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Mark Alfano
Macquarie University
  1. Epistemic Vice Predicts Acceptance of Covid-19 Misinformation.Marco Meyer, Mark Alfano & Boudewijn De Bruin - manuscript
    Why are mistaken beliefs about Covid-19 so prevalent? Political identity, education and other demographic variables explain only a part of individual differences in the susceptibility to Covid-19 misinformation. This paper focuses on another explanation: epistemic vice. Epistemic vices are character traits that interfere with acquiring, maintaining, and transmitting knowledge. If the basic assumption of vice epistemology is right, then people with epistemic vices such as indifference to the truth or rigidity in their belief structures will tend to be more susceptible (...)
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  2. More Than Provocative, Less Than Scientific: A Commentary on the Editorial Decision to Publish Cofnas (2020).Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen, Helen De Cruz, Jonathan Kaplan, Agustín Fuentes, Massimo Pigliucci, Jonathan Marks, Mark Alfano, David Smith & Lauren Schroeder - manuscript
    We are addressing this letter to the editors of Philosophical Psychology after reading an article they decided to publish in the recent vol. 33, issue 1. The article is by Nathan Cofnas and is entitled “Research on group differences in intelligence: A defense of free inquiry” (2020). The purpose of our letter is not to invite Cofnas’s contribution into a broader dialogue, but to respectfully voice our concerns about the decision to publish the manuscript, which, in our opinion, fails to (...)
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  3. Virtue Epistemology.John Turri, Mark Alfano & John Greco - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-51.
    Contemporary virtue epistemology (hereafter ‘VE’) is a diverse collection of approaches to epistemology. At least two central tendencies are discernible among the approaches. First, they view epistemology as a normative discipline. Second, they view intellectual agents and communities as the primary focus of epistemic evaluation, with a focus on the intellectual virtues and vices embodied in and expressed by these agents and communities. -/- This entry introduces many of the most important results of the contemporary VE research program. These include (...)
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  4. Technologically scaffolded atypical cognition: The case of YouTube’s recommender system.Mark Alfano, Amir Ebrahimi Fard, J. Adam Carter, Peter Clutton & Colin Klein - 2020 - Synthese:1-24.
    YouTube has been implicated in the transformation of users into extremists and conspiracy theorists. The alleged mechanism for this radicalizing process is YouTube’s recommender system, which is optimized to amplify and promote clips that users are likely to watch through to the end. YouTube optimizes for watch-through for economic reasons: people who watch a video through to the end are likely to then watch the next recommended video as well, which means that more advertisements can be served to them. This (...)
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  5. Character as Moral Fiction.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
    Everyone wants to be virtuous, but recent psychological investigations suggest that this may not be possible. Mark Alfano challenges this theory and asks, not whether character is empirically adequate, but what characters human beings could have and develop. Although psychology suggests that most people do not have robust character traits such as courage, honesty and open-mindedness, Alfano argues that we have reason to attribute these virtues to people because such attributions function as self-fulfilling prophecies - children become more studious if (...)
  6. The Philosophical Basis of Algorithmic Recourse.Suresh Venkatasubramanian & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency Conference 2020.
    Philosophers have established that certain ethically important val- ues are modally robust in the sense that they systematically deliver correlative benefits across a range of counterfactual scenarios. In this paper, we contend that recourse – the systematic process of reversing unfavorable decisions by algorithms and bureaucracies across a range of counterfactual scenarios – is such a modally ro- bust good. In particular, we argue that two essential components of a good life – temporally extended agency and trust – are under- (...)
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  7. Experimental Moral Philosophy.Mark Alfano, Don Loeb & Alex Plakias - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:1-32.
    Experimental moral philosophy emerged as a methodology in the last decade of the twentieth century, as a branch of the larger experimental philosophy (X-Phi) approach. Experimental moral philosophy is the empirical study of moral intuitions, judgments, and behaviors. Like other forms of experimental philosophy, it involves gathering data using experimental methods and using these data to substantiate, undermine, or revise philosophical theories. In this case, the theories in question concern the nature of moral reasoning and judgment; the extent and sources (...)
