Empirical research on counterfactual thinking has found a closeness effect: people report higher negative affect if an actual outcome is close to a better counterfactual outcome. However, it remains unclear what actually is a ?close? miss. In three experiments that manipulate close counterfactuals, closeness effects were found only when closeness was unambiguously defined either with respect to a contrasted alternative, or with respect to a categorical boundary. In a real task people failed to report greater negative affect when encountering a (...) close numerical miss, while they predicted greater negative affect hypothetically. These results show that counterfactual closeness effects on affect depend on closeness being accessible and unambiguously defined. (shrink)
In this review essay of Michelle Montague’s The Given we focus on the central thesis in the book: the awareness of awareness thesis. On that thesis, a state of awareness constitutively involves an awareness of itself. In Section 2, we discuss what the awareness of awareness thesis amounts to, how it contrasts with the transparency of experience, and how it might be motivated. In Section 3, we discuss one of Montague’s two theoretical arguments for the awareness of awareness thesis. A (...) view that accepts the awareness of awareness thesis, Montague argues, is to be preferred over competing views because it outperforms them in accounting for the property attributions one makes in perceptual experience. We suggest that it is not clear that this argument for the awareness of awareness thesis is successful. Finally, in Section 4 we consider the relation between Montague’s view of color experience and what she calls Strawson’s datum, arguing that Montague may not be able to explain this datum as straightforwardly as she supposes. This, we suggest, threatens Montague’s second theoretical argument for the awareness of awareness thesis. (shrink)
Kant's general term 'categorical imperative' conceals two substantially different ethical principles namely (1) "the" fundamental principle of moral argumentation, called by kant "the principle of pure practical reason", and (2) "a" (one or more than one) procedure for testing maxims and norms for acting. this thesis of the two different functions of the categorical imperative is proved by a detailed systematic analysis of both kant's different formulas of the categorical imperative and kant's examination of four maxims in the "grundlegung".
We contribute to the empirical debate on whether we understand and predict mental states by using simulation (simulation theory) or by relying on a folk psychological theory (theory theory). To decide between these two fundamental positions, it has been argued that failure to predict other people's choices would be challenging evidence against the simulation view. We test the specific claim that people prefer the rightmost position in choosing among equally valued objects, and whether or not this position bias can be (...) correctly predicted. A series of experiments shows that the bias appears only in a specific spatial arrangement and that it can be correctly predicted given adequate imaginative input. In concert with other recent findings on the correct prediction of choices these findings do actually strengthen, rather than challenge, the simulation account on the prediction of mental states. (shrink)