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  1. Unifying Morality’s Influence on Non-Moral Judgments: The Relevance of Alternative Possibilities.Jonathan Phillips, Jamie B. Luguri & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognition 145:30-42.
    Past work has demonstrated that people’s moral judgments can influence their judgments in a number of domains that might seem to involve straightforward matters of fact, including judgments about freedom, causation, the doing/allowing distinction, and intentional action. The present studies explore whether the effect of morality in these four domains can be explained by changes in the relevance of alternative possibilities. More precisely, we propose that moral judgment influences the degree to which people regard certain alternative possibilities as relevant, which (...)
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  • The Argument From Disagreement and the Role of Cross-Cultural Empirical Data.Ben Fraser & Marc Hauser - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (5):541-560.
    The Argument from Disagreement (AD) (Mackie, 1977) depends upon empirical evidence for ‘fundamental’ moral disagreement (FMD) (Doris and Stich, 2005; Doris and Plakias, 2008). Research on the Southern ‘culture of honour’ (Nisbett and Cohen, 1996) has been presented as evidence for FMD between Northerners and Southerners within the US. We raise some doubts about the usefulness of such data in settling AD. We offer an alternative based on recent work in moral psychology that targets the potential universality of morally significant (...)
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  • Do Men and Women Have Different Philosophical Intuitions? Further Data.Toni Adleberg, Morgan Thompson & Eddy Nahmias - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (5):615-641.
    To address the underrepresentation of women in philosophy effectively, we must understand the causes of the early loss of women. In this paper we challenge one of the few explanations that has focused on why women might leave philosophy at early stages. Wesley Buckwalter and Stephen Stich offer some evidence that women have different intuitions than men about philosophical thought experiments. We present some concerns about their evidence and we discuss our own study, in which we attempted to replicate their (...)
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  • Moral Judgments and Intuitions About Freedom.Jonathan Phillips & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Psychological Inquiry 20 (1):30-36.
    Reeder’s article offers a new and intriguing approach to the study of people’s ordinary understanding of freedom and constraint. On this approach, people use information about freedom and constraint as part of a quasi-scientific effort to make accurate inferences about an agent’s motives. Their beliefs about the agent’s motives then affect a wide variety of further psychological processes, including the process whereby they arrive at moral judgments. In illustrating this new approach, Reeder cites an elegant study he conducted a number (...)
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  • Not All Who Ponder Count Costs: Arithmetic Reflection Predicts Utilitarian Tendencies, but Logical Reflection Predicts Both Deontological and Utilitarian Tendencies.Nick Byrd & Paul Conway - 2019 - Cognition 192:103995.
    Conventional sacrificial moral dilemmas propose directly causing some harm to prevent greater harm. Theory suggests that accepting such actions (consistent with utilitarian philosophy) involves more reflective reasoning than rejecting such actions (consistent with deontological philosophy). However, past findings do not always replicate, confound different kinds of reflection, and employ conventional sacrificial dilemmas that treat utilitarian and deontological considerations as opposite. In two studies, we examined whether past findings would replicate when employing process dissociation to assess deontological and utilitarian inclinations independently. (...)
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  • The Concept of Innateness as an Object of Empirical Enquiry.Richard Samuels - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 504-519.
  • Action Trees and Moral Judgment.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):555-578.
    It has sometimes been suggested that people represent the structure of action in terms of an action tree. A question now arises about the relationship between this action tree representation and people’s moral judgments. A natural hypothesis would be that people first construct a representation of the action tree and then go on to use this representation in making moral judgments. The present paper argues for a more complex view. Specifically, the paper reports a series of experimental studies that appear (...)
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  • Graded Causation and Defaults.Joseph Y. Halpern & Christopher Hitchcock - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):413-457.
    Recent work in psychology and experimental philosophy has shown that judgments of actual causation are often influenced by consideration of defaults, typicality, and normality. A number of philosophers and computer scientists have also suggested that an appeal to such factors can help deal with problems facing existing accounts of actual causation. This article develops a flexible formal framework for incorporating defaults, typicality, and normality into an account of actual causation. The resulting account takes actual causation to be both graded and (...)
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  • Perceiving the Agency of Harmful Agents: A Test of Dehumanization Versus Moral Typecasting Accounts.Mansur Khamitov, Jeff D. Rotman & Jared Piazza - 2016 - Cognition 146:33-47.
  • Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.
    It has often been suggested that people’s ordinary capacities for understanding the world make use of much the same methods one might find in a formal scientific investigation. A series of recent experimental results offer a challenge to this widely-held view, suggesting that people’s moral judgments can actually influence the intuitions they hold both in folk psychology and in causal cognition. The present target article distinguishes two basic approaches to explaining such effects. One approach would be to say that the (...)