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  8. Twenty-First Century Perspectivism: The Role of Emotions in Scientific Inquiry.Mark Alfano - 2017 - Studi di Estetica 7 (1):65-79.
    How should emotions figure in scientific practice? I begin by distinguishing three broad answers to this question, ranging from pessimistic to optimistic. Confirmation bias and motivated numeracy lead us to cast a jaundiced eye on the role of emotions in scientific inquiry. However, reflection on the essential motivating role of emotions in geniuses makes it less clear that science should be evacuated of emotion. I then draw on Friedrich Nietzsche’s perspectivism to articulate a twenty-first century epistemology of science that recognizes (...)
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  9. Can Real Social Epistemic Networks Deliver the Wisdom of Crowds?Emily Sullivan, Max Sondag, Ignaz Rutter, Wouter Meulemans, Scott Cunningham, Bettina Speckmann & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this paper, we explain and showcase the promising methodology of testimonial network analysis and visualization for experimental epistemology, arguing that it can be used to gain insights and answer philosophical questions in social epistemology. Our use case is the epistemic community that discusses vaccine safety primarily in English on Twitter. In two studies, we show, using both statistical analysis and exploratory data visualization, that there is almost no neutral or ambivalent discussion of vaccine safety on Twitter. Roughly half the (...)
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  10. Vulnerability in Social Epistemic Networks.Emily Sullivan, Max Sondag, Ignaz Rutter, Wouter Meulemans, Scott Cunningham, Bettina Speckmann & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    Social epistemologists should be well-equipped to explain and evaluate the growing vulnerabilities associated with filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization in social media. However, almost all social epistemology has been built for social contexts that involve merely a speaker-hearer dyad. Filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization all presuppose much larger and more complex network structures. In this paper, we lay the groundwork for a properly social epistemology that gives the role and structure of networks their due. In particular, (...)
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  11. Moral Psychology: An Introduction.Mark Alfano - 2016 - Polity.
    This book provides a rich, systematic, and accessible introduction to moral psychology, aimed at undergraduate philosophy and psychology majors. There are eight chapters, in addition to a short introduction, prospective conclusion, and extensive bibliography. The recipe for each chapter will be: a) to introduce a philosophical topic (e.g., altruism, virtue, preferences, rules) and some prominent positions on it, without assuming prior acquaintance on the part of the reader b) to canvass and explain the relevance of a particular domain of empirical (...)
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  12. The Embedded and Extended Character Hypotheses.Mark Alfano & Joshua August Skorburg - 2017 - In Julian Kiverstein (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of the Social Mind. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. pp. 465-478.
    This paper brings together two erstwhile distinct strands of philosophical inquiry: the extended mind hypothesis and the situationist challenge to virtue theory. According to proponents of the extended mind hypothesis, the vehicles of at least some mental states (beliefs, desires, emotions) are not located solely within the confines of the nervous system (central or peripheral) or even the skin of the agent whose states they are. When external props, tools, and other systems are suitably integrated into the functional apparatus of (...)
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  13. Identifying and Defending the Hard Core of Virtue Ethics.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:233-260.
    Virtue ethics has been challenged on empirical grounds by philosophical interpreters of situationist social psychology. Challenges are necessarily challenges to something or other, so it’s only possible to understand the situationist challenge to virtue ethics if we have an antecedent grasp on virtue ethics itself. To this end, I first identify the non-negotiable “hard core” of virtue ethics with the conjunction of nine claims, arguing that virtue ethics does make substantive empirical assumptions about human conduct. Next, I rearticulate the situationist (...)
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  14. Expanding The Situationist Challenge To Responsibilist Virtue Epistemology.Mark Alfano - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):223-249.
