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Summary These papers explore many of the traditional topics in the philosophy of mind, such as consciousness, dualism, group mentality, folk psychology, and free will.  Experimental philosophers of mind use empirical methods in order to explore the cognitive architecture and processes that underlie and/or influence our philosophical intuitions in these domains. Specific debates within this area cover a wide range of issues, including: whether folk psychology utilizes something like the philosopher's distinction between intentional and phenenomenal states;  which sorts of mentality (if any) are the folk willing to attribute to groups; the intuitions underlying folk dualism and the explanatory gap; the extent to which our judgments about free will and moral responsibility might be influenced by irrelevant features, as well as how those judgments interact with individual personality traits.
Key works Josh Knobe and Jesse Prinz (Knobe & Prinz 2008) first introduced empirical data on people's intuitions about consciousness, and proposed that folk psychology includes (something like) the philosophical distinction between phenomenal and intentional states.  This claim is subsequently challenged by a number of papers: Sytsma & Machery 2009 and Sytsma & Machery 2010 offer evidence that the folk possess a different notion of subjective experience; Arico 2010 raises some methodological worries and presents contrary results; and Arico et al 2011 introduce an agency model of mind-attribution on which attributions of both intentional and phenomenal mentality are the result of a single cognitive process.  Fiala et al 2011 utilizes this model of mind-attribution to explain why dualism is intuitively attractive and why the explanatory gap is so vexing. Robbins & Jack 2006 introduce the "phenomenal stance" (akin to but distinct from Dennett's "intentional stance" and "physical stance") and appeal to those distinct stances to explain why we find it so difficult to reconcile our intuitive dualism with a materialistic worldview.  In moral psychology,  Gray & Wegner 2009 argues that our perception of moral agency is fundamentally associated with the attribution of intentional mentality, while our perception of moral patiency is fundamentally associated with attribution of phenomenal mentality, and that these two kinds of perception are inversely related (See also Gray et al 2007, Waytz et al 2010,  and Arico 2012).
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  1. Against Teleological Essentialism.Eleonore Neufeld - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (4):e12961.
    In two recent papers, Rose and Nichols present evidence in favor of the view that humans represent category essences in terms of a telos, such as honey-making, and not in terms of scientific essences, such as bee DNA. In this paper, I challenge their interpretation of the evidence, and show that it is directly predicted by the main theory they seek to undermine. I argue that their results can be explained as instances of diagnostic reasoning about scientific essences.
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  2. Impact of Teacher's Mental State Talk on Young Children's Theory of Mind: A Quasi-Experiment Study.Jianfen Wu, Minmin Liu & Wenqi Lin - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    This study investigated the relationship between teachers' mental state talk and young children's theory of mind with a quasi-experiment. In total, 56 young children were assigned to the experiment group and the control group. The experiment group was engaged in a 12-week intervention program with mental state talk in storytelling, casual conversations, and role-playing games, whereas the control group received no interventions. All the children were tested with three theory of mind tasks before and after the intervention. The results indicated (...)
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  3. Motivated Numeracy and Active Reasoning in a Western European Sample.Paul Connor, Emily Sullivan, Mark Alfano & Nava Tintarev - 2020 - Behavioral Public Policy 1.
    Recent work by Kahan et al. (2017) on the psychology of motivated numeracy in the context of intracultural disagreement suggests that people are less likely to employ their capabilities when the evidence runs contrary to their political ideology. This research has so far been carried out primarily in the USA regarding the liberal–conservative divide over gun control regulation. In this paper, we present the results of a modified replication that included an active reasoning intervention with Western European participants regarding both (...)
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  4. Chess Masters' Hypothesis Testing in Games of Dynamic Equilibrium.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2016 - SSRN Econometrics: Econometric and Statistical Methods – General eJournal, Vol. 9, Issue 5: Jan 12, 2016.
    The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed technical protocol analysis of chess masters' evaluative expertise, paying particular attention to the analysis of the structure of their memory process in evaluating foreseen possibilities in games of dynamic equilibrium. The paper has two purposes. First, to publish a results chapter from my DPhil thesis (in revised journal article form) attending to the measurement of foresight in chess masters' evaluation process, testing alternative theories of cognitive expertise in the domain of (...)
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  5. Practical Implications of Empirically Studying Moral Decision-Making.Nora Heinzelmann, Giuseppe Ugazio & Philippe Tobler - 2012 - Frontiers in Neuroscience 6:94.
