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Profile: Stephen Stich (Rutgers University)
  1. Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich, How to Read Your Own Mind: A Cognitive Theory of Self-Consciousness.
    The topic of self-awareness has an impressive philosophical pedigree, and sustained discussion of the topic goes back at least to Descartes. More recently, selfawareness has become a lively issue in the cognitive sciences, thanks largely to the emerging body of work on “mindreading”, the process of attributing mental states to people (and other organisms). During the last 15 years, the processes underlying mindreading have been a major focus of attention in cognitive and developmental psychology. Most of this work has been (...)
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  2. In W. Ramsey & S. Stich, Concepts, Connectionism, and the Language of Thought.
    The aim of this paper is to demonstrate a prima facie tension between our commonsense conception of ourselves as thinkers and the connectionist programme for modelling cognitive processes. The language of thought hypothesis plays a pivotal role. The connectionist paradigm is opposed to the language of thought; and there is an argument for the language of thought that draws on features of the commonsense scheme of thoughts, concepts, and inference. Most of the paper (Sections 3-7) is taken up with the (...)
     
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  3. Stephen Stich, The Philosophy of Psychology.
    The 20th century has been a tumultuous time in psychology – a century in which the discipline struggled with basic questions about its intellectual identity, but nonetheless managed to achieve spectacular growth and maturation. It’s not surprising, then, that psychology has attracted sustained philosophical attention and stimulated rich philosophical debate. Some of this debate was aimed at understanding, and sometimes criticizing, the assumptions, concepts and explanatory strategies prevailing in the psychology of the time. But much philosophical work has also been (...)
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  4. Stephen P. Stich, Michael A. Bishop's>.
    The flight to reference is a widely-used strategy for resolving philosophical issues. The three steps in a flight to reference argument are: (1) offer a substantive account of the reference relation, (2) argue that a particular expression refers (or does not refer), and (3) draw a philosophical conclusion about something other than reference, like truth or ontology. It is our contention that whenever the flight to reference strategy is invoked, there is a crucial step that is left undefended, and that (...)
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  5. Stephen Stich, Reply to Sosa.
    Sosa’s topic is the use of intuitions in philosophy. Much of what I have written on the issue has been critical of appeals to intuition in epistemology, though in recent years I have become increasingly skeptical of the use of intuitions in ethics and in semantic theory as well.
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  6. Stephen Stich & Jonathan M. Weinberg, Empirical Challenges to the Use of Intuitions as Evidence in Philosophy, or Why We Are Not “Judgment Skeptics”.
    Bealer, G. (1998). “Intuition and the Autonomy of Philosophy,” in M. DePaul & W. Ramsey, eds., Rethinking Intuition: The Psychology of Intuition and Its Role in Philosophical Inquiry, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
     
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  7. Wesley Buckwalter & Stephen Stich (forthcoming). Gender and Philosophical Intuition. In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy, Vol.2. Oxford University Press.
    In recent years, there has been much concern expressed about the under-representation of women in academic philosophy. Our goal in this paper is to call attention to a cluster of phenomena that may be contributing to this gender gap. The findings we review indicate that when women and men with little or no philosophical training are presented with standard philosophical thought experiments, in many cases their intuitions about these cases are significantly different. In section 1 we review some of the (...)
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  8. David Colaco, Wesley Buckwalter, Stephen Stich & Edouard Machery (2014). Epistemic Intuitions in Fake-Barn Thought Experiments. Episteme 11 (2):199-212.
    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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. Stephen Stich (2013). Do Different Groups Have Different Epistemic Intuitions? A Reply to Jennifer Nagel1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):151-178.
    Intuitions play an important role in contemporary epistemology. Over the last decade, however, experimental philosophers have published a number of studies suggesting that epistemic intuitions may vary in ways that challenge the widespread reliance on intuitions in epistemology. In a recent paper, Jennifer Nagel offers a pair of arguments aimed at showing that epistemic intuitions do not, in fact, vary in problematic ways. One of these arguments relies on a number of claims defended by appeal to the psychological literature on (...)
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  12. Kevin Patrick Tobia, Gretchen B. Chapman & Stephen Stich (2013). Cleanliness is Next to Morality, Even for Philosophers. Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (11-12).
    A number of studies have shown that seemingly morally irrelevant factors influence the moral judgments of ordinary people. Some argue that philosophers are experts and are significantly less susceptible to such effects. We tested whether an unconscious cleanliness prime – the smell of Lysol – affects the judgments of both non-philosophers and professional philosophers. Our results suggest that the direction of cleanliness effects depends both on the respondent and whether the question is framed in the second or third person. They (...)