    The last few decades have witnessed the birth and growth of both virtue epistemology and the situationist challenge to virtue ethics. It seems only natural that eventually we would see the situationist challenge to virtue epistemology. This article articulates one aspect of that new challenge by spelling out an argument against the responsibilist brand of virtue epistemology. The trouble can be framed as an inconsistent triad: many people know quite a bit; knowledge is true belief acquired and retained through the (...)
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  15. Trust in a Social and Digital World.Mark Alfano & Colin Klein - 2019 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 1 (8):1-8.
  16. Friendship and the Structure of Trust.Mark Alfano - 2016 - In Alberto Masala & Jonathan Webber (eds.), From Personality to Virtue. Oxford University Press. pp. 186-206.
    In this paper, I describe some of what I take to be the more interesting features of friendship, then explore the extent to which other virtues can be reconstructed as sharing those features. I use trustworthiness as my example throughout, but I think that other virtues such as generosity & gratitude, pride & respect, and the producer’s & consumer’s sense of humor can also be analyzed with this model. The aim of the paper is not to demonstrate that all moral (...)
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  17.  70
    Negative Epistemic Exemplars.Mark Alfano & Emily Sullivan - 2019 - In Benjamin Sherman & Stacey Goguen (eds.), Overcoming Epistemic Injustice: Social and Psychological Perspectives. Rowman & Littlefield.
    In this chapter, we address the roles that exemplars might play in a comprehensive response to epistemic injustice. Fricker defines epistemic injustices as harms people suffer specifically in their capacity as (potential) knowers. We focus on testimonial epistemic injustice, which occurs when someone’s assertoric speech acts are systematically met with either too little or too much credence by a biased audience. Fricker recommends a virtue­theoretic response: people who do not suffer from biases should try to maintain their disposition towards naive (...)
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  18. Placebo Effects and Informed Consent.Mark Alfano - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (10):3-12.
    The concepts of placebos and placebo effects refer to extremely diverse phenomena. I recommend dissolving the concepts of placebos and placebo effects into loosely related groups of specific mechanisms, including expectation-fulfillment, classical conditioning, and attentional-somatic feedback loops. If this approach is on the right track, it has three main implications for the ethics of informed consent. First, because of the expectation-fulfillment mechanism, the process of informing cannot be considered independently from the potential effects of treatment. Obtaining informed consent influences the (...)
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  19. 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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  20. The Centrality of Belief and Reflection in Knobe-Effect Cases: A Unified Account of the Data.Mark Alfano, James R. Beebe & Brian Robinson - 2012 - The Monist 95 (2):264-289.
    Recent work in experimental philosophy has shown that people are more likely to attribute intentionality, knowledge, and other psychological properties to someone who causes a bad side effect than to someone who causes a good one. We argue that all of these asymmetries can be explained in terms of a single underlying asymmetry involving belief attribution because the belief that one’s action would result in a certain side effect is a necessary component of each of the psychological attitudes in question. (...)
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  21. Ethical Pitfalls for Natural Language Processing in Psychology.Mark Alfano, Emily Sullivan & Amir Ebrahimi Fard - forthcoming - In Morteza Dehghani & Ryan Boyd (eds.), The Atlas of Language Analysis in Psychology. Guilford Press.
    Knowledge is power. Knowledge about human psychology is increasingly being produced using natural language processing (NLP) and related techniques. The power that accompanies and harnesses this knowledge should be subject to ethical controls and oversight. In this chapter, we address the ethical pitfalls that are likely to be encountered in the context of such research. These pitfalls occur at various stages of the NLP pipeline, including data acquisition, enrichment, analysis, storage, and sharing. We also address secondary uses of the results (...)
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  22. Ramsifying Virtue Theory.Mark Alfano - 2015 - In Current Controversies in Virtue Theory. Routledge. pp. 123-35.