    This paper considers the practical question of why people do not behave in the way they ought to behave. This question is a practical one, reaching both into the normative and descriptive domains of morality. That is, it concerns moral norms as well as empirical facts. We argue that two main problems usually keep us form acting and judging in a morally decent way: firstly, we make mistakes in moral reasoning. Secondly, even when we know how to act and judge, (...)
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  6. A Comparison of Change Blindness and the Visual Perception of Museum Artefacts in Real-World and On-Screen Scenarios.Jonathan E. Attwood, Christopher Kennard, Jim Harris & Chrystalina A. Antoniades - 2018 - In Zoï Kapoula, Emmanuelle Volle, Julien Renoult & Moreno Andreatta (eds.), Exploring Transdisciplinarity in Art and Sciences. Springer Verlag. pp. 213-233.
    Change blindness is a phenomenon of visual perception that occurs when a stimulus undergoes a change without this being noticed by its observer. Since it was first described in the 1990s, change blindness has provided a unique means to investigate the role of attention in visual processing. To date, the effect has been produced by changing images displayed on screen as well as changing people and objects in an individual’s environment. In this study, we combine these two approaches to directly (...)
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  7. Reasoning About Criminal Evidence: Revealing Probabilistic Reasoning Behind Logical Conclusions.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2007 - SSRN E-Library Maurer School of Law Law and Society eJournals.
    There are two competing theoretical frameworks with which cognitive sciences examines how people reason. These frameworks are broadly categorized into logic and probability. This paper reports two applied experiments to test which framework explains better how people reason about evidence in criminal cases. Logical frameworks predict that people derive conclusions from the presented evidence to endorse an absolute value of certainty such as ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ (e.g., Johnson-Laird, 1999). But probabilistic frameworks predict that people derive conclusions from the presented (...)
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  8. When Falsification is the Only Path to Truth.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2005 - In M. Bucciarelli, L. Barsalou & B. G. Bara (eds.), Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Mahwah, USA: pp. 512-517..
    Can people consistently attempt to falsify, that is, search for refuting evidence, when testing the truth of hypotheses? Experimental evidence indicates that people tend to search for confirming evidence. We report two novel experiments that show that people can consistently falsify when it is the only helpful strategy. Experiment 1 showed that participants readily falsified somebody else’s hypothesis. Their task was to test a hypothesis belonging to an ‘imaginary participant’ and they knew it was a low quality hypothesis. Experiment 2 (...)
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  9. Causes, Enablers and the Law.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2018 - SSRN E-Library Legal Anthropology eJournal, Archives of Vols. 1-3, 2016-2018.
    Many theories in philosophy, law, and psychology, make no distinction in meaning between causing and enabling conditions. Yet, psychologically people readily make such distinctions each day. In this paper we report three experiments, showing that individuals distinguish between causes and enabling conditions in brief descriptions of wrongful outcomes. Respondents rate actions that bring about outcomes as causes, and actions that make possible the causal relation as enablers. Likewise, causers (as opposed to enablers) are rated as more responsible for the outcome, (...)
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  10. Lenses of Evidence – Jurors’ Evidential Reasoning. *Invited Talk –Experimental Psychology Oxford Seminar Series 2010.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2010 - SSRN E-Library Legal Anthropology eJournal, Archives of Vols. 1-3, 2016-2018.
    This paper presents empirical findings from a set of reasoning and mock jury studies presented at the Experimental Psychology Oxford Seminar Series (2010) and the King's Bench Chambers KBW Barristers Seminar Series (2010). The presentation asks the following questions and presents empirical answers using the Lenses of Evidence Framework (Cowley & Colyer, 2010; see also van Koppen & Wagenaar, 1993): -/- Why is mental representation important for psychology? -/- Why is mental representation important for evidence law? -/- Lens 1: The (...)
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  11. ‘The Innocent V The Fickle Few’: How Jurors Understand Random-Match-Probabilities and Judges’ Directions When Reasoning About DNA and Refuting Evidence.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2017 - Journal of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation 3 (5):April/May 2017.
    DNA evidence is one of the most significant modern advances in the search for truth since the cross examination, but its format as a random-match-probability makes it difficult for people to assign an appropriate probative value (Koehler, 2001). While Frequentist theories propose that the presentation of the match as a frequency rather than a probability facilitates more accurate assessment (e.g., Slovic et al., 2000), Exemplar-Cueing Theory predicts that the subjective weight assigned may be affected by the frequency or probability format, (...)
