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  1. Proper Names, Rigidity, and Empirical Studies on Judgments of Identity Across Transformations.Vilius Dranseika, Jonas Dagys & Renatas Berniūnas - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):381-388.
    The question of transtemporal identity of objects in general and persons in particular is an important issue in both philosophy and psychology. While the focus of philosophers traditionally was on questions of the nature of identity relation and criteria that allow to settle ontological issues about identity, psychologists are mostly concerned with how people think about identity, and how they track identity of objects and people through time. In this article, we critically engage with widespread use of inferring folk judgments (...)
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  2. Personal Identity.David Shoemaker & Kevin P. Tobia - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford:
    Our aim in this entry is to articulate the state of the art in the moral psychology of personal identity. We begin by discussing the major philosophical theories of personal identity, including their shortcomings. We then turn to recent psychological work on personal identity and the self, investigations that often illuminate our person-related normative concerns. We conclude by discussing the implications of this psychological work for some contemporary philosophical theories and suggesting fruitful areas for future work on personal identity.
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  3. The True Self: A Psychological Concept Distinct From the Self.Nina Strohminger, Joshua Knobe & George Newman - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    A long tradition of psychological research has explored the distinction between characteristics that are part of the self and those that lie outside of it. Recently, a surge of research has begun examining a further distinction. Even among characteristics that are internal to the self, people pick out a subset as belonging to the true self. These factors are judged as making people who they really are, deep down. In this paper, we introduce the concept of the true self and (...)
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  4. The Aesthetic Self. The Importance of Aesthetic Taste in Music and Art for Our Perceived Identity.Joerg Fingerhut, Javier Gomez-Lavin, Claudia Winklmayr & Jesse J. Prinz - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    To what extent do aesthetic taste and our interest in the arts constitute who we are? In this paper, we present a series of empirical findings that suggest an Aesthetic Self Effect supporting the claim that our aesthetic engagements are a central component of our identity. Counterfactual changes in aesthetic preferences, for example, moving from liking classical music to liking pop, are perceived as altering us as a person. The Aesthetic Self Effect is as strong as the impact of moral (...)
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  5. My Friend’s True Self: Children’s Concept of Personal Identity.Michaela Jirout Košová, Robin Kopecký, Pavel Oulovský, Matěj Nekvinda & Jaroslav Flegr - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (1):47-75.
    Our study explores the folk concept of personal identity in the developmental context. Two hundred and seventeen Czech children participated in an interview study based on a hypothetical scenario about a sudden change in their friend, someone they know, or some other unspecified person. The children were asked to judge to what extent particular changes (from six categories of traits) would change the identity core of their friend or some other person on a seven-point scale. We introduced both positive and (...)
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  6. Personal Transformation and Advance Directives: An Experimental Bioethics Approach.Brian D. Earp, Stephen R. Latham & Kevin P. Tobia - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (8):72-75.
    Volume 20, Issue 8, August 2020, Page 72-75.
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  7. The Moral Self and Moral Duties.Jim A. C. Everett, Joshua August Skorburg & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology (7):1-22.
    Recent research has begun treating the perennial philosophical question, “what makes a person the same over time?” as an empirical question. A long tradition in philosophy holds that psychological continuity and connectedness of memories are at the heart of personal identity. More recent experimental work, following Strohminger & Nichols (2014), has suggested that persistence of moral character, more than memories, is perceived as essential for personal identity. While there is a growing body of evidence supporting these findings, a critique by (...)
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  8. Are Future Selves Treated Like Others? Comparing Determinants and Levels of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Allocations.Sarah Molouki & Daniel M. Bartels - 2020 - Cognition 196:104150.
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  9. Putting Your Money Where Your Self Is: Connecting Dimensions of Closeness and Theories of Personal Identity.Jan K. Woike, Philip Collard & Bruce Hood - 2020 - PLoS ONE 15 (2):1-44.
    Studying personal identity, the continuity and sameness of persons across lifetimes, is notoriously difficult and competing conceptualizations exist within philosophy and psychology. Personal reidentification, linking persons between points in time is a fundamental step in allocating merit and blame and assigning rights and privileges. Based on Nozick’s closest continuer theory we develop a theoretical framework that explicitly invites a meaningful empirical approach and offers a constructive, integrative solution to current disputes about appropriate experiments. Following Nozick, reidentification involves judging continuers on (...)
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  10. Addiction, Identity, Morality.Brian D. Earp, Joshua August Skorburg, Jim A. C. Everett & Julian Savulescu - 2019 - Ajob Empirical Bioethics 10 (2):136-153.
    Background: Recent literature on addiction and judgments about the characteristics of agents has focused on the implications of adopting a ‘brain disease’ versus ‘moral weakness’ model of addiction. Typically, such judgments have to do with what capacities an agent has (e.g., the ability to abstain from substance use). Much less work, however, has been conducted on the relationship between addiction and judgments about an agent’s identity, including whether or to what extent an individual is seen as the same person after (...)