    In his contribution, Mark Alfano lays out a new (to virtue theory) naturalistic way of determining what the virtues are, what it would take for them to be realized, and what it would take for them to be at least possible. This method is derived in large part from David Lewis’s development of Frank Ramsey’s method of implicit definition. The basic idea is to define a set of terms not individually but in tandem. This is accomplished by assembling all and (...)
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  23. Epistemic Situationism: An Extended Prolepsis.Mark Alfano - 2017 - In Mark Alfano & Abrol Fairweather (eds.), Epistemic Situationism. Oxford University Press.
    This paper is an extended prolepsis in favor of epistemic situationism, the thesis that epistemic virtues are not sufficiently widely distributed for a virtue-theoretic constraint on knowledge to apply without leading to skepticism. It deals with four objections to epistemic situation: 1) that virtuous dispositions are not required for knowledge, 2) that the Big Five or Big Six personality model proves that intellectual virtues are a reasonable ideal, 3) that the cognitive-affective personality system framework proves that intellectual virtues are a (...)
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  24. Knowledge From Vice: Deeply Social Epistemology.Neil Levy & Mark Alfano - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):887-915.
    In the past two decades, epistemologists have significantly expanded the focus of their field. To the traditional question that has dominated the debate — under what conditions does belief amount to knowledge? — they have added questions about testimony, epistemic virtues and vices, epistemic trust, and more. This broadening of the range of epistemic concern has coincided with an expansion in conceptions of epistemic agency beyond the individualism characteristic of most earlier epistemology. We believe that these developments have not gone (...)
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  25. The Tenacity of the Intentional Prior to the Genealogy.Mark Alfano - 2010 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 40 (1):29-46.
    I have argued elsewhere that the psychological aspects of Nietzsche’s later works are best understood from a psychodynamic point of view. Nietzsche holds a view I dubbed the tenacity of the intentional (T): when an intentional state loses its object, a new object replaces the original; the state does not disappear entirely. In this essay I amend and clarify (T) to (T``): When an intentional state with a sub-propositional object loses its object, the affective component of the state persists without (...)
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  26. Constructing and Validating a Scale of Inquisitive Curiosity.Kathryn Iurino, Brian Robinson, Markus Christen, Paul Stey & Mark Alfano - 2018 - In Ilhan Inan, Lani Watson, Dennis Whitcomb & Safiye Yigit (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Curiosity. Rowman & Littlefield.
    We advance the understanding of the philosophy and psychology of curiosity by operationalizing and constructing an empirical measure of Nietzsche’s conception of inquisitive curiosity, expressed by the German term Wissbegier, (“thirst for knowledge” or “need/impetus to know”) and Neugier (“curiosity” or “inquisitiveness”). First, we show that existing empirical measures of curiosity do not tap the construct of inquisitive curiosity, though they may tap related constructs such as idle curiosity and phenomenological curiosity. Next, we map the concept of inquisitive curiosity and (...)
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  27. Extended Knowledge, the Recognition Heuristic, and Epistemic Injustice.Mark Alfano & Joshua August Skorburg - 2018 - In Duncan Pritchard, Jesper Kallestrup, Orestis Palermos & Adam Carter (eds.), Extended Knowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 239-256.
    We argue that the interaction of biased media coverage and widespread employment of the recognition heuristic can produce epistemic injustices. First, we explain the recognition heuristic as studied by Gerd Gigerenzer and colleagues, highlighting how some of its components are largely external to, and outside the control of, the cognitive agent. We then connect the recognition heuristic with recent work on the hypotheses of embedded, extended, and scaffolded cognition, arguing that the recognition heuristic is best understood as an instance of (...)
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  28.  85
    Reversing the Side-Effect Effect: The Power of Salient Norms.Brian Robinson, Paul Stey & Mark Alfano - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):177-206.
    In the last decade, experimental philosophers have documented systematic asymmetries in the attributions of mental attitudes to agents who produce different types of side effects. We argue that this effect is driven not simply by the violation of a norm, but by salient-norm violation. As evidence for this hypothesis, we present two new studies in which two conflicting norms are present, and one or both of them is raised to salience. Expanding one’s view to these additional cases presents, we argue, (...)