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  12. Asymmetries in Prior Conviction Reasoning: Truth Suppression Effects in Child Protection Contexts.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2010 - Psychology, Crime and Law 3 (16):211-231.
    In three empirical studies we examined how people reason about prior convictions in child abuse cases. We tested whether the disclosure of similar prior convictions prompts a mental representation or an additive probative value (Criminal Justice Act, 2003). Asymmetrical use of similar priors were observed in three studies. A pilot study showed that disclosure of a second prior did not contribute a weight equivalent to that of the first disclosure. Study 1 showed jurors did not see left-handed evidence (i.e. matching (...)
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  13. Hypothesis Testing: How We Foresee Falsification in Competitive Games.Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham - 2017 - Saarbrücken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.
    Each day people are presented with circumstances that may require speculation. Scientists may ponder questions such as why a star is born or how rainbows are made, psychologists may ask social questions such as why people are prejudiced, and military strategists may imagine what the consequences of their actions might be. Speculations may lead to the generation of putative explanations called hypotheses. But it is by checking if hypotheses accurately reflect the encountered facts that lead to sensible behaviour demonstrating a (...)
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  14. Inappropriate Stereotypical Inferences? An Adversarial Collaboration in Experimental Ordinary Language Philosophy.Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt & Justin Sytsma - forthcoming - Synthese:1-42.
    This paper trials new experimental methods for the analysis of natural language reasoning and the development of critical ordinary language philosophy in the wake of J.L. Austin. Philosophical arguments and thought experiments are strongly shaped by default pragmatic inferences, including stereotypical inferences. Austin suggested that contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences are at the root of some philosophical paradoxes and problems, and that these can be resolved by exposing those verbal fallacies. This paper builds on recent efforts to empirically document inappropriate stereotypical (...)
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  15. Reflective Intuitions About the Causal Theory of Perception Across Sensory Modalities.Pendaran Roberts, Keith Allen & Kelly Schmidtke - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-21.
    Many philosophers believe that there is a causal condition on perception, and that this condition is a conceptual truth about perception. A highly influential argument for this claim is based on intuitive responses to Gricean-style thought experiments. Do the folk share the intuitions of philosophers? Roberts et al. presented participants with two kinds of cases: Blocker cases and Non-Blocker cases. They found that a substantial minority agreed that seeing occurs in the Non-Blocker cases, and that in the Blocker cases significantly (...)
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  16. What Does "Mind-Wandering" Mean To The Folk? An Empirical Investigation.Zachary C. Irving, Aaron Glasser, Alison Gopnik & Chandra Sekhar Sripada -
    Although mind-wandering research is rapidly progressing, stark disagreements are emerging about what the term “mind-wandering” means. Four prominent views define mind-wandering as 1) task-unrelated thought, 2) stimulus-independent thought, 3) unintentional thought, or 4) dynamically unguided thought. Although theorists claim to capture the ordinary understanding of mind-wandering, no systematic studies have assessed these claims. Two large factorial studies present participants (n=545) with vignettes that describe someone’s thoughts and ask whether her mind was wandering, while systematically manipulating features relevant to the four (...)
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  17. Aphantasia and the Decacy of Mental Images.Steve Humbert-Droz - 2018 - In Florian Cova & Sébastien Réhault (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Aesthetics. Londres, Royaume-Uni: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 167-174.
    Testimonies about aphantasia are still surprisingly rare, more than a century after Galton. It is therefore difficult to understand how a person devoid of (a kind of) imagination actually thinks. In order to outline "what it is like" to be aphantasic, I will start by compiling two qualitative interviews with aphantasics that I will then compare with other testimonies collected in literature and online. The fact that aphantasia is poorly documented may also explain why few philosophers (with the notable exception (...)
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  18. Experimental Ordinary Language Philosophy: A Cross-Linguistic Study of Defeasible Default Inferences.Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt, Joachim Horvath & Hiroshi Ohtani - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1029-1070.
    This paper provides new tools for philosophical argument analysis and fresh empirical foundations for ‘critical’ ordinary language philosophy. Language comprehension routinely involves stereotypical inferences with contextual defeaters. J.L. Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia first mooted the idea that contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences from verbal case-descriptions drive some philosophical paradoxes; these engender philosophical problems that can be resolved by exposing the underlying fallacies. We build on psycholinguistic research on salience effects to explain when and why even perfectly competent speakers cannot help making (...)