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  13. H. Clark Barrett, Stephen Stich & Stephen Laurence (2012). Should the Study of Homo Sapiens Be Part of Cognitive Science? Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (3):379-386.
    Beller, Bender, and Medin argue that a reconciliation between anthropology and cognitive science seems unlikely. We disagree. In our view, Beller et al.’s view of the scope of what anthropology can offer cognitive science is too narrow. In focusing on anthropology’s role in elucidating cultural particulars, they downplay the fact that anthropology can reveal both variation and universals in human cognition, and is in a unique position to do so relative to the other subfields of cognitive science. Indeed, without cross-cultural (...)
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  14. H. Clark Barrett, Stephen Stich & Stephen Laurence (2012). Should the Study of Homo Sapiens Be Part of Cognitive Science? Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (3):379-386.
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  15. E. Margolis, R. Samuels & S. Stich (eds.) (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press.
    The philosophy of cognitive science is concerned with fundamental philosophical and theoretical questions connected to the sciences of the mind. How does the brain give rise to conscious experience? Does speaking a language change how we think? Is a genuinely intelligent computer possible? What features of the mind are innate? Advances in cognitive science have given philosophers important tools for addressing these sorts of questions; and cognitive scientists have, in turn, found themselves drawing upon insights from philosophy--insights that have often (...)
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  16. Stephen Stich (2012). Collected Papers, Volume 2: Knowledge, Rationality, and Morality, 1978-2010. Oup Usa.
    This volume collects the best and most influential essays on knowledge, rationality and morality that Stephen Stich has published in the last 40 years. The volume includes a new introductory essay that offers an overview of the papers and traces the history of how they emerged.
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  17. Kevin Tobia, Wesley Buckwalter & Stephen Stich (2012). Moral Intuitions: Are Philosophers Experts? Philosophical Psychology (5):1-10.
    Recently psychologists and experimental philosophers have reported findings showing that in some cases ordinary people's moral intuitions are affected by factors of dubious relevance to the truth of the content of the intuition. Some defend the use of intuition as evidence in ethics by arguing that philosophers are the experts in this area, and philosophers' moral intuitions are both different from those of ordinary people and more reliable. We conducted two experiments indicating that philosophers and non-philosophers do indeed sometimes have (...)
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  18. Wesley Buckwalter & Stephen Stich (2011). Competence, Reflective Equilibrium, and Dual-System Theories. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (05):251–252.
    A critique of inferences from 'is' to 'ought' plays a central role in Elqayam and Evans' defense of descriptivism. However, the reflective equilibrium strategy described by Goodman and embraced by Rawls, Cohen and many others poses an important challenge to that critique. Dual system theories may help respond to that challenge.
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  19. Stephen Stich (2011). Collected Papers, Volume 1: Mind and Language, 1972-2010. OUP USA.
    This volume collects the best and most influential essays that Stephen Stich has published in the last 40 years on topics in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language. They discuss a wide range of topics including grammar, innateness, reference, folk psychology, eliminativism, connectionism, evolutionary psychology, simulation theory, social construction, and psychopathology. However, they are unified by two central concerns. The first is the viability of the commonsense conception of the mind in the face of challenges posed by (...)
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  20. Stephen Stich & Wesley Buckwalter (2011). Gender and the Philosophy Club. The Philosophers' Magazine 52 (52):60-65.
    If intuitions are associated with gender this might help to explain the fact that while the gender gap has disappeared in many other learned clubs, women are still seriously under-represented in the Philosophers Club. Since people who don’t have the intuitions that most club members share have a harder time getting into the club, and since the majority of Philosophers are now and always have been men, perhaps the under-representation of women is due, in part, to a selection effect.
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  21. Edouard Machery, Max Deutsch, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols, Justin Sytsma & Stephen Stich (2010). Semantic Intuitions: Reply to Lam. Cognition 117 (3):363-366.
  22. Stephen Stich (2010). Philosophy and WEIRD Intuition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):110-111.
    From Plato to the present, philosophers have relied on intuitive judgments as evidence for or against philosophical theories. Most philosophers are WEIRD, highly educated, and male. The literature reviewed in the target article suggests that such people might have intuitions that differ from those of people in other groups. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that they do.