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  29. Extending the Situationist Challenge to Reliabilism About Inference.Mark Alfano - 2014 - In Abrol Fairweather & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Virtue Epistemology Naturalized: Bridges between Virtue Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Synthese Library. pp. 103-122.
  30.  74
    Humility in Networks.Mark Alfano & Emily Sullivan - forthcoming - In Alessandra Tanesini, Michael Lynch & Mark Alfano (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Humility. Routledge.
    What do humility, intellectual humility, and open-mindedness mean in the context of inter-group conflict? We spend most of our time with ingroup members, such as family, friends, and colleagues. Yet our biggest disagreements —— about practical, moral, and epistemic matters —— are likely to be with those who do not belong to our ingroup. An attitude of humility towards the former might be difficult to integrate with a corresponding attitude of humility towards the latter, leading to smug tribalism that masquerades (...)
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  31. Development and Validation of a Multi-Dimensional Measure of Intellectual Humility.Mark Alfano, Kathryn Iurino, Paul Stey, Brian Robinson, Markus Christen, Feng Yu & Daniel Lapsley - 2017 - PLoS ONE 12 (8):e0182950.
    This paper presents five studies on the development and validation of a scale of intellectual humility. This scale captures cognitive, affective, behavioral, and motivational components of the construct that have been identified by various philosophers in their conceptual analyses of intellectual humility. We find that intellectual humility has four core dimensions: Open-mindedness (versus Arrogance), Intellectual Modesty (versus Vanity), Corrigibility (versus Fragility), and Engagement (versus Boredom). These dimensions display adequate self-informant agreement, and adequate convergent, divergent, and discriminant validity. In particular, Open-mindedness (...)
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  32. The Topology of Communities of Trust.Mark Alfano - 2016 - Russian Sociological Review 15 (4):30-56.
    Hobbes emphasized that the state of nature is a state of war because it is characterized by fundamental and generalized distrust. Exiting the state of nature and the conflicts it inevitably fosters is therefore a matter of establishing trust. Extant discussions of trust in the philosophical literature, however, focus either on isolated dyads of trusting individuals or trust in large, faceless institutions. In this paper, I begin to fill the gap between these extremes by analyzing what I call the topology (...)
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  33.  66
    Vectors of Epistemic Insecurity.Emily Sullivan & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - In Ian James Kidd, Heather Battaly & Quassim Cassam (eds.), Vice Epistemology: Theory and Practice. Routledge.
    Epistemologists have addressed a variety of modal epistemic standings, such as sensitivity, safety, risk, and epistemic virtue. These concepts mark out the ways that beliefs can fail to track the truth, articulate the conditions needed for knowledge, and indicate ways to become a better epistemic agent. However, it is our contention that current ways of carving up epistemic modality ignore the complexities that emerge when individuals are embedded within a community and listening to a variety of sources, some of whom (...)
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  34. An Enchanting Abundance of Types: Nietzsche’s Modest Unity of Virtue Thesis.Mark Alfano - 2015 - Journal of Value Inquiry 49 (3):417-435.
    Although Nietzsche accepted a distant cousin of Brian Leiter’s “Doctrine of Types,” according to which, “Each person has a fixed psycho-physical constitution, which defines him as a particular type of person,” the details of his actual view are quite different from the flat-footed position Leiter attributes to him. Leiter argues that Nietzsche thought that type-facts partially explain the beliefs and actions, including moral beliefs and actions, of the person whom those type-facts characterize. With this much, I agree. However, the Doctrine (...)
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  35. Virtue and Vice Attributions in the Business Context: An Experimental Investigation. [REVIEW]Brian Robinson, Paul Stey & Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4):649-661.
