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The essential moral self

Cognition 131 (1):159-171 (2014)

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  1. Are the Folk Historicists About Moral Responsibility?Matthew Taylor & Heather Maranges - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-22.
    Manipulation cases have figured prominently in philosophical debates about whether moral responsibility is in some sense deeply historical. Meanwhile, some philosophers have thought that folk thinking about manipulated agents may shed some light on the various argumentative burdens facing participants in that debate. This paper argues that folk thinking is, to some extent, deeply historical. Across three experiments, it is shown that a substantial number of participants did not attribute moral responsibility to agents with manipulation in their histories. The results (...)
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  • Indeterminacy of Identity and Advance Directives for Death After Dementia.Andrew Sneddon - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (4):705-715.
    A persistent question in discussions of the ethics of advance directives for euthanasia is whether patients who go through deep psychological changes retain their identity. Rather than seek an account of identity that answers this question, I argue that responsible policy should directly address indeterminacy about identity directly. Three sorts of indeterminacy are distinguished. Two of these—epistemic indeterminacy and metaphysical indeterminacy—should be addressed in laws/policies regarding advance directives for euthanasia.
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  • 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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  • On the Matter of Essence.Iris Berent - forthcoming - Cognition:104701.
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  • Is Identity Illusory?Andreas L. Mogensen - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):55-73.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Virtue Theory for Moral Enhancement.Joao Fabiano - forthcoming - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience:1-14.
    Our present moral traits are unable to provide the level of large-scale co-operation necessary to deal with risks such as nuclear proliferation, drastic climate change and pandemics. In order to survive in an environment with powerful and easily available technologies, some authors claim that we need to improve our moral traits with moral enhancement. But this is prone to produce paradoxical effects, be self-reinforcing and harm personal identity. The risks of moral enhancement require the use of a safety framework; such (...)
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  • Eudaimonia and well-being: questioning the moral authority of advance directives in dementia.Philippa Byers - 2020 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 41 (1):23-37.
    This paper revisits Ronald Dworkin’s influential position that a person’s advance directive for future health care and medical treatment retains its moral authority beyond the onset of dementia, even when respecting this authority involves foreshortening the life of someone who is happy and content and who no longer remembers or identifies with instructions included within the advance directive. The analysis distils a eudaimonist perspective from Dworkin’s argument and traces variations of this perspective in further arguments for the moral authority of (...)
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  • Intuitions in the Ontology of Musical Works.Elzė Sigutė Mikalonytė - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
    An impressive variety of theories of ontology of musical works has been offered in the last fifty years. Recently, the ontologists have been paying more attention to methodological issues, in particular, the problem of determining criteria of a good theory. Although different methodological approaches involve different views on the importance and exact role of intuitiveness of a theory, most philosophers writing on the ontology of music agree that intuitiveness and compliance with musical practice play an important part when judging theories. (...)
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  • Demented patients and the quandaries of identity: setting the problem, advancing a proposal.Giovanni Boniolo - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-16.
    In the paper, after clarifying terms such as ‘identity’, ‘self’ and ‘personhood’, I propose an empirical account of identity based on the notion of “whole phenotype”. This move allows one to claim the persistence of the individuals before and after their being affected by dementia. Furthermore, I show how this account permits us to address significant questions related to demented individuals’ loss of the capacity of moral decisions.
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  • The True Self as Essentially Morally Good: An Obstacle to Virtue Development?Matt Stichter - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Education:1-15.
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  • Sexual Consent and Lying About One’s Self.Jennifer Matey - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):380-400.
    Despite the acknowledgement of the moral significance of consent there is still much work to be done in determining which specific sexual encounters count as unproblematically consensual. This paper focuses on the impact of deception. It takes up the specific case of deception about one’s self. It may seem obvious that one ought not to lie to a sexual partner about who one is, but determining which features of oneself are most relevant to the consent of one’s partner, as well (...)
