Recent empirical work on the relationship between causal judgements and norms

Philosophy Compass 14 (1):e12562 (2019)
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It has recently been argued that normative considerations play an important role in causal cognition. For instance, when an agent violates a moral rule and thereby produces a negative outcome, she will be judged to be much more of a cause of the outcome, compared to someone who performed the same action but did not violate a norm. While there is a substantial amount of evidence reporting these effects, it is still a matter of debate how this evidence is to be interpreted. In this paper, we engage with the three most influential classes of explanations, namely, (a) the Norm‐Sensitive Cognitive Process View, (b) the Normative Concept View, and (c) the Pragmatics View. We will outline how these theories explain the empirical results and in what ways they differ. We conclude with a reflection on how well these strategies do overall and what questions they still leave unanswered.



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References found in this work

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Cause and Norm.Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
Person as scientist, person as moralist.Joshua Knobe - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315.

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