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  23. Stephen Stich, John M. Doris & Erica Roedder (2010). Altruism. In John M. Doris & The Moral Psychology Research Group (eds.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
    We begin, in section 2, with a brief sketch of a cluster of assumptions about human desires, beliefs, actions, and motivation that are widely shared by historical and contemporary authors on both sides in the debate. With this as background, we’ll be able to offer a more sharply focused account of the debate. In section 3, our focus will be on links between evolutionary theory and the egoism/altruism debate. There is a substantial literature employing evolutionary theory on each side of (...)
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  24. Stephen Stich, John M. Doris & Erica Roedder (2010). 1. Philosophical Background. In John Doris (ed.), Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press. 147.
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  25. Stephen Stich & Tomasz Wysocki (2010). Are We Really Moralizing Creatures Through and Through? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):351-352.
    Knobe contends that in making judgments about a wide range of matters, moral considerations and scientific considerations are and thus that We argue that his own account of the mechanism underlying these judgments does not support this radical conclusion.
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  26. Frank Jackson, Kelby Mason & Steve Stich (2009). Folk Psychology and Tacit Theories : A Correspondence Between Frank Jackson and Steve Stich and Kelby Mason. In David Braddon-Mitchell & Robert Nola (eds.), Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism. Mit Press. 99--112.
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  27. Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich (2009). Against Arguments From Reference. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
    It is common in various quarters of philosophy to derive philosophically significant conclusions from theories of reference. In this paper, we argue that philosophers should give up on such 'arguments from reference.' Intuitions play a central role in establishing theories of reference, and recent cross-cultural work suggests that intuitions about reference vary across cultures and between individuals within a culture (Machery et al. 2004). We argue that accommodating this variation within a theory of reference undermines arguments from reference.
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  28. Jennifer Nado, Daniel Kelly & Stephen Stich (2009). Moral Judgment. In John Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge.
    Questions regarding the nature of moral judgment loom large in moral philosophy. Perhaps the most basic of these questions asks how, exactly, moral judgments and moral rules are to be defined; what features distinguish them from other sorts of rules and judgments? A related question concerns the extent to which emotion and reason guide moral judgment. Are moral judgments made mainly on the basis of reason, or are they primarily the products of emotion? As an example of the former view, (...)
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  29. Stephen Stich (2009). Replies. In Dominic Murphy & Michael A. Bishop (eds.), Stich and His Critics. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  30. Stephen Stich, Daniel M. T. Fessler & Daniel Kelly (2009). On the Morality of Harm: A Response to Sousa, Holbrook and Piazza. Cognition 113 (1):93-97.
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  31. Stephen Stich & Il Mulino (2009). List of Publications by Stephen Stich. In David Papineau (ed.), Philosophy. Oxford University Press. 65--17.
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  32. P. Carruthers, S. Stich & S. Laurence (eds.) (2008). The Innate Mind, Vol. III, Foundations and the Future. Oxford University Press.
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  33. Peter Caruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.) (2008). The Innate Mind, Volume 3. Oxford University Press.
    This is the third of a three-volume set on The Innate Mind providing a comprehensive assessment of nativist thought and definitive reference point for future inquiry. Together these volumes point the way toward a synthesis that provides a powerful picture of our minds and their place in the natural order.
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  34. John Doris & Stephen Stich, Moral Psychology: Empirical Approaches. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Moral psychology investigates human functioning in moral contexts, and asks how these results may impact debate in ethical theory. This work is necessarily interdisciplinary, drawing on both the empirical resources of the human sciences and the conceptual resources of philosophical ethics. The present article discusses several topics that illustrate this type of inquiry: thought experiments, responsibility, character, egoism v . altruism, and moral disagreement.
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  35. Daniel Kelly & Stephen Stich (2008). Two Theories About the Cognitive Architecture Underlying Morality. In P. Carruthers, S. Stich & S. Laurence (eds.), The Innate Mind, Vol. III, Foundations and the Future. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper we compare two theories about the cognitive architecture underlying morality. One theory, proposed by Sripada and Stich (forthcoming), posits an interlocking set of innate mechanisms that internalize moral norms from the surrounding community and generate intrinsic motivation to comply with these norms and to punish violators. The other theory, which we call the M/C model was suggested by the widely discussed and influential work of Elliott Turiel, Larry Nucci and others on the “moral/conventional task”. This theory posits (...)