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  • Sexual Consent and Lying About One’s Self.Jennifer Matey - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):380-400.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView. -/- Despite the acknowledgement of the moral significance of consent there is still much work to be done in determining which specific sexual encounters count as unproblematically consensual. This paper focuses on the impact of deception. It takes up the specific case of deception about one's self. It may seem obvious that one ought not to lie to a sexual partner about who one is, but determining which features of oneself are most relevant, as well (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Nonassertive Moral Abolitionism.Jason Dockstader - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (4):481-502.
    Proponents of moral abolitionism, like Richard Garner, qualify their view as an â assertiveâ version of the position. They counsel moral realists and anti-realists alike to accept moral error theory, abolish morality, and encourage others to abolish morality. In response, this paper argues that moral error theorists should abolish morality, but become quiet about such abolition. It offers a quietist or nonassertive version of moral abolitionism. It does so by first clarifying and addressing the arguments for and against assertive moral (...)
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  • Authenticity, Self-Defining Memories, and the Direction of Change.Vilius Dranseika - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 12 (1):48-49.
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  • Ethics of Psychotherapist Deception.Drew A. Curtis & Leslie J. Kelley - 2020 - Ethics and Behavior 30 (8):601-616.
    ABSTRACT Since Tolman’s efforts to establish a code for psychologists, the American Psychological Association’s ethics code has been maintained and revised for over six decades. One of APA’s five core principles is honesty and integrity. Recent research has found that therapists lie to patients. The current project explored therapists’ and non-therapists’ beliefs about the ethics of therapist deception. We recruited 245 students and 38 therapists who read and rated vignettes of therapists lying or being honest. Overall, participants judged therapist deception (...)
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  • The Future of Moral Responsibility and Desert.Jay Spitzley - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-21.
    Most contemporary accounts of moral responsibility take desert to play a central role in the nature of moral responsibility. It is also assumed that desert is a backward-looking concept that is not directly derivable from any forward-looking or consequentialist considerations, such as whether blaming an agent would deter the agent from performing similar bad actions in the future. When determining which account of moral responsibility is correct, proponents of desert-based accounts often take intuitions about cases to provide evidence either in (...)
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  • 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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  • Habit and Identity: Behavioral, Cognitive, Affective, and Motivational Facets of an Integrated Self.Bas Verplanken & Jie Sui - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
  • The True Self. Critique, Nature, and Method.Terje Sparby, Friedrich Edelhäuser & Ulrich W. Weger - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Forgiveness, Gratitude, Happiness, and Prosocial Bystander Behavior in Bullying.Fernanda Inéz García-Vázquez, Angel Alberto Valdés-Cuervo, Belén Martínez-Ferrer & Lizeth Guadalupe Parra-Pérez - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Common Sense Beliefs About the Central Self, Moral Character, and the Brain.Diego Fernandez-Duque & Barry Schwartz - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
  • Teleological Essentialism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (4):e12725.
    Placeholder essentialism is the view that there is a causal essence that holds category members together, though we may not know what the essence is. Sometimes the placeholder can be filled in by scientific essences, such as when we acquire scientific knowledge that the atomic weight of gold is 79. We challenge the view that placeholders are elaborated by scientific essences. On our view, if placeholders are elaborated, they are elaborated Aristotelian essences, a telos. Utilizing the same kinds of experiments (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Rise of Moral Cognition.Joshua D. Greene - 2015 - Cognition 135:39-42.
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  • Foreign Language Affects the Contribution of Intentions and Outcomes to Moral Judgment.Janet Geipel, Constantinos Hadjichristidis & Luca Surian - 2016 - Cognition 154:34-39.
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  • Corporate Essence and Identity in Criminal Law.Mihailis E. Diamantis - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):955-966.
    How can we know whether we are punishing the same corporation that committed some past crime? Though central to corporate criminal justice, legal theorists and philosophers have yet to address the basic question of how corporate identity persists through time. Simple cases, where crime and punishment are close in time and the corporation has changed little, can mislead us into thinking an answer is always easy to come by. The issue becomes more complicated when corporate criminals undergo any number of (...)
