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  1. Explaining the Abstract/Concrete Paradoxes in Moral Psychology: The NBAR Hypothesis.Eric Mandelbaum & David Ripley - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):351-368.
    For some reason, participants hold agents more responsible for their actions when a situation is described concretely than when the situation is described abstractly. We present examples of this phenomenon, and survey some attempts to explain it. We divide these attempts into two classes: affective theories and cognitive theories. After criticizing both types of theories we advance our novel hypothesis: that people believe that whenever a norm is violated, someone is responsible for it. This belief, along with the familiar workings (...)
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  • Explanatory Unification in Experimental Philosophy: Let’s Keep It Real.Frank Hindriks - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1):219-242.
    Experimental philosophers have discovered a large number of asymmetries in our intuitions about philosophically significant notions. Often those intuitions turned out to be sensitive to normative factors. Whereas optimists have insisted on a unified explanation of these findings, pessimists have argued that it is impossible to formulate a single factor explanation. I defend the intermediate position according to which unification is possible to some extent, but should be pursued within limits. The key issue that I address is how it is (...)
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  • Evidence for the Context Dependence of the Side-Effect Effect.Stephan Lau & Rainer Reisenzein - 2016 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 16 (3-4):267-293.
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  • Questioning the Influence of Moral Judgment.Steve Guglielmo - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):338-339.
    Moral judgment – even the type discussed by Knobe – necessarily relies on substantial information about an agent's mental states, especially regarding beliefs and attitudes. Moreover, the effects described by Knobe can be attributed to norm violations in general, rather than moral concerns in particular. Consequently, Knobe's account overstates the influence of moral judgment on assessments of mental states and causality.
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  • Is What is Worse More Likely?—The Probabilistic Explanation of the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.Nikolaus Dalbauer & Andreas Hergovich - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):639-657.
    One aim of this article is to explore the connection between the Knobe effect and the epistemic side-effect effect (ESEE). Additionally, we report evidence about a further generalization regarding probability judgments. We demonstrate that all effects can be found within German material, using ‘absichtlich’ [intentionally], ‘wissen’ [know] and ‘wahrscheinlich’ [likely]. As the explanations discussed with regard to the Knobe effect do not suffice to explicate the ESEE, we survey whether the characteristic asymmetry in knowledge judgments is caused by a differing (...)
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  • Normativity in Action: How to Explain the Knobe Effect and its Relatives.Frank Hindriks - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (1):51-72.
    Intuitions about intentional action have turned out to be sensitive to normative factors: most people say that an indifferent agent brings about an effect of her action intentionally when it is harmful, but unintentionally when it is beneficial. Joshua Knobe explains this asymmetry, which is known as ‘the Knobe effect’, in terms of the moral valence of the effect, arguing that this explanation generalizes to other asymmetries concerning notions as diverse as deciding and being free. I present an alternative explanation (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy: A Methodological Critique.Robert L. Woolfolk - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (1-2):79-87.
    This article offers a critique of research practices typical of experimental philosophy. To that end, it presents a review of methodological issues that have proved crucial to the quality of research in the biobehavioral sciences. It discusses various shortcomings in the experimental philosophy literature related to (1) the credibility of self-report questionnaires, (2) the validity and reliability of measurement, (3) the adherence to appropriate procedures for sampling, random assignment, and handling of participants, and (4) the meticulousness of study reporting. It (...)
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  • The Folk Probably Do Think What You Think They Think.Billy Dunaway, Anna Edmonds & David Manley - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):421-441.
    Much of experimental philosophy consists of surveying 'folk' intuitions about philosophically relevant issues. Are the results of these surveys evidence that the relevant folk intuitions cannot be predicted from the ‘armchair’? We found that a solid majority of philosophers could predict even results claimed to be 'surprising'. But, we argue, this does not mean that such experiments have no role at all in philosophy.
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  • Mens Rea Ascription, Expertise and Outcome Effects: Professional Judges Surveyed.Markus Kneer & Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde - 2017 - Cognition 169:139-146.
    A coherent practice of mens rea (‘guilty mind’) ascription in criminal law presupposes a concept of mens rea which is insensitive to the moral valence of an action’s outcome. For instance, an assessment of whether an agent harmed another person intentionally should be unaffected by the severity of harm done. Ascriptions of intentionality made by laypeople, however, are subject to a strong outcome bias. As demonstrated by the Knobe effect, a knowingly incurred negative side effect is standardly judged intentional, whereas (...)
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  • Manipulating Morality: Third‐Party Intentions Alter Moral Judgments by Changing Causal Reasoning.Jonathan Phillips & Alex Shaw - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (8):1320-1347.
    The present studies investigate how the intentions of third parties influence judgments of moral responsibility for other agents who commit immoral acts. Using cases in which an agent acts under some situational constraint brought about by a third party, we ask whether the agent is blamed less for the immoral act when the third party intended for that act to occur. Study 1 demonstrates that third-party intentions do influence judgments of blame. Study 2 finds that third-party intentions only influence moral (...)
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  • On Doing Things Intentionally.Pierre Jacob, Cova Florian & Dupoux Emmanuel - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (4):378-409.
    Recent empirical and conceptual research has shown that moral considerations have an influence on the way we use the adverb 'intentionally'. Here we propose our own account of these phenomena, according to which they arise from the fact that the adverb 'intentionally' has three different meanings that are differently selected by contextual factors, including normative expectations. We argue that our hypotheses can account for most available data and present some new results that support this. We end by discussing the implications (...)
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  • Excuse Validation: A Study in Rule-Breaking.John Turri & Peter Blouw - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):615-634.
    Can judging that an agent blamelessly broke a rule lead us to claim, paradoxically, that no rule was broken at all? Surprisingly, it can. Across seven experiments, we document and explain the phenomenon of excuse validation. We found when an agent blamelessly breaks a rule, it significantly distorts people’s description of the agent’s conduct. Roughly half of people deny that a rule was broken. The results suggest that people engage in excuse validation in order to avoid indirectly blaming others for (...)
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  • A Causal Model of Intentionality Judgment.Steven A. Sloman, Philip M. Fernbach & Scott Ewing - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (2):154-180.
    We propose a causal model theory to explain asymmetries in judgments of the intentionality of a foreseen side-effect that is either negative or positive (Knobe, 2003). The theory is implemented as a Bayesian network relating types of mental states, actions, and consequences that integrates previous hypotheses. It appeals to two inferential routes to judgment about the intentionality of someone else's action: bottom-up from action to desire and top-down from character and disposition. Support for the theory comes from three experiments that (...)
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  • Action, Attitude, and the Knobe Effect: Another Asymmetry.Joshua Shepherd - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):171-185.
    A majority of people regard the harmful side-effects of an agent’s behavior as much more intentional than an agent’s helpful side-effects. In this paper, I present evidence for a related asymmetry. When a side- effect action is an instance of harming, folk ascriptions are significantly impacted by the relative badness of either an agent’s main goal or her side- effect action, but not her attitude. Yet when a side- effect action is an instance of helping, folk ascriptions are sensitive to (...)
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  • The Omissions Account of the Knobe Effect and the Asymmetry Challenge.Katarzyna Paprzycka - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (5):550-571.
    The characteristic asymmetry in intentionality attributions that is known as the Knobe effect can be explained by conjoining an orthodox theory of intentional action with a normative account of intentional omission. On the latter view: omissions presuppose some normative context; there are good reasons why the intentionality of omissions requires agents' knowledge rather than intention. The asymmetry in intentionality attributions in Knobe's cases can be seen to be derivative from an asymmetry in intentional omissions. The omissions account further explains the (...)
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