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  19. Using fMRI in Experimental Philosophy: Exploring the Prospects.Rodrigo Díaz - 2019 - In Eugen Fischer & Mark Curtis (eds.), Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy. London: Bloomsbury.
    This chapter analyses the prospects of using neuroimaging methods, in particular functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), for philosophical purposes. To do so, it will use two case studies from the field of emotion research: Greene et al. (2001) used fMRI to uncover the mental processes underlying moral intuitions, while Lindquist et al. (2012) used fMRI to inform the debate around the nature of a specific mental process, namely, emotion. These studies illustrate two main approaches in cognitive neuroscience: Reverse inference and (...)
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  20. Exploring the Relations Between Categorization and Decision Making with Regard to Realistic Face Stimuli.James T. Townsend, Kam M. Silva, Jesse Spencer-Smith & Michael J. Wenger - 2000 - Pragmatics and Cognition 8 (1):83-105.
    Categorization and decision making are combined in a task with photorealistic faces. Two different types of face stimuli were assigned probabilistically into one of two fictitious groups; based on the category, faces were further probabilistically assigned to be hostile or friendly. In Part I, participants are asked to categorize a face into one of two categories, and to make a decision concerning interaction. A Markov model of categorization followed by decision making provides reasonable fits to Part I data. A Markov (...)
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  21. Assessing Critical Thinking About Values: A Quasi-Experimental Study.Michael Gillespie - 2011 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 26 (1):19-28.
    Critical thinking and values are fundamental topics of interest in higher education. The current study is an empirical validation of a university’s effort to teach students to apply critical thinking to the recognition and articulation of values contained in focal essays. A Critical Thinking about Values Assessment is provided, which evaluates students’ responses regarding key components of critical thinking, and “critical thinking about values,” in response to the essays. These two criteria were assessed at the beginning and end of the (...)
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  22. Experimental Philosophy and Naturalism.Bence Nanay - 2015 - In E. Fischer & J. Collins (eds.), Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism and Naturalism. Rethinking Philosophical Method. Routledge. pp. 222-239.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that there has been some mismatch between the naturalist rhetoric of experimental philosophy and its actual practice: experimental philosophy is not necessarily, and not even paradigmatically, a naturalistic enterprise. To substantiate this claim, a case study is given for what genuinely naturalist experimental philosophy would look like.
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  23. Dissociation in Self-Narrative.Shaun Gallagher & Jonathan Cole - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (1):149-155.
    We review different analytic approaches to narratives by those with psychopathological conditions, and we suggest that the interpretation of such narratives are complicated by a variety of phenomenological and hermeneutical considerations. We summarize an empirical study of narrative distance in narratives by non-pathological subjects, and discuss how the results can be interpreted in two different ways with regard to the issue of dissociation.
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  24. Cultural Effect on Perspective Taking in Chinese–English Bilinguals.Kevin K. S. Luk, Wen S. Xiao & Him Cheung - 2012 - Cognition 124 (3):350-355.
    Some recent evidence has suggested that perspective taking skills in everyday life situations may differ across cultural groups. In the present study, we investigated this effect via culture priming in a group of Chinese-English bilingual adults in the context of a communication game. Results showed that the participants made more perspective taking errors when interpreting the game instruction under the Western than the Chinese primes. The findings suggest that the ability to assume others' mental states not only can be used (...)
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  25. The Two Sources of Moral Standing.Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery - 2012 - 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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  26. Cross-Cultural Similarities and Differences in Person-Body Reasoning: Experimental Evidence From the United Kingdom and Brazilian Amazon.Emma Cohen, Emily Burdett, Nicola Knight & Justin Barrett - 2011 - Cognitive Science 35 (7):1282-1304.
    We report the results of a cross-cultural investigation of person-body reasoning in the United Kingdom and northern Brazilian Amazon (Marajó Island). The study provides evidence that directly bears upon divergent theoretical claims in cognitive psychology and anthropology, respectively, on the cognitive origins and cross-cultural incidence of mind-body dualism. In a novel reasoning task, we found that participants across the two sample populations parsed a wide range of capacities similarly in terms of the capacities’ perceived anchoring to bodily function. Patterns of (...)
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  27. The Effect of Aging in Recollective Experience: The Processing Speed and Executive Functioning Hypothesis.Aurélia Bugaiska, David Clarys, Caroline Jarry, Laurence Taconnat, Géraldine Tapia, Sandrine Vanneste & Michel Isingrini - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (4):797-808.