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  36. Kelby Mason, Chandra Sekhar Sripada & Stephen Stich (2008). The Philosophy of Psychology. In Dermot Moran (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophy. Routledge.
  37. Stephen Stich (2008). Kelby Mason, Chandra Sekhar Sripada, And. In Dermot Moran (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophy. Routledge.
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  38. Stephen Stich (2008). Some Questions About "The Evolution of Morality". [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):228 - 236.
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  39. Stephen Stich (2008). Some Questions About The Evolution ofMorality. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):228-236.
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  40. Stephen Stich (2008). The Innate Mind, Volume 3: Foundations and the Future. OUP USA.
    This is the third of a three-volume set on The Innate Mind providing a comprehensive assessment of nativist thought and definitive reference point for future inquiry. Together these volumes point the way toward a synthesis that provides a powerful picture of our minds and their place in the natural order.
     
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  41. Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.) (2007). Innate Mind: Volume 2: Culture and Cognition. OUP USA.
    This is the second of a three volume series on innateness--one of the central topics currently debated in the cognitive and behavioral sciences. The series grows out of interdisciplinary "working groups" at Rutgers University. The first volume focused on the fundamental architecture of the human mind. The second volume focuses on culture. It is comprised of cutting-edge work by an interdisciplinary roster of well-known scholars including Robert Boyd, Peter Richerson, David Sloan Wilson, Paul Griffiths, Dan Sperber, Kim Sterelny, Scott Atran, (...)
     
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  42. Daniel Kelly, Stephen Stich, Kevin J. Haley, Serena J. Eng & Daniel M. T. Fessler (2007). Harm, Affect, and the Moral/Conventional Distinction. Mind and Language 22 (2):117–131.
  43. Stephen Stich (2007). Evolution, Altruism and Cognitive Architecture: A Critique of Sober and Wilson's Argument for Psychological Altruism. Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):267-281.
    Sober and Wilson have propose a cluster of arguments for the conclusion that “natural selection is unlikely to have given us purely egoistic motives” and thus that psychological altruism is true. I maintain that none of these arguments is convincing. However, the most powerful of their arguments raises deep issues about what egoists and altruists are claiming and about the assumptions they make concerning the cognitive architecture underlying human motivation.
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  44. Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen P. Stich (eds.) (2006). The Innate Mind, Volume 2: Culture and Cognition. Oxford University Press.
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  45. Dan Kelly, Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Kelby Mason & Steve Stich (2006). The Role of Psychology in the Study of Culture. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):355-355.
    Although we are enthusiastic about a Darwinian approach to culture, we argue that the overview presented in the target article does not sufficiently emphasize the crucial explanatory role that psychology plays in the study of culture. We use a number of examples to illustrate the variety of ways by which appeal to psychological factors can help explain cultural phenomena. (Published Online November 9 2006).
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  46. Daniel Kelly, Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Kelby Mason & Stephen P. Stich (2006). The Role of Psychology in the Study of Culture. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):355-355.
    Although we are enthusiastic about a Darwinian approach to culture, we argue that the overview presented in the target article does not sufficiently emphasize the crucial explanatory role that psychology plays in the study of culture. We use a number of examples to illustrate the variety of ways by which appeal to psychological factors can help explain cultural phenomena.
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  47. Chandra Sripada & Stephen Stich (2006). A Framework for the Psychology of Norms. In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen P. Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind, Volume 2: Culture and Cognition. Oxford University Press.
    Humans are unique in the animal world in the extent to which their day-to-day behavior is governed by a complex set of rules and principles commonly called norms. Norms delimit the bounds of proper behavior in a host of domains, providing an invisible web of normative structure embracing virtually all aspects of social life. People also find many norms to be deeply meaningful. Norms give rise to powerful subjective feelings that, in the view of many, are an important part of (...)
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  48. S. Stich (2006). Review: Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgement. [REVIEW] Mind 115 (458):390-393.
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  49. Stephen Stich (2006). Review of Bishop & Tout, Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgement. [REVIEW] Mind 115 (458):390-393.
    Fred Dretske began his review of my book, The Fragmentation of Reason, with the warning that it would ‘get the adrenalin pumping’ if you are a fan of episte- mology in the analytic tradition (Dretske 1992). Well, if my book got the adrenalin pumping, this one will make your blood boil. Bishop and Trout (B&T) adopt the label ‘Standard Analytic Epistemology (SAE)’ for ‘a contin- gently clustered class of methods and theses that have dominated English- speaking epistemology for much of (...)
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