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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. Using fMRI in Experimental Philosophy: Exploring the Prospects.Rodrigo Díaz - forthcoming - 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 (...)
  2. 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 (...)
Experimental Philosophy: Consciousness
  1. Experimental Methods for Unraveling the Mind-Body Problem: The Phenomenal Judgment Approach.Victor Argonov - 2014 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 35 (1-2):51-70.
    A rigorous approach to the study of the mind–body problem is suggested. Since humans are able to talk about consciousness (produce phenomenal judgments), it is argued that the study of neural mechanisms of phenomenal judgments can solve the hard problem of consciousness. Particular methods are suggested for: (1) verification and falsification of materialism; (2) verification and falsification of interactionism; (3) falsification of epiphenomenalism and parallelism (verification is problematic); (4) verification of particular materialistic theories of consciousness; (5) a non-Turing test for (...)
  2. Folk Psychology, Consciousness, and Context Effects.Adam Arico - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):371-393.
    Traditionally, the philosophical study of Folk Psychology has focused on how ordinary people (i.e., those without formal training in academic fields like Psychology, Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Mind, etc.) go about attributing mental states. Those working in this tradition have tended to focus primarily on intentional states, like beliefs and desires . Recently, though a body of work has emerged in the growing field of Experimental Philosophy that focuses on folk attributions of mental states that are not paradigmatically considered intentional. (...)
  3. The Folk Psychology of Consciousness.Adam Arico, Brian Fiala, Robert F. Goldberg & Shaun Nichols - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (3):327-352.
    This paper proposes the ‘AGENCY model’ of conscious state attribution, according to which an entity's displaying certain relatively simple features (e.g. eyes, distinctive motions, interactive behavior) automatically triggers a disposition to attribute conscious states to that entity. To test the model's predictions, participants completed a speeded object/attribution task, in which they responded positively or negatively to attributions of mental properties (including conscious and non-conscious states) to different sorts of entities (insects, plants, artifacts, etc.). As predicted, participants responded positively to conscious (...)
  4. Phenomenal Consciousness Disembodied.Wesley Buckwalter & Mark Phelan - 2014 - In Justin Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 45-74.
    We evaluate the role of embodiment in ordinary mental state ascriptions. Presented are five experiments on phenomenal state ascriptions to disembodied entities such as ghosts and spirits. Results suggest that biological embodiment is not a central principle of folk psychology guiding ascriptions of phenomenal consciousness. By contrast, results continue to support the important role of functional considerations in theory of mind judgments.
  5. Function and Feeling Machines: A Defense of the Philosophical Conception of Subjective Experience.Wesley Buckwalter & Mark Phelan - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):349-361.
    Philosophers of mind typically group experiential states together and distinguish these from intentional states on the basis of their purportedly obvious phenomenal character. Sytsma and Machery (Phil Stud 151(2): 299–327, 2010) challenge this dichotomy by presenting evidence that non-philosophers do not classify subjective experiences relative to a state’s phenomenological character, but rather by its valence. However we argue that S&M’s results do not speak to folk beliefs about the nature of experiential states, but rather to folk beliefs about the entity (...)
  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 (...)
  7. Philosophical Study of the FEELING Accompanying Male Ejaculation (Experimental Philosophy Part 1 SURVEY).Ulrich de Balbian - 2017 - Https://Ssrn.Com/Author=2660329.
    https://www.academia.edu/32163851/Philosophical_study_of_the_FEELING_accompanying_male_ejaculation_E xperimental_Philosophy_Part_1_SURVEY_ ABSTRACT This is merely a short,‭ ‬preliminary study of the FEELING accompanying male ejaculation.‭ -/- It consists of‭ ‬10‭ ‬questions and one unstructured expression and/or personal description by the respondent of the subjective experience of the‭ ‘‬feeling‭’ ‬undergone,‭ ‬experienced or‭ ‘‬felt‭’ ‬during or accompanying male orgasm and ejaculation.‭.
  8. Consciousness, Attention and Commonsense.F. de Brigard - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):189-201.
    In a recent paper, Christopher Mole (2008) argued in favour of the view that, according to our commonsense psychology, while consciousness is necessary for attention, attention isn’t necessary for consciousness. In this paper I offer an argument against this view. More precisely, I offer an argument against the claim that, according to our commonsense psychology, consciousness is necessary for attention. However, I don’t claim it follows from this argument that commonsense has it the other way around, viz. that consciousness isn’t (...)
  9. On the Psychological Origins of Dualism: Dual-Process Cognition and the Explanatory Gap.Brian Fiala, Adam Arico & Shaun Nichols - 2011 - In Edward Slingerland & Mark Collard (eds.), Creating Consilience: Issues and Case Studies in teh Integration of the Sciences and Humanities. Oxford University Press.