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  11. Good Selves, True Selves: Moral Ignorance, Responsibility, And The Presumption Of Goodness.David Faraci & David Shoemaker - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):606-622.
    According to the Good True Self (GTS) theory, if an action is deemed good, its psychological source is typically viewed as more reflective of its agent’s true self, of who the agent really is ‘deep down inside’; if the action is deemed bad, its psychological source is typically viewed as more external to its agent’s true self. In previous work, we discovered a related asymmetry in judgments of blame- and praiseworthiness with respect to the mitigating effect of moral ignorance via (...)
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  12. Parole and the Moral Self: Moral Change Mitigates Responsibility.Javier Gomez-Lavin & Jesse Prinz - 2019 - Journal of Moral Education 48 (1):65-83.
    Recent studies demonstrate a moral self effect: continuity in moral values is crucial to ascriptions of identity in and over time. Since Locke, personal identity has been referred to as a ‘forensic’ concept, meaning that it plays a role in attributions of moral responsibility. If moral values are crucial to identity over time, then perceived changes in a person’s set of values may reduce responsibility for past deeds. To test this, we examined the moral self effect in parole contexts. In (...)
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  13. Memory And The True Self: When Moral Knowledge Can And Cannot Be Forgotten.André Bilbrough - 2018 - Essays in Philosophy 19 (2):274-302.
    Why is it that forgetting moral knowledge, unlike other paradigmatic examples of knowledge, seems so deeply absurd? Previous authors have given accounts whereby moral forgetting in itself either is uniformly absurd and impossible or is possible and only the speech act is absurd. Considering findings in moral psychology and the experimental philosophy of personal identity, I argue that the knowledge of some moral truths—especially those that are emotional, widely held, subjectively important, and contribute to social relationships—cannot be forgotten because they’re (...)
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  14. Consistent Belief in a Good True Self in Misanthropes and Three Interdependent Cultures.Julian De Freitas, Hagop Sarkissian, George E. Newman, Igor Grossmann, Felipe De Brigard, Andres Luco & Joshua Knobe - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (S1):134-160.
    People sometimes explain behavior by appealing to an essentialist concept of the self, often referred to as the true self. Existing studies suggest that people tend to believe that the true self is morally virtuous; that is deep inside, every person is motivated to behave in morally good ways. Is this belief particular to individuals with optimistic beliefs or people from Western cultures, or does it reflect a widely held cognitive bias in how people understand the self? To address this (...)
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  15. Who Am I? The Role of Moral Beliefs in Children's and Adults' Understanding of Identity.Larisa Heiphetz, Nina Strohminger, Susan Gelman & Liane L. Young - 2018 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology:210-219.
    Adults report that moral characteristics—particularly widely shared moral beliefs—are central to identity. This perception appears driven by the view that changes to widely shared moral beliefs would alter friendships and that this change in social relationships would, in turn, alter an individual's personal identity. Because reasoning about identity changes substantially during adolescence, the current work tested pre- and post-adolescents to reveal the role that such changes could play in moral cognition. Experiment 1 showed that 8- to 10-year-olds, like adults, judged (...)
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  16. Statutes of Limitations and Personal Identity.Christian Mott - 2018 - In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume Two. New York, NY, USA: pp. 243-269.
    Legal theorists have proposed several theories to justify statutes of limitations in the criminal law, but none of these normative theories is generally accepted. This chapter investigates the related descriptive question as to whether ordinary people have the intuition that legal punishment becomes less appropriate as time passes from the date of the offense and, if they do, what factors play a role in these intuitions. Five studies demonstrate that there is an intuitive statute of limitations on both legal punishment (...)
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  17. Death and the Self.Shaun Nichols, Nina Strohminger, Arun Rai & Jay Garfield - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (S1):314-332.
    It is an old philosophical idea that if the future self is literally different from the current self, one should be less concerned with the death of the future self. This paper examines the relation between attitudes about death and the self among Hindus, Westerners, and three Buddhist populations. Compared with other groups, monastic Tibetans gave particularly strong denials of the continuity of self, across several measures. We predicted that the denial of self would be associated with a lower fear (...)
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  18. Personal Identity and Persisting as Many.Sara Weaver & John Turri - 2018 - In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, volume 2. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 213-242.
    Many philosophers hypothesize that our concept of personal identity is partly constituted by the one-person-one-place rule, which states that a person can only be in one place at a time. This hypothesis has been assumed by the most influential contemporary work on personal identity. In this paper, we report a series of studies testing whether the hypothesis is true. In these studies, people consistently judged that the same person existed in two different places at the same time. This result undermines (...)