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  • Filmul Solaris, regia Andrei Tarkovsky – Aspecte psihologice și filosofice.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    În acest eseu evidențiez principalele aspecte psihologice și filosofice desprinse din filmul Solaris regizat de Andrei Tarkovski, precum și tehnicile cinematografice utilizate de regizor pentru a-și transmite mesajele spectatorului. În ”Introducere” prezint pe scurt elementele relevante din biografia lui Tarkovski și o prezentare generală a romanului Solaris a lui Stanislav Lem și filmul Solaris în regia lui Andrei Tarkovsky. În ”Tehnica cinematografică” vorbesc despre ritmul specific al scenelor, mișcarea radicală declanșată de Tarkovsky în cinematografia modernă, rolul elementelor simbolice și iconice, (...)
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  • Varieties of the Extended Self.Richard Heersmink - 2020 - Consciousness and Cognition 85:103001.
    This article provides an overview and analysis of recent work on the extended self, demonstrating that the boundaries of selves are fluid, shifting across biological, artifactual, and sociocultural structures. First, it distinguishes the notions of minimal self, person, and narrative self. Second, it surveys how philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive scientists argue that embodiment, cognition, emotion, consciousness, and moral character traits can be extended and what that implies for the boundaries of selves. It also reviews and responds to various criticisms and (...)
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  • 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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  • Persistence Through Function Preservation.David Rose - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):97-146.
    When do the folk think that material objects persist? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view which fits with folk intuitions, yet there is little agreement about what the folk intuit. I provide a range of empirical evidence which suggests that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence: the folk tend to intuit that a material object survives alterations when its function is preserved. Given that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence, I argue for a debunking (...)
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  • Le film Solaris, réalisé par Andrei Tarkovski - Aspects psychologiques et philosophiques.Nicolae Sfetcu - 2020 - Drobeta Turnu Severin: MultiMedia Publishing.
    Les principaux aspects psychologiques et philosophiques détachés du film Solaris réalisé par Andrei Tarkovski, ainsi que les techniques cinématographiques utilisées par le réalisateur pour transmettre ses messages aux spectateurs. Dans « Introduction », je présente brièvement les éléments pertinents de la biographie de Tarkovski et un aperçu du roman Solaris de Stanislav Lem et du film Solaris réalisé par Andrei Tarkovsky. Dans « Technique cinématographique », je parle du rythme spécifique des scènes, du mouvement radical déclenché par Tarkovski dans le (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Moral Enhancement Can Kill.Parker Crutchfield - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):568-584.
    There is recent empirical evidence that personal identity is constituted by one’s moral traits. If true, this poses a problem for those who advocate for moral enhancement, or the manipulation of a person’s moral traits through pharmaceutical or other biological means. Specifically, if moral enhancement manipulates a person’s moral traits, and those moral traits constitute personal identity, then it is possible that moral enhancement could alter a person’s identity. I go a step further and argue that under the right conditions, (...)
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  • Stereotypes, Theory of Mind, and the Action–Prediction Hierarchy.Evan Westra - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2821-2846.
    Both mindreading and stereotyping are forms of social cognition that play a pervasive role in our everyday lives, yet too little attention has been paid to the question of how these two processes are related. This paper offers a theory of the influence of stereotyping on mental-state attribution that draws on hierarchical predictive coding accounts of action prediction. It is argued that the key to understanding the relation between stereotyping and mindreading lies in the fact that stereotypes centrally involve character-trait (...)
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  • The Moral Imperative to Morally Enhance.Ysabel Johnston, Jeffrey P. Bishop & Griffin Trotter - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):485-489.
    What is morality? Is “morality” something that admits of technological enhancement? What could it possibly mean for a society to have a moral imperative to morally enhance? We are compelled to take up questions like these as we move into the future of moral bioenhancement. Each article in this issue of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy attempts to bring some clarity as to what is meant by morality, such that one could be morally obligated to morally enhance. These articles (...)
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  • When Do Circumstances Excuse? Moral Prejudices and Beliefs About the True Self Drive Preferences for Agency-Minimizing Explanations.Simon Cullen - 2018 - Cognition 180:165-181.
    When explaining human actions, people usually focus on a small subset of potential causes. What leads us to prefer certain explanations for valenced actions over others? The present studies indicate that our moral attitudes often predict our explanatory preferences far better than our beliefs about how causally sensitive actions are to features of the actor's environment. Study 1 found that high-prejudice participants were much more likely to endorse non-agential explanations of an erotic same-sex encounter, such as that one of the (...)