    Consciousness often presents itself as a problem for materialists because no matter which physical explanation we consider, there seems to remain something about conscious experience that hasn't been fully explained. This gives rise to an apparent explanatory gap. The explanatory gulf between the physical and the conscious is reflected in the broader population, in which dualistic intuitions abound. Drawing on recent empirical evidence, this essay presents a dual-process cognitive model of consciousness attribution. This dual-process model, we suggest, provides an important (...)
  10. 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 (...)
  11. 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 (...)
  12. Dimensions of Mind Perception.Heather Gray, Kurt Gray & Daniel Wegner - 2007 - Science 315 (5812):619.
    Participants compared the mental capacities of various human and nonhuman characters via online surveys. Factor analysis revealed two dimensions of mind perception, Experience and Agency. The dimensions predicted different moral judgments but were both related to valuing of mind.
  13. Commonsense Concepts of Phenomenal Consciousness: Does Anyone Care About Functional Zombies?Bryce Huebner - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (1):133-155.
    It would be a mistake to deny commonsense intuitions a role in developing a theory of consciousness. However, philosophers have traditionally failed to probe commonsense in a way that allows these commonsense intuitions to make a robust contribution to a theory of consciousness. In this paper, I report the results of two experiments on purportedly phenomenal states and I argue that many disputes over the philosophical notion of ‘phenomenal consciousness’ are misguided—they fail to capture the interesting connection between commonsense ascriptions (...)
  14. What Does the Nation of China Think About Phenomenal States?Bryce Huebner, Michael Bruno & Hagop Sarkissian - 2010 - 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 (...)
  15. The Phenomenal Stance Revisited.Anthony I. Jack & Philip Robbins - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):383-403.
    In this article, we present evidence of a bidirectional coupling between moral concern and the attribution of properties and states that are associated with experience (e.g., conscious awareness, feelings). This coupling is also shown to be stronger with experience than for the attribution of properties and states more closely associated with agency (e.g., free will, thoughts). We report the results of four studies. In the first two studies, we vary the description of the mental capacities of a creature, and assess (...)
  16. 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 (...)
  17. 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.
  18. Can a Robot, an Insect or God Be Aware?Joshua Knobe - 2008 - Scientific American.
  19. 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 (...)
  20. Experimental Studies of Intuitions About Consciousness: Methodological and Statistical Details.Joshua Knobe & Jesse Prinz - manuscript
  21. Intuitions About Consciousness: Experimental Studies.Joshua Knobe & Jesse J. Prinz - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):67-83.
    When people are trying to determine whether an entity is capable of having certain kinds of mental states, they can proceed either by thinking about the entity from a *functional* standpoint or by thinking about the entity from a *physical* standpoint. We conducted a series of studies to determine how each of these standpoints impact people’s mental state ascriptions. The results point to a striking asymmetry. It appears that ascriptions of states involving phenomenal consciousness are sensitive to physical factors in (...)
  22. Engineering Philosophy.Catherine Legg - 2010 - International Journal of Machine Consciousness 2 (1):45-50.
    A commentary on a current paper by Aaron Sloman. Sloman argues that in order to make progress in AI, consciousness, "should be replaced by more precise and varied architecture-based concepts better suited to specify what needs to be explained by scientific theories". This original vision of philosophical inquiry as mapping out 'design-spaces' for a contested concept seeks to achieve a holistic, synthetic understanding of what possibilities such spaces embody. It therefore does not reduce to either "relations of ideas" or "matters (...)
  23. Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy.Edouard Machery & Elizabeth O'Neill (eds.) - 2014 - 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.

    . (shrink)
  24. 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 (...)
  25. 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 (...)
  26. 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.
    Phenomenal consciousness is “what is it like to be” a mental state: the stinging sharpness of a pin prick, the taste of chocolate or the vibrant red of a fire truck. “Access consciousness” refers to the possibility of a mental state to be available to the rest of the cognitive system (to be available, for example, to our production system language like when we try to describe the stinging sharpness of a pin prick, the taste of chocolate or the vibrant (...)
  27. Blurring Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience: Folk Versus Philosophical Phenomenality.Anthony F. Peressini - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):862-889.
    Philosophers and psychologists have experimentally explored various aspects of people’s understandings of subjective experience based on their responses to questions about whether robots “see red” or “feel frustrated,” but the intelligibility of such questions may well presuppose that people understand robots as experiencers in the first place. Departing from the standard approach, I develop an experimental framework that distinguishes 20 between “phenomenal consciousness” as it is applied to a subject (an experiencer) and to an (experiential) mental state and experimentally test (...)
  28. 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 (...)
  29. Analytic Functionalism and Mental State Attribution.Mark Phelan & Wesley Buckwalter - 2012 - Philosophical Topics 40 (2):129-154.
    We argue that the causal account offered by analytic functionalism provides the best account of the folk psychological theory of mind, and that people ordinarily define mental states relative to the causal roles these states occupy in relation to environmental impingements, external behaviors, and other mental states. We present new empirical evidence, as well as review several key studies on mental state ascription to diverse types of entities such as robots, cyborgs, corporations and God, and explain how this evidence supports (...)
