Cognition 137:196-209 (2015)

Authors
Joshua Knobe
Yale University
Jonathan Phillips
Dartmouth College
Abstract
When agents violate norms, they are typically judged to be more of a cause of resulting outcomes. In this paper, we suggest that norm violations also affect the causality attributed to other agents, a phenomenon we refer to as "causal superseding." We propose and test a counterfactual reasoning model of this phenomenon in four experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 provide an initial demonstration of the causal superseding effect and distinguish it from previously studied effects. Experiment 3 shows that this causal superseding effect is dependent on a particular event structure, following a prediction of our counterfactual model. Experiment 4 demonstrates that causal superseding can occur with violations of non-moral norms. We propose a model of the superseding effect based on the idea of counterfactual sufficiency.
Keywords causation  causal reasoning  counterfactuals  morality  superseding  probability  actual causation  norm violations
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DOI 10.1016/j.cognition.2015.01.013
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References found in this work BETA

Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Causation.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Person as Scientist, Person as Moralist.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.
Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.

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Citations of this work BETA

Beliefs as Inner Causes: The (Lack of) Evidence.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (6):850-877.
Counterfactual Theories of Causation.Peter Menzies - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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