    Recent findings in experimental philosophy have revealed that people attribute intentionality, belief, desire, knowledge, and blame asymmetrically to side- effects depending on whether the agent who produces the side-effect violates or adheres to a norm. Although the original (and still common) test for this effect involved a chairman helping or harming the environment, hardly any of these findings have been applied to business ethics. We review what little exploration of the implications for business ethics has been done. Then, we present (...)
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  36. The Most Agreeable of All Vices: Nietzsche as Virtue Epistemologist.Mark Alfano - 2013 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (4):767-790.
    It’s been argued with some justice by commentators from Walter Kaufmann to Thomas Hurka that Nietzsche’s positive ethical position is best understood as a variety of virtue theory – in particular, as a brand of perfectionism. For Nietzsche, value flows from character. Less attention has been paid, however, to the details of the virtues he identifies for himself and his type. This neglect, along with Nietzsche’s frequent irony and non-standard usage, has obscured the fact that almost all the virtues he (...)
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  37. What Are the Bearers of Virtues?Mark Alfano - 2014 - In Hagop Sarkissian & Jennifer Cole Wright (eds.), Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology. Continuum. pp. 73-90.
    It’s natural to assume that the bearers of virtues are individual agents, which would make virtues monadic dispositional properties. I argue instead that the most attractive theory of virtue treats a virtue as a triadic relation among the agent, the social milieu, and the asocial environment. A given person may or may not be disposed to behave in virtuous ways depending on how her social milieu speaks to and of her, what they expect of her, and how they monitor her. (...)
     
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  38. Current Controversies in Virtue Theory.Mark Alfano (ed.) - 2015 - Routledge.
    Virtue is among the most venerable concepts in philosophy, and has recently seen a major revival. However, new challenges to conceptions of virtue have also arisen. In _Current Controversies in Virtue Theory_, five pairs of cutting-edge philosophers square off over central topics in virtue theory: the nature of virtue, the connection between virtue and flourishing, the connection between moral and epistemic virtues, the way in which virtues are acquired, and the possibility of attaining virtue. Mark Alfano guides his readers through (...)
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  39. Ethical Issues of 'Morality Mining': When the Moral Identity of Individuals Becomes a Focus of Data-Mining.Markus Christen, Mark Alfano, Endre Bangerter & Daniel Lapsley - 2013 - In Hakikur Rahman & I. Ramos (eds.), Ethical Data Mining Applications for Socio-Economic Development. IGI Global. pp. 1-21.
  40. Identifying Virtues and Values Through Obituary Data-Mining.Mark Alfano, Andrew Higgins & Jacob Levernier - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (1).
    Because obituaries are succinct and explicitly intended to summarize their subjects’ lives, they may be expected to include only the features that the author finds most salient but also to signal to others in the community the socially-recognized aspects of the deceased’s character. We begin by reviewing studies 1 and 2, in which obituaries were carefully read and labeled. We then report study 3, which further develops these results with a semi-automated, large-scale semantic analysis of several thousand obituaries. Geography, gender, (...)
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  41. Stereotype Threat and Intellectual Virtue.Mark Alfano - 2014 - In Owen Flanagan & Abrol Fairweather (eds.), Naturalizing Virtue. Cambridge University Press. pp. 155-74.
    For decades, intelligence and achievement tests have registered significant differences between people of different races, ethnicities, classes, and genders. We argue that most of these differences are explained not as reflections of differences in the distribution of intellectual virtues but as evidence for the metacognitive mediation of the intellectual virtues. For example, in the United States, blacks typically score worse than whites on tests of mathematics. This might lead one to think that fewer blacks possess the relevant intellectual virtues, or (...)
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  42.  52
    Experimental Moral Philosophy.Mark Alfano & Don Loeb - 2014 - In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Experimental moral philosophy began to emerge as a methodology inthe last decade of the twentieth century, a branch of the largerexperimental philosophy approach. From the beginning,it has been embroiled in controversy on a number of fronts. Somedoubt that it is philosophy at all. Others acknowledge that it isphilosophy but think that it has produced modest results at best andconfusion at worst. Still others think it represents an important advance., Before the research program can be evaluated, we should have someconception of (...)
