Synthese 197 (12):5491-5509 (2020)

Kevin Tobia
Georgetown University
David Rose
Stanford University
Two separate research programs have revealed two different factors that feature in our judgments of whether some entity persists. One program—inspired by Knobe—has found that normative considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when the changes it undergoes lead to improvements. The other program—inspired by Kelemen—has found that teleological considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when it preserves its purpose. Our goal in this paper is to determine what causes persistence judgments. Across four studies, we pit normative considerations against teleological considerations. And using causal modeling procedures, we find a consistent, robust pattern with teleological and not normative considerations directly causing persistence judgments. Our findings put teleology in the driver’s seat, while at the same time shedding further light on our folk notion of an object.
Keywords persistence  teleology  objects
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Reprint years 2018, 2020
DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-01974-0
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References found in this work BETA

Individuals.P. F. Strawson - 1959 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 14 (2):246-246.
Ordinary Objects.Amie L. Thomasson (ed.) - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.

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Citations of this work BETA

Teleological Essentialism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (4):e12725.

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