  30. The Moral Cognition/Consciousness Connection.Mark Phelan & Adam Waytz - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):293-301.
  31. 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 (...)
  32. Distinguishing the Appearance From the Reality of Pain.Kevin Reuter - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (9-10):94-109.
    It is often held that it is conceptually impossible to distinguish between a pain and a pain experience. In this article I present an argument which concludes that people make this distinction. I have done a web-based statistical analysis which is at the core of this argument. It shows that the intensity of pain has a decisive effect on whether people say that they 'feel a pain'(lower intensities) or 'have a pain' (greater intensities). This 'intensity effect'can be best explained by (...)
  33. Consciousness and the Social Mind.Philip Robbins - 2008 - Cognitive Systems Research 9 (1-2):15-23.
    Phenomenal consciousness and social cognition are interlocking capacities, but the relations between them have yet to be systematically investigated. In this paper, I begin to develop a theoretical and empirical framework for such an investigation. I begin by describing the phenomenon known as social pain: the affect associated with the perception of actual or potential damage to one’s interpersonal relations. I then adduce a related phenomenon known as affective contagion: the tendency for emotions, moods, and other affective states to spread (...)
  34. 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 (...)
  35. 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 (...)
  36. Free Will and Consciousness: Experimental Studies.Joshua Shepherd - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):915-927.
    What are the folk-conceptual connections between free will and consciousness? In this paper I present results which indicate that consciousness plays central roles in folk conceptions of free will. When conscious states cause behavior, people tend to judge that the agent acted freely. And when unconscious states cause behavior, people tend to judge that the agent did not act freely. Further, these studies contribute to recent experimental work on folk philosophical affiliation, which analyzes folk responses to determine whether folk views (...)
  37. Experimenter Philosophy: The Problem of Experimenter Bias in Experimental Philosophy.Brent Strickland & Aysu Suben - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):457-467.
    It has long been known that scientists have a tendency to conduct experiments in a way that brings about the expected outcome. Here, we provide the first direct demonstration of this type of experimenter bias in experimental philosophy. Opposed to previously discovered types of experimenter bias mediated by face-to-face interactions between experimenters and participants, here we show that experimenters also have a tendency to create stimuli in a way that brings about expected outcomes. We randomly assigned undergraduate experimenters to receive (...)
  38. Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind.Justin Sytsma (ed.) - forthcoming - Continuum.
  39. Attributions of Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - unknown
    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 (...)
  40. 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 (...)
  41. Dennett’s Theory of the Folk Theory of Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (3-4):107-130.
    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 (...)
  42. 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 (...)
  43. Folk Psychology and Phenomenal Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (8):700-711.
    In studying folk psychology, cognitive and developmental psychologists have mainly focused on how people conceive of non-experiential states such as beliefs and desires. As a result, we know very little about how non-philosophers (or the folk) understand the mental states that philosophers typically classify as being phenomenally conscious. In particular, it is not known whether the folk even tend to classify mental states in terms of their being or not being phenomenally conscious in the first place. Things have changed dramatically (...)
  44. Experiments on the Folk Theory of Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - unknown
    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 the sensory qualities 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 (...)
  45. Phenomenological Obviousness and the New Science of Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):958-969.
    Is phenomenal consciousness a problem for the brain sciences? An increasing number of researchers hold not only that it is but that its very existence is a deep mystery. That this problematic phenomenon exists is generally taken for granted: It is asserted that phenomenal consciousness is just phenomenologically obvious. In contrast, I hold that there is no such phenomenon and, thus, that it does not pose a problem for the brain sciences. For this denial to be plausible, however, I need (...)
  46. Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience.Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):299-327.
    Do philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in the same way? In this article, we argue that they do not and that the philosophical concept of phenomenal consciousness does not coincide with the folk conception. We first offer experimental support for the hypothesis that philosophers and ordinary people conceive of subjective experience in markedly different ways. We then explore experimentally the folk conception, proposing that for the folk, subjective experience is closely linked to valence. We conclude by considering (...)
  47. How to Study Folk Intuitions About Phenomenal Consciousness.Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (1):21 – 35.
    The assumption that the concept of phenomenal consciousness is pretheoretical is often found in the philosophical debates on consciousness. Unfortunately, this assumption has not received the kind of empirical attention that it deserves. We suspect that this is in part due to difficulties that arise in attempting to test folk intuitions about consciousness. In this article we elucidate and defend a key methodological principle for this work. We draw this principle out by considering recent experimental work on the topic by (...)
  48. The Irrelevance of Folk Intuitions to the “Hard Problem” of Consciousness.Brian Talbot - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):644-650.
    Recently, a number of philosophers have turned to folk intuitions about mental states for data about qualia and phenomenal consciousness. In this paper I argue that current research along these lines does not tell us about these subjects. I focus on a series of studies, performed by Justin Sytsma and Edouard Machery, to make my argument. Folk judgments studied by these researchers are mostly likely generated by a certain cognitive system – System One – that will generate the same data (...)
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