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Profile: Hagop Sarkissian (City University of New York)
  1. Hagop Sarkissian & Jennifer Wright (eds.) (forthcoming). Advances in Moral Psychology. Continuum.
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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Hagop Sarkissian (2012). Individualism in Early China: Human Agency and the Self in Thought and Politics (Review). Philosophy East and West 62 (3):408-410.
  5. Hagop Sarkissian, John Park, David Tien, Jennifer Wright & Joshua Knobe (2011). Folk Moral Relativism. Mind and Language 26 (4):482-505.
    It has often been suggested that people's ordinary understanding of morality involves a belief in objective moral truths and a rejection of moral relativism. The results of six studies call this claim into question. Participants did offer apparently objectivist moral intuitions when considering individuals from their own culture, but they offered increasingly relativist intuitions considering individuals from increasingly different cultures or ways of life. The authors hypothesize that people do not have a fixed commitment to moral objectivism but instead tend (...)
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  6. Bryce Huebner, Michael Bruno & Hagop Sarkissian (2010). What Does the Nation of China Think About Phenomenal States? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):225-243.
    Critics of functionalism about the mind often rely on the intuition that collectivities cannot be conscious in motivating their positions. In this paper, we consider the merits of appealing to the intuition that there is nothing that it’s like to be a collectivity. We demonstrate that collective mentality is not an affront to commonsense, and we report evidence that demonstrates that the intuition that there is nothing that it’s like to be a collectivity is, to some extent, culturally specific rather (...)
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  7. Hagop Sarkissian (2010). Confucius and the Effortless Life of Virtue. History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (1):1-16.
    Natural talent and diligent practice regularly lead to effortless virtuosity in many fields, such as music and athletics. Can the same be true of morality? Confucius’s wonderfully terse autobiography in the Analects suggests that, given the right starting materials and an appropriate curriculum of study, a program of moral self-cultivation can indeed lead to effortless moral virtuosity. But can we make sense of this claim from a contemporary perspective? This paper evaluates the plausibility of the moral ideal in the Analects (...)
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  8. Hagop Sarkissian (2010). Minor Tweaks, Major Payoffs: The Problems and Promise of Situationism in Moral Philosophy. Philosophers' Imprint 10 (9).
    Moral philosophers of late have been examining the implications of experimental social psychology for ethics. The focus of attention has been on situationism—the thesis that we routinely underestimate the extent to which minor situational variables influence morally significant behavior. Situationism has been seen as a threat to prevailing lay and philosophical theories of character, personhood, and agency. In this paper, I outline the situationist literature and critique one of its upshots: the admonition to carefully select one’s situational contexts. Besides being (...)
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  9. Hagop Sarkissian (2010). Recent Approaches to Confucian Filial Morality. Philosophy Compass 5 (9):725-734.
    A hallmark of Confucian morality is its emphasis on duties to family and kin as weighty features of moral life. The virtue of ‘filiality’ or ‘filial piety’ (xiao 孝), for example, is one of the most important in the Confucian canon. This aspect of Confucianism has been of renewed interest recently. On the one hand, some have claimed that, precisely because it acknowledges the importance of kin duties, Confucianism should be seen as an ethics rooted in human nature that remains (...)
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  10. Hagop Sarkissian (2010). The Darker Side of Daoist Primitivism. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (2):312-329.
    The Primitivist (responsible for chapters 8-11 of the heterogeneous Zhuangzi) has largely been interpreted as just another exponent of the philosophy of the Laozi or Daodejing. This is a shame, because the Primitivist is an idiosyncratic thinker whose theories do not simply reiterate those found in the Laozi. In this essay, I argue that even though the Primitivist embraced some of the values of the Laozi’s brand of Daoism, (e.g. simplicity, harmony with nature, being rid of knowledge, etc.) he would (...)
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  11. 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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  12. Mark Phelan & Hagop Sarkissian (2009). Is the 'Trade-Off Hypothesis' Worth Trading For? Mind and Language 24 (2):164-180.
    Abstract: Recently, the experimental philosopher Joshua Knobe has shown that the folk are more inclined to describe side effects as intentional actions when they bring about bad results. Edouard Machery has offered an intriguing new explanation of Knobe's work—the 'trade-off hypothesis'—which denies that moral considerations explain folk applications of the concept of intentional action. We critique Machery's hypothesis and offer empirical evidence against it. We also evaluate the current state of the debate concerning the concept of intentionality, and argue that, (...)
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  13. Mark T. Phelan & Hagop Sarkissian (2008). The Folk Strike Back; or, Why You Didn't Do It Intentionally, Though It Was Bad and You Knew It. Philosophical Studies 138 (2):291 - 298.
    Recent and puzzling experimental results suggest that people’s judgments as to whether or not an action was performed intentionally are sensitive to moral considerations. In this paper, we outline these results and evaluate two accounts which purport to explain them. We then describe a recent experiment that allegedly vindicates one of these accounts and present our own findings to show that it fails to do so. Finally, we present additional data suggesting no such vindication could be in the offing and (...)
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