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  19. Normative Judgments and Individual Essence.Julian De Freitas, Kevin P. Tobia, George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S3).
    A growing body of research has examined how people judge the persistence of identity over time—that is, how they decide that a particular individual is the same entity from one time to the next. While a great deal of progress has been made in understanding the types of features that people typically consider when making such judgments, to date, existing work has not explored how these judgments may be shaped by normative considerations. The present studies demonstrate that normative beliefs do (...)
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  20. Folk Concepts of Person and Identity: A Response to Nichols and Bruno.Renatas Berniūnas & Vilius Dranseika - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (1):96-122.
    Nichols and Bruno claim that the folk judge that psychological continuity is necessary for personal identity. In this article, we evaluate this claim. First, we argue that it is likely that in thinking about hypothetical cases of transformations, the folk do not use a unitary concept of personal identity, but instead rely on different concepts of ‘person’, ‘identity’, and ‘individual’. Identity can be ascribed even when post-transformation individuals are no longer categorized as persons. Second, we provide new empirical evidence suggesting (...)
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  21. The Role of Moral Beliefs, Memories, and Preferences in Representations of Identity.Larisa Heiphetz, Nina Strohminger & Liane L. Young - 2016 - Cognitive Science 40 (7):744-767.
    People perceive that if their memories and moral beliefs changed, they would change. We investigated why individuals respond this way. In Study 1, participants judged that identity would change more after changes to memories and widely shared moral beliefs versus preferences and controversial moral beliefs. The extent to which participants judged that changes would affect their relationships predicted identity change and mediated the relationship between type of moral belief and perceived identity change. We discuss the role that social relationships play (...)
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  22. Diachronic Identity and the Moral Self.Jesse Prinz & Shaun Nichols - 2016 - In Julian Kiverstein (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of the Social Mind. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 449-464.
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  23. Personal Identity, Direction of Change, and Neuroethics.Kevin Tobia - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (1):37-43.
    The personal identity relation is of great interest to philosophers, who often consider fictional scenarios to test what features seem to make persons persist through time. But often real examples of neuroscientific interest also provide important tests of personal identity. One such example is the case of Phineas Gage – or at least the story often told about Phineas Gage. Many cite Gage’s story as example of severed personal identity; Phineas underwent such a tremendous change that Gage “survived as a (...)
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  24. Remembering Past Lives.Claire White, Robert M. Kelly & Shaun Nichols - 2016 - In Helen De Cruz & Ryan Nichols (eds.), Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy. New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 169-196.
    The aim of this chapter is to address the role of memory in past-life convictions. Although it is commonly accepted in the modern media - and popular western culture more generally - that people believe they have lived before because the memory contains detailed verifiable facts, little is known about how people actually reason about the veracity of their previous existence. To our knowledge, the current project is the most extensive research that probes the role of memory in past life (...)
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  25. Ego, Egoism and the Impact of Religion on Ethical Experience: What a Paradoxical Consequence of Buddhist Culture Tells Us About Moral Psychology.Jay L. Garfield, Shaun Nichols, Arun K. Rai & Nina Strohminger - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):293-304.
    We discuss the structure of Buddhist theory, showing that it is a kind of moral phenomenology directed to the elimination of egoism through the elimination of a sense of self. We then ask whether being raised in a Buddhist culture in which the values of selflessness and the sense of non-self are so deeply embedded transforms one’s sense of who one is, one’s ethical attitudes and one’s attitude towards death, and in particular whether those transformations are consistent with the predictions (...)
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  26. Beliefs About the True Self Explain Asymmetries Based on Moral Judgment.George E. Newman, Julian De Freitas & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (1):96-125.
    Past research has identified a number of asymmetries based on moral judgments. Beliefs about what a person values, whether a person is happy, whether a person has shown weakness of will, and whether a person deserves praise or blame seem to depend critically on whether participants themselves find the agent's behavior to be morally good or bad. To date, however, the origins of these asymmetries remain unknown. The present studies examine whether beliefs about an agent's “true self” explain these observed (...)
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  27. Neurodegeneration and Identity.Nina Strohminger & Shaun Nichols - 2015 - Psychological Science 26 (9):1469– 1479.
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  28. Personal Identity and the Phineas Gage Effect.Kevin P. Tobia - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):396-405.
    Phineas Gage’s story is typically offered as a paradigm example supporting the view that part of what matters for personal identity is a certain magnitude of similarity between earlier and later individuals. Yet, reconsidering a slight variant of Phineas Gage’s story indicates that it is not just magnitude of similarity, but also the direction of change that affects personal identity judgments; in some cases, changes for the worse are more seen as identity-severing than changes for the better of comparable magnitude. (...)
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  29. Huck Vs. Jojo: Moral Ignorance and the (A)Symmetry of Praise and Blame.David Faraci & David Shoemaker - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy:7-27.