    This study was designed to investigate the effects of aging on consciousness in recognition memory, using the Remember/Know/Guess procedure . Remembering and Knowing. In E. Tulving & F. I. M. Craik , The Oxford Handbook of Memory. Oxford University Press.). In recognition memory, older participants report fewer occasions on which recognition is accompanied by recollection of the original encoding context. Two main hypotheses were tested: the speed mediation hypothesis . The processing-speed theory of adult age differences in cognition. Psychological Review, (...)
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  28. Rapid Responding Increases Belief Bias: Evidence for the Dual-Process Theory of Reasoning.Jonathan St B. T. Evans & Jodie Curtis-Holmes - 2005 - Thinking and Reasoning 11 (4):382 – 389.
    In this study, we examine the belief bias effect in syllogistic reasoning under both standard presentation and in a condition where participants are required to respond within 10 seconds. As predicted, the requirement for rapid responding increased the amount of belief bias observed on the task and reduced the number of logically correct decisions, both effects being substantial and statistically significant. These findings were predicted by the dual-process account of reasoning, which posits that fast heuristic processes, responsible for belief bias, (...)
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  29. Are Nonconscious Processes Sufficient to Produce False Memories?David A. Gallo & John G. Seamon - 2004 - Consciousness and Cognition 13 (1):158-168.
    Seamon, Luo, and Gallo reported evidence that nonconscious processes could produce false recognition in a converging-associates task, whereby subjects falsely remember a nonstudied lure after studying a list of related words . Zeelenberg, Plomp, and Raaijmakers failed to observe this false recognition effect when list word recognition was at chance. We critically evaluate the evidence for nonsconscious processing and report the results of a new experiment designed to overcome previous methodological limitations. Consistent with Seamon et al., we found that conscious (...)
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Experimental Philosophy: Consciousness
  1. Do People Think Consciousness Poses a Hard Problem?: Empirical Evidence on the Meta-Problem of Consciousness.Rodrigo Díaz - 2021 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (3-4):55-75.
    In a recent paper in this journal, David Chalmers introduced the meta-problem of consciousness as “the problem of explaining why we think consciousness poses a hard problem” (Chalmers, 2018, p. 6). A solution to the meta-problem could shed light on the hard problem of consciousness. In particular, it would be relevant to elucidate whether people’s problem intuitions (i.e. intuitions holding that conscious experience cannot be reduced to physical processes) are driven by factors related to the nature of consciousness, or rather (...)
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  2. Determinism and Attributions of Consciousness.Gunnar Björnsson & Joshua Shepherd - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (4):549-568.
    The studies we report indicate that it is possible to manipulate explicit ascriptions of consciousness by manipulating whether an agent’s behavior is deterministically caused. In addition, we explore whether this impact of determinism on consciousness is direct, or mediated by notions linked to agency – notions like moral responsibility, free will, deliberate choice, and sensitivity to moral reasons. We provide evidence of mediation. This result extends work on attributions of consciousness and their connection to attributions of agency by Adam Arico, (...)
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  3. When Do Robots Have Free Will? Exploring the Relationships Between (Attributions of) Consciousness and Free Will.Eddy Nahmias, Corey Allen & Bradley Loveall - forthcoming - In Marcus Missal & Andrew Cameron Sims Feltz (eds.), Free Will, Causality, and Neuroscience. Brill.
    While philosophers and scientists sometimes suggest (or take for granted) that consciousness is an essential condition for free will and moral responsibility, there is surprisingly little discussion of why consciousness (and what sorts of conscious experience) is important. We discuss some of the proposals that have been offered. We then discuss our studies using descriptions of humanoid robots to explore people’s attributions of free will and responsibility, of various kinds of conscious sensations and emotions, and of reasoning capacities, and examine (...)
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  4. Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind.Justin Sytsma (ed.) - 2014 - Bloomsbury.
  5. Folk Theories of Consciousness.Bertram F. Malle - 2009 - In William P. Banks (ed.), Encyclopedia of consciousness. Elsevier. pp. 251-263.
    People’s folk theory of consciousness encompasses three prototypes of conscious mental functioning: monitoring (awareness), choice, and subjective experience. All three are embedded in a broader folk theory of mind and thus closely linked to the concept of intentionality, action explanation, and a conception of free will. At least some of the prototypes of consciousness play a critical role in the assignment of personhood and responsibility. Recent discussions question the viability of folk conceptions of consciousness in light of work on the (...)
