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Paul Henne
Duke University
  1. Resistance to Position Change, Motivated Reasoning, and Polarization.Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne, Brenda Yang & Felipe De Brigard - forthcoming - Political Behavior.
    People seem more divided than ever before over social and political issues, entrenched in their existing beliefs and unwilling to change them. Empirical research on mechanisms driving this resistance to belief change has focused on a limited set of well-known, charged, contentious issues and has not accounted for deliberation over reasons and arguments in belief formation prior to experimental sessions. With a large, heterogeneous sample (N = 3,001), we attempt to overcome these existing problems, and we investigate the causes and (...)
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  2.  54
    Remembering Moral and Immoral Actions in Constructing the Self.Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne & Felipe De Brigard - forthcoming - Memory and Cognition.
    Having positive moral traits is central to one’s sense of self, and people generally are motivated to maintain a positive view of the self in the present. But it remains unclear how people foster a positive, morally good view of the self in the present. We suggest that recollecting and reflecting on moral and immoral actions from the personal past jointly help to construct a morally good view of the current self in complementary ways. More specifically, across four studies we (...)
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  3. Blame, Not Ability, Impacts Moral “Ought” Judgments for Impossible Actions: Toward an Empirical Refutation of “Ought” Implies “Can”.Vladimir Chituc, Paul Henne, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2016 - Cognition 150:20-25.
    Recently, psychologists have explored moral concepts including obligation, blame, and ability. While little empirical work has studied the relationships among these concepts, philosophers have widely assumed such a relationship in the principle that “ought” implies “can,” which states that if someone ought to do something, then they must be able to do it. The cognitive underpinnings of these concepts are tested in the three experiments reported here. In Experiment 1, most participants judge that an agent ought to keep a promise (...)
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    An Empirical Refutation of ‘Ought’ Implies ‘Can’.Paul Henne, Vladimir Chituc, Felipe De Brigard & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2016 - Analysis 76 (3):283-290.
    Most philosophers assume that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’, and most of them hold that this principle is true not only universally but also analytically or conceptually. Some skeptics deny this principle, although they often admit some related one. In this article, we show how new empirical evidence bolsters the skeptics’ arguments. We then defend the skeptical view against some objections to the empirical evidence and to its effect on the traditional principle. In light of the new evidence, we conclude that philosophers (...)
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    I'm Not the Person I Used to Be: The Self and Autobiographical Memories of Immoral Actions.Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne, V. Iyengar, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2017 - Journal of Experimental Psychology. General 146 (6).
    People maintain a positive identity in at least two ways: They evaluate themselves more favorably than other people, and they judge themselves to be better now than they were in the past. Both strategies rely on autobiographical memories. The authors investigate the role of autobiographical memories of lying and emotional harm in maintaining a positive identity. For memories of lying to or emotionally harming others, participants judge their own actions as less morally wrong and less negative than those in which (...)
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  6. Cause by Omission and Norm: Not Watering Plants.Paul Henne, Ángel Pinillos & Felipe De Brigard - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):270-283.
    People generally accept that there is causation by omission—that the omission of some events cause some related events. But this acceptance elicits the selection problem, or the difficulty of explaining the selection of a particular omissive cause or class of causes from the causal conditions. Some theorists contend that dependence theories of causation cannot resolve this problem. In this paper, we argue that the appeal to norms adequately resolves the selection problem for dependence theories, and we provide novel experimental evidence (...)
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    Against Some Recent Arguments for ‘Ought’ Implies ‘Can’: Reasons, Deliberation, Trying, and Furniture.Paul Henne, Jennifer Semler, Vladimir Chituc, Felipe De Brigard & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-9.
    Many philosophers claim that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. In light of recent empirical evidence, however, some skeptics conclude that philosophers should stop assuming the principle unconditionally. Streumer, however, does not simply assume the principle’s truth; he provides arguments for it. In this article, we argue that his arguments fail to support the claim that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’.
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    Does Neuroscience Undermine Morality?Paul Henne & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2018 - In Gregg D. Caruso & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
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    Reasons Probably Won’T Change Your Mind: The Role of Reasons in Revising Moral Decisions.Matthew L. Stanley, Ashley M. Dougherty, Brenda W. Yang, Paul Henne & Felipe De Brigard - 2018 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 147 (7):962-987.
    Although many philosophers argue that making and revising moral decisions ought to be a matter of deliberating over reasons, the extent to which the consideration of reasons informs people’s moral decisions and prompts them to change their decisions remains unclear. Here, after making an initial decision in 2-option moral dilemmas, participants examined reasons for only the option initially chosen(affirming reasons), reasons for only the option not initially chosen (opposing reasons), or reasons for both options. Although participants were more likely to (...)
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