    Presentation and discussion of two new experimental studies surveying intuitions about cases of moral ignorance due to childhood deprivation. Discussion of resulting asymmetry between negative and positive cases and proposal of speculative hypothesis to explain results, The Difficulty Hypothesis.
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  30. Are Artworks More Like People Than Artifacts? Individual Concepts and Their Extensions.George E. Newman, Daniel M. Bartels & Rosanna K. Smith - 2014 - Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (4):647-662.
    This paper examines people's reasoning about identity continuity and its relation to previous research on how people value one-of-a-kind artifacts, such as artwork. We propose that judgments about the continuity of artworks are related to judgments about the continuity of individual persons because art objects are seen as physical extensions of their creators. We report a reanalysis of previous data and the results of two new empirical studies that test this hypothesis. The first study demonstrates that the mere categorization of (...)
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  31. The Essential Moral Self.Nina Strohminger & Shaun Nichols - 2014 - Cognition 131 (1):159-171.
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  32. How Many of Us Are There?Hannah Tierney, Chris Howard, Victor Kumar, Trevor Kvaran & Shaun Nichols - 2014 - In Justin Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind. Continuum Press.
  33. Selfless Giving.Daniel M. Bartels, Trevor Kvaran & Shaun Nichols - 2013 - Cognition 129 (2):392-403.
  34. Testing Sripada's Deep Self Model.Florian Cova & Hichem Naar - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):647 - 659.
    Sripada has recently advanced a new account for asymmetries that have been uncovered in folk judgments of intentionality: the ?Deep Self model,? according to which an action is more likely to be judged as intentional if it matches the agent's central and stable attitudes and values (i.e., the agent's Deep Self). In this paper, we present new experiments that challenge this model in two ways: first, we show that the Deep Self model makes predictions that are falsified, then we present (...)
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  35. Deep Trouble for the Deep Self.David Rose, Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):629 - 646.
    Chandra Sripada's (2010) Deep Self Concordance Account aims to explain various asymmetries in people's judgments of intentional action. On this account, people distinguish between an agent's active and deep self; attitude attributions to the agent's deep self are then presumed to play a causal role in people's intentionality ascriptions. Two judgments are supposed to play a role in these attributions?a judgment that specifies the attitude at issue and one that indicates that the attitude is robust (Sripada & Konrath, 2011). In (...)
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  36. 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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  37. Personal Identity: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis.Fernando Aguiar, Pablo Brañas-Garza, Maria Paz Espinosa & Luis M. Miller - 2010 - Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (3):261-275.
    This paper aims to analyze the role of personal identity in altruism. To this end, it starts by reviewing critically the growing literature on economics and identity. Considering the ambiguities that the concept of social identity poses, our proposal focuses on the concept of personal identity. A formal model to study how personal identity enters in individuals' utility function when facing a dictator game decision is then presented. Finally, this ?identity-based? utility function is studied experimentally. The experiment allows us to (...)
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  38. Psychological Connectedness and Intertemporal Choice.Daniel M. Bartels & Lance J. Rips - 2010 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 139 (1):49-69.
  39. Insanity, Deep Selves, and Moral Responsibility: The Case of JoJo.David Faraci & David Shoemaker - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3): 319-332.
    Susan Wolf objects to the Real Self View (RSV) of moral responsibility that it is insufficient, that even if one’s actions are expressions of one’s deepest or “real” self, one might still not be morally responsible for one’s actions. As a counterexample to the RSV, Wolf offers the case of JoJo, the son of a dictator, who endorses his father’s (evil) values, but who is insane and is thus not responsible for his actions. Wolf’s data for this conclusion derives from (...)
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  40. Intuitions About Personal Identity: An Empirical Study.Shaun Nichols & Michael Bruno - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):293-312.
    Williams (1970) argues that our intuitions about personal identity vary depending on how a given thought experiment is framed. Some frames lead us to think that persistence of self requires persistence of one's psychological characteristics; other frames lead us to think that the self persists even after the loss of one's distinctive psychological characteristics. The current paper takes an empirical approach to these issues. We find that framing does affect whether or not people judge that persistence of psychological characteristics is (...)
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  41. The Deep Self Model and Asymmetries in Folk Judgments About Intentional Action.Chandra Sekhar Sripada - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):159-176.
    Recent studies by experimental philosophers demonstrate puzzling asymmetries in people’s judgments about intentional action, leading many philosophers to propose that normative factors are inappropriately influencing intentionality judgments. In this paper, I present and defend the Deep Self Model of judgments about intentional action that provides a quite different explanation for these judgment asymmetries. The Deep Self Model is based on the idea that people make an intuitive distinction between two parts of an agent’s psychology, an Acting Self that contains the (...)
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