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  • Contrastive Knowledge Surveyed.Jonathan Schaffer & Joshua Knobe - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):675-708.
    Suppose that Ann says, “Keith knows that the bank will be open tomorrow.” Her audience may well agree. Her knowledge ascription may seem true. But now suppose that Ben—in a different context—also says “Keith knows that the bank will be open tomorrow.” His audience may well disagree. His knowledge ascription may seem false. Indeed, a number of philosophers have claimed that people’s intuitions about knowledge ascriptions are context sensitive, in the sense that the very same knowledge ascription can seem true (...)
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  • Act Versus Impact: Conservatives and Liberals Exhibit Different Structural Emphases in Moral Judgment.Ivar R. Hannikainen, Ryan M. Miller & Fiery A. Cushman - 2017 - Ratio 30 (4):462-493.
    Conservatives and liberals disagree sharply on matters of morality and public policy. We propose a novel account of the psychological basis of these differences. Specifically, we find that conservatives tend to emphasize the intrinsic value of actions during moral judgment, in part by mentally simulating themselves performing those actions, while liberals instead emphasize the value of the expected outcomes of the action. We then demonstrate that a structural emphasis on actions is linked to the condemnation of victimless crimes, a distinctive (...)
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  • The Asymmetry of Praise and Blame: Distinguishing Between Moral Evaluation Effects and Scenario Effects.Andreas Haupt & Tobias Uske - 2012 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 12 (1-2):49-66.
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  • Intuitive Moral Judgments Are Robust Across Variation in Gender, Education, Politics and Religion: A Large-Scale Web-Based Study.Konika Banerjee, Bryce Huebner & Marc Hauser - 2010 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 10 (3-4):253-281.
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  • Normality and Actual Causal Strength.Thomas F. Icard, Jonathan F. Kominsky & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognition 161:80-93.
    Existing research suggests that people's judgments of actual causation can be influenced by the degree to which they regard certain events as normal. We develop an explanation for this phenomenon that draws on standard tools from the literature on graphical causal models and, in particular, on the idea of probabilistic sampling. Using these tools, we propose a new measure of actual causal strength. This measure accurately captures three effects of normality on causal judgment that have been observed in existing studies. (...)
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  • The Social Origin and Moral Nature of Human Thinking.Jeremy I. M. Carpendale, Stuart I. Hammond & Charlie Lewis - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):334.
    Knobe's laudable conclusion that we make sense of our social world based on moral considerations requires a development account of human thought and a theoretical framework. We outline a view that such a moral framework must be rooted in social interaction.
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  • Modulation of Neural Activity in the Temporoparietal Junction with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Changes the Role of Beliefs in Moral Judgment.Hang Ye, Shu Chen, Daqiang Huang, Haoli Zheng, Yongmin Jia & Jun Luo - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  • Chairmen, Cocaine, and Car Crashes: The Knobe Effect as an Attribution Error.Hanno Sauer & Tom Bates - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (4):305-330.
    In this paper, we argue that the so-called Knobe-Effect constitutes an error. There is now a wealth of data confirming that people are highly prone to what has also come to be known as the ‘side-effect effect’. That is, when attributing psychological states—such as intentionality, foreknowledge, and desiring—as well as other agential features—such as causal control—people typically do so to a greater extent when the action under consideration is evaluated negatively. There are a plethora of models attempting to account for (...)
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  • 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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  • Patterns of Moral Judgment Derive From Nonmoral Psychological Representations.Fiery Cushman & Liane Young - 2011 - Cognitive Science 35 (6):1052-1075.
    Ordinary people often make moral judgments that are consistent with philosophical principles and legal distinctions. For example, they judge killing as worse than letting die, and harm caused as a necessary means to a greater good as worse than harm caused as a side-effect (Cushman, Young, & Hauser, 2006). Are these patterns of judgment produced by mechanisms specific to the moral domain, or do they derive from other psychological domains? We show that the action/omission and means/side-effect distinctions affect nonmoral representations (...)
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  • Attitudes Towards Euthanasia in Iran: The Role of Altruism.N. Aghababaei - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (3):173-176.
    Objective Altruism is arguably the quintessential moral trait, involving willingness to benefit others and unwillingness to harm them. In this study, I explored how altruism and other personality variables relate to acceptance of euthanasia. In addition, I investigated the role of culture in attitudes to subcategorical distinctions of euthanasia.Methods 190 Iranian students completed the Attitude Towards Euthanasia scale, the HEXACO Personality Inventory-Revised, and an interest in religion measure.Results Higher scores on altruism, Honesty–Humility, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and religiousness were associated with viewing (...)