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  6. Embodied Consciousness.Ulrich De Balbian - 2018 - Frankfurt, Germany: Create Space.
    Mind, Consciousness and Body -/- We do not know how to think with or about these notions and others such as reality, perception, space, time, etc… In the following I will deal with the umbrella notions of mind, consciousness and body. The contents is relevant, but of greater importance is the manner or method in which I deal with these notions. I first present as an illustration of my approach or method, how I have dealt with the notions of intuition (...)
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  7. Occipital and Left Temporal Instantaneous Amplitude and Frequency Oscillations Correlated with Access and Phenomenal Consciousness.Vitor Manuel Dinis Pereira - manuscript
    Given the hard problem of consciousness (Chalmers, 1995) there are no brain electrophysiological correlates of the subjective experience (the felt quality of redness or the redness of red, the experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field, the sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothball, bodily sensations from pains to orgasms, mental images that are conjured up internally, the felt quality of emotion, the experience of a stream of conscious thought or the phenomenology of (...)
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  8. On the Matter of Robot Minds.Brian P. McLaughlin & David Rose - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy.
    The view that phenomenally conscious robots are on the horizon often rests on a certain philosophical view about consciousness, one we call “nomological behaviorism.” The view entails that, as a matter of nomological necessity, if a robot had exactly the same patterns of dispositions to peripheral behavior as a phenomenally conscious being, then the robot would be phenomenally conscious; indeed it would have all and only the states of phenomenal consciousness that the phenomenally conscious being in question has. We experimentally (...)
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  9. The Folk Psychological Roots of Free Will.Joshua Shepherd - 2017 - In David Rose (ed.), Experimental Metaphysics. Bloomsbury Academic.
    First, what are the psychological roots of our concept of free will? Second, how might progress on the first question contribute to progress regarding normative debates about the proper concept of free will? In sections two and three I address the first question. Section two discusses recent work in the experimental philosophy of free will, and motivates the study I report in section three. Section four reflects on the second question in light of the reported results. To preview, the results (...)
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  10. More Than a Feeling: Counterintuitive Effects of Compassion on Moral Judgment.Anthony I. Jack, Philip Robbins, Jared Friedman & Chris Meyers - 2014 - In Justin Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind. Bloomsbury. pp. 125-179.
    Seminal work in moral neuroscience by Joshua Greene and colleagues employed variants of the well-known trolley problems to identify two brain networks which compete with each other to determine moral judgments. Greene interprets the tension between these brain networks using a dual process account which pits deliberative reason against automatic emotion-driven intuitions: reason versus passion. Recent neuroscientific evidence suggests, however, that the critical tension that Greene identifies as playing a role in moral judgment is not so much a tension between (...)
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  11. Experimental Philosophy.Joshua Knobe, Wesley Buckwalter, Shaun Nichols, Philip Robbins, Hagop Sarkissian & Tamler Sommers - 2012 - Annual Review of Psychology 63 (1):81-99.
    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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  12. Occipital and Left Temporal EEG Correlates of Phenomenal Consciousness.Vitor Manuel Dinis Pereira - 2015 - In Quoc Nam Tran & Hamid Arabnia (eds.), Emerging Trends in Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, and Systems Biology. Elsevier. pp. 335–354.
    In the first section, Introduction, we present our experimental design. In the second section, we characterize the grand average occipital and temporal electrical activity correlated with a contrast in access. In the third section, we characterize the grand average occipital and temporal electrical activity correlated with a contrast in phenomenology and conclude characterizing the grand average occipital and temporal electrical activity co-occurring with unconsciousness.
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  13. More Dead Than Dead? Attributing Mentality to Vegetative State Patients.Anil Gomes, Matthew Parrott & Joshua Shepherd - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (1):84-95.
    In a recent paper, Gray, Knickman, and Wegner present three experiments which they take to show that people perceive patients in a persistent vegetative state to have less mentality than the dead. Following on from Gomes and Parrott, we provide evidence to show that participants' responses in the initial experiments are an artifact of the questions posed. Results from two experiments show that, once the questions have been clarified, people do not ascribe more mental capacity to the dead than to (...)
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  14. Attributions of Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - 2014 - WIREs Cognitive Science 5:635-648.