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  • 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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  • Empathy and Intersubjectivity.Joshua May - 2017 - In Heidi Maibom (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Empathy. New York: Routledge. pp. 169-179.
    Empathy is intersubjective in that it connects us mentally with others. Some theorists believe that by blurring the distinction between self and other empathy can provide a radical form of altruism that grounds all of morality and even a kind of immortality. Others are more pessimistic and maintain that in distorting the distinction between self and other empathy precludes genuine altruism. Even if these positions exaggerate self-other merging, empathy’s intersubjectivity can perhaps ground ordinary altruism and the rational recognition that one (...)
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  • Back to Buchanan? Explorations of Welfare and Subjectivism in Behavioral Economics.Malte F. Dold - 2018 - Journal of Economic Methodology 25 (2):160-178.
    In light of behavioral findings regarding inconsistent individual decision-making, economists have begun to re-conceptualize the notion of welfare. One prominent account is the preference purification approach, which attempts to reconstruct preferences from choice data based on a normative understanding of neoclassical rationality. Using Buchanan’s notion of creative choice, this paper criticizes PP’s epistemic, ontological, and psychological assumptions. It identifies PP as a static position that assumes the satisfaction of given ‘true preferences’ as the normative standard for welfare. However, following Buchanan, (...)
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  • Qualitative Tools and Experimental Philosophy.James Andow - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (8):1128-1141.
    Experimental philosophy brings empirical methods to philosophy. These methods are used to probe how people think about philosophically interesting things such as knowledge, morality, and freedom. This paper explores the contribution that qualitative methods have to make in this enterprise. I argue that qualitative methods have the potential to make a much greater contribution than they have so far. Along the way, I acknowledge a few types of resistance that proponents of qualitative methods in experimental philosophy might encounter, and provide (...)
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  • Technological Seduction and Self-Radicalization.Mark Alfano, Joseph Adam Carter & Marc Cheong - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (3):298-322.
    Many scholars agree that the Internet plays a pivotal role in self-radicalization, which can lead to behaviours ranging from lone-wolf terrorism to participation in white nationalist rallies to mundane bigotry and voting for extremist candidates. However, the mechanisms by which the Internet facilitates self-radicalization are disputed; some fault the individuals who end up self-radicalized, while others lay the blame on the technology itself. In this paper, we explore the role played by technological design decisions in online self-radicalization in its myriad (...)
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  • Madness as Method: On Locke’s Thought Experiments About Personal Identity.Kathryn Tabb - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (5):871-889.
    ABSTRACTJohn Locke is famous for popularizing the method of the philosophical thought experiment in discussions of personal identity; the cases introduced in the second edition of An Essay Concerning Understanding are still employed by contemporary philosophers. Here I argue that Locke’s method is nonetheless importantly different from later efforts in ways that can help us better appreciate his larger projects. Rather than pumping the reader’s intuitions in support of his preferred account, Locke’s thought experiments serve to illustrate common errors in (...)
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  • The Nietzschean Self: Moral Psychology, Agency, and the Unconscious. [REVIEW]Mark Alfano - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (3):637-640.
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  • The Platonic Model: Statement, Clarification and Defense.Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (3):378-392.
    I defend Gary Watson's Platonic Model of free agency against two arguments by counterexample, one by J. David Velleman and the other by Michael Bratman. I claim that these arguments are unconvincing for three reasons. First, they do not accurately target the Platonic Model. Second, they do not convincingly present cases of self-governed action. Third, they call attention to issues about theoretical commitments that are not fit to be settled by appeal to cases. On the basis of this discussion, I (...)
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  • Relational Agency: Yes—But How Far? Vulnerability and the Moral Self.Nicolae Morar & Joshua August Skorburg - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 8 (2):83-85.
    Peer commentary on: Goering, S., Klein, E., Dougherty, D. D., & Widge, A. S. (2017). Staying in the loop: Relational agency and identity in next-generation DBS for psychiatry. AJOB Neuroscience, 8(2), 59-70.
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