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  • Modals with a Taste of the Deontic.Zoltán Gendler Szabó & Joshua Knobe - 2013 - Semantics and Pragmatics 6 (1):1-42.
    The aim of this paper is to present an explanation for the impact of normative considerations on people’s assessment of certain seemingly purely descriptive matters. The explanation is based on two main claims. First, a large category of expressions are tacitly modal: they are contextually equivalent to modal proxies. Second, the interpretation of predominantly circumstantial or teleological modals is subject to certain constraints which make certain possibilities salient at the expense of others.
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  • Blame, Not Ability, Impacts Moral “Ought” Judgments for Impossible Actions: Toward an Empirical Refutation of “Ought” Implies “Can”.Vladimir Chituc, Paul Henne, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2016 - Cognition 150:20-25.
    Recently, psychologists have explored moral concepts including obligation, blame, and ability. While little empirical work has studied the relationships among these concepts, philosophers have widely assumed such a relationship in the principle that “ought” implies “can,” which states that if someone ought to do something, then they must be able to do it. The cognitive underpinnings of these concepts are tested in the three experiments reported here. In Experiment 1, most participants judge that an agent ought to keep a promise (...)
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  • Consumer Judgment of Morally-Questionable Behaviors: The Relationship Between Ethical and Legal Judgments.Daphne Sobolev & Niklas Voege - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-16.
    Consumers’ engagement in morally-questionable behaviors poses a serious threat to firms. To further the understanding of consumers’ behavior, this study explores the association and conflicts between their ethical and legal judgments. In addition, it examines the way consumers’ judgments depend on their mind-sets and the legal liability criterion of action. In two experiments, participants were asked to judge the ethicality and legality of consumers’ morally-questionable behaviors. Behavior activity and participants’ mind-sets were manipulated. The results show that consumers are more likely (...)
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  • Global Justice and Charity: A Brief for a New Approach to Empirical Philosophy.Nicole Hassoun - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (12):884-893.
    What does global justice or charity requires us to give to other people? There is a large theoretical literature on this question. There is much less experimental work in political philosophy relevant to answering it. Perhaps for this reason, this literature has yet to have any major impact on theoretical discussions of global justice or charity. There is, however, some experimental research in behavioral economics that has helped to shape the field and a few relevant studies by political philosophers. This (...)
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  • Thought Experiments, Real Experiments, and the Expertise Objection.Christopher Hitchcock - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (2):205-218.
    It is a commonplace that in philosophy, intuitions supply evidence for and against philosophical theories. Recent work in experimental philosophy has brought to bear the intuitions of philosophically naïve subjects in a number of different ways. One line of response to this work has been to claim that philosophers have expertise that privileges their intuitive judgments, and allows them to disregard the judgments of non-experts. This expertise is supposed to be analogous to the expertise of the mathematician or the physicist. (...)
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  • It’s the Knobe Effect, Stupid!Hanno Sauer - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (4):485-503.
    People asymmetrically attribute various agential features such as intentionality, knowledge, or causal impact to other agents when something of normative significance is at stake. I will argue that three questions are of primary interest in the debate about this effect. A methodological question about how to explain it at all; a substantive question about how to explain it correctly: and a normative question about whether to explain it in terms of an error or a legitimate judgmental pattern. The problem, I (...)
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  • Doing, Allowing, Gains, and Losses.Camilla Colombo - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1107-1118.
    This paper examines Kahneman and Tversky’s standard explanation for preference reversal due to framing effects in the famous “Asian flu” case. It argues that, alongside with their “loss/no gain effect” account, an alternative interpretation, still consistent with the empirical data, amounts to a more reasonable psychological explanation for the preference reversal. Specifically, my hypothesis is that shifts in the baseline induce shifts in the agents’ classification of the same action as “doing harm” rather than “allowing harm to occur”, and that (...)
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  • The Paradox of Moral Focus.Liane Young & Jonathan Phillips - 2011 - Cognition 119 (2):166-178.
    When we evaluate moral agents, we consider many factors, including whether the agent acted freely, or under duress or coercion. In turn, moral evaluations have been shown to influence our (non-moral) evaluations of these same factors. For example, when we judge an agent to have acted immorally, we are subsequently more likely to judge the agent to have acted freely, not under force. Here, we investigate the cognitive signatures of this effect in interpersonal situations, in which one agent (“forcer”) forces (...)
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