    Many philosophers and brain scientists hold that explaining consciousness is one of the major outstanding problems facing modern science today. One type of consciousness in particular—phenomenal consciousness—is thought to be especially problematic. The reasons given for believing that this phenomenon exists in the first place, however, often hinge on the claim that its existence is simply obvious in ordinary perceptual experience. Such claims motivate the study of people's intuitions about consciousness. In recent years a number of researchers in experimental philosophy (...)
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  15. The Robots of the Dawn of Experimental Philosophy of Mind.Justin Sytsma - unknown
    In this chapter, I consider two hypotheses that have informed recent work in experimental philosophy of mind. The first is a positive hypothesis put forward by Fiala, Arico, and Nichols : Categorization of an entity as an agent through fast, automatic, and domain-specific processing produces a disposition to ascribe a wide range of mental states to that entity. The second is a negative hypothesis put forward by Sytsma and Machery: The existence of phenomenally conscious mental states is not obvious from (...)
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  16. Consciousness, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility: Taking the Folk Seriously.Joshua Shepherd - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):929-946.
    In this paper, I offer evidence that folk views of free will and moral responsibility accord a central place to consciousness. In sections 2 and 3, I contrast action production via conscious states and processes with action in concordance with an agent's long-standing and endorsed motivations, values, and character traits. Results indicate that conscious action production is considered much more important for free will than is concordance with motivations, values, and character traits. In section 4, I contrast the absence of (...)
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  17. Paradox-Psychologie: Kognitive Epistemologie und philosophische Problemaufloesung.Eugen Fischer - 2014 - In Thomas Grundmann, Joachim Horvath & Jens Kipper (eds.), Die Experimentelle Philosophie in der Diskussion. Suhrkamp. pp. 322-349.
    Der Aufsatz stellt einen Strang der experimentellen Philosophie vor, der sich nicht mit empirischen Umfragen begnügt, sondern bemüht, psychologische Experimente und Erklärungen für die philosophische Arbeit nutzbar zu machen: Das prominent propagierte, aber bislang nur vereinzelt praktizierte Forschungsprogramm der kognitiven Epistemologie (alias ‚sources project‘) verwendet bereits vorliegende experimentelle und theoretische Ergebnisse der Kognitions- und Sozialpsychologie, um ihrerseits experimentell überprüfbare Erklärungen philosophisch relevanter Intuitionen zu entwickeln, die deren epistemologische Bewertung erlauben. Während die Diskussion in und um die experimentelle Philosophie sich bislang (...)
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  18. Corporations Are Cyborgs: Organizations Elicit Anger but Not Sympathy When They Can Think but Cannot Feel.Tage Rai & Daniel Diermeier - 2014 - Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 126:18-26.
    Across four experiments, participants saw companies as capable of having ‘agentic’ mental states, such as having intentions, but incapable of having ‘experiential’ mental states, such as feeling pain. This difference in mental state ascription caused companies to elicit anger as villains, but not sympathy as victims. Differences in sympathy were mediated by perceived capacities for experience. When participants had a background leading companies (i.e. senior executives) or when a recognizable brand (i.e. Google) was anthropomorphized, perceptions of experience increased and the (...)
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  19. Thinking Things and Feeling Things: On an Alleged Discontinuity in Folk Metaphysics of Mind.Mark Phelan, Adam Arico & Shaun Nichols - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (4):703-725.
    According to the discontinuity view, people recognize a deep discontinuity between phenomenal and intentional states, such that they refrain from attributing feelings and experiences to entities that do not have the right kind of body, though they may attribute thoughts to entities that lack a biological body, like corporations, robots, and disembodied souls. We examine some of the research that has been used to motivate the discontinuity view. Specifically, we focus on experiments that examine people's aptness judgments for various mental (...)
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  20. Finding the Mind in the Body.Joshua Knobe - 2011 - In Max Brockman (ed.), Future Science: Essays from the Cutting Edge. Random House. pp. 184-196.
  21. Dennett’s Theory of the Folk Theory of Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (3-4):3-4.
    It is not uncommon to find assumptions being made about folk psychology in the discussions of phenomenal consciousness in philosophy of mind. In this article I consider one example, focusing on what Dan Dennett says about the 'folk theory of consciousness'. I show that he holds that the folk believe that qualities like colours that we are acquainted with in ordinary perception are phenomenal qualities. Nonetheless, the shape of the folk theory is an empirical matter and in the absence of (...)
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