9:180-202.
    Dans cet article, nous proposons de montrer expérimentalement que le "sens commun" n'est en matière moral ni complètement objectiviste ni complètement relativiste, mais qu'un même individu peut être tantôt objectiviste tantôt relativiste. De même, nous montrons que les jugements de goût portant sur le prédicat "dégoûtant" ne sont pas toujours relativiste mais peuvent varier selon le contexte entre objectivisme et relativisme.
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