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  43. Nietzsche, Naturalism, and the Tenacity of the Intentional.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 44 (3):457-464.
    In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche demands that “psychology shall be<br>recognized again as the queen of the sciences.” While one might cast a dubious glance at the “again,” many of Nietzsche’s insights were indeed psychological, and many of his arguments invoke psychological premises. In Genealogy, he criticizes the “English psychologists” for the “inherent psychological absurdity” of their theory of the origin of good and bad, pointing out the implausibility of the claim that the utility of unegoistic<br>actions would be forgotten. Tabling (...)
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  44. Gossip as a Burdened Virtue.Mark Alfano & Brian Robinson - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (3):473-82.
    Gossip is often serious business, not idle chitchat. Gossip allows those oppressed to privately name their oppressors as a warning to others. Of course, gossip can be in error. The speaker may be lying or merely have lacked sufficient evidence. Bias can also make those who hear the gossip more or less likely to believe the gossip. By examining the social functions of gossip and considering the differences in power dynamics in which gossip can occur, we contend that gossip may (...)
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  45.  54
    Morality is Fundamentally an Evolved Solution to Problems of Social Cooperation.Oliver Curry & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Critique of Anthropology.
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  46. Epistemic Situationism.Mark Alfano & Abrol Fairweather (eds.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Table of Contents -/- Introduction: Epistemic Situationism by Abrol Fairweather -/- 1. Is Every Epistemology A Virtue Epistemology? by Lauren Olin -/- 2. Epistemic Situationism: An extended prolepsis by Mark Alfano -/- 3. Virtue Epistemology in the Zombie Apocalypse: Hungry Judges, Heavy Clipboards and Grou Polarization by Berit Brogaard -/- 4. Situationism and Responsibilist Virtue Epistemology by James Montmarquet -/- 5. Virtue Theory Against Situationism by Ernest Sosa -/- 6. Intellectual Virtue Now and Again by Chris Lepock -/- 7.Responsibilism Out (...)
     
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  47. A Multi-Modal, Cross-Cultural Study of the Semantics of Intellectual Humility.Markus Christen, Mark Alfano & Brian Robinson - forthcoming - AI and Society.
    Intellectual humility can be broadly construed as being conscious of the limits of one’s existing knowledge and capable to acquire more knowledge, which makes it a key virtue of the information age. However, the claim “I am (intellectually) humble” seems paradoxical in that someone who has the disposition in question would not typically volunteer it. There is an explanatory gap between the meaning of the sentence and the meaning the speaker ex- presses by uttering it. We therefore suggest analyzing intellectual (...)
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  48. Intelligence, Race, and Psychological Testing.Mark Alfano, Latasha Holden & Andrew Conway - 2016 - In Naomi Zack (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race.
    This chapter has two main goals: to update philosophers on the state of the art in the scientific psychology of intelligence, and to explain and evaluate challenges to the measurement invariance of intelligence tests. First, we provide a brief history of the scientific psychology of intelligence. Next, we discuss the metaphysics of intelligence in light of scientific studies in psychology and neuroimaging. Finally, we turn to recent skeptical developments related to measurement invariance. These have largely focused on attributability: Where do (...)
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  49. Trust and Distrust in Institutions and Governance.Mark Alfano & Nicole Huijts - forthcoming - In Judith Simon (ed.), Handbook of Trust and Philosophy. Routledge.
    First, we explain the conception of trustworthiness that we employ. We model trustworthiness as a relation among a trustor, a trustee, and a field of trust defined and delimited by its scope. In addition, both potential trustors and potential trustees are modeled as being more or less reliable in signaling either their willingness to trust or their willingness to prove trustworthy in various fields in relation to various other agents. Second, following Alfano (forthcoming) we argue that the social scale of (...)
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  50. Becoming Less Unreasonable: A Reply to Sherman.Mark Alfano - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (7):59-62.
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