In the remainder of this article, we will disarm an important motivation for epistemic contextualism and interest-relative invariantism. We will accomplish this by presenting a stringent test of whether there is a stakes effect on ordinary knowledge ascription. Having shown that, even on a stringent way of testing, stakes fail to impact ordinary knowledge ascription, we will conclude that we should take another look at classical invariantism. Here is how we will proceed. Section 1 lays out some limitations of previous (...) research on stakes. Section 2 presents our study and concludes that there is little evidence for a substantial stakes effect. Section 3 responds to objections. The conclusion clears the way for classical invariantism. (shrink)
Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ordinarily reason about the conditions for free will, we conducted a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic survey (N = 5,268) spanning twenty countries and sixteen languages. Overall, participants tended (...) to ascribe moral responsibility whether the perpetrator lacked sourcehood or alternate possibilities. However, for American, European, and Middle Eastern participants, being the ultimate source of one’s actions promoted perceptions of free will and control as well as ascriptions of blame and punishment. By contrast, being the source of one’s actions was not particularly salient to Asian participants. Finally, across cultures, participants exhibiting greater cognitive reflection were more likely to view free will as incompatible with causal determinism. We discuss these findings in light of documented cultural differences in the tendency toward dispositional versus situational attributions. (shrink)
Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-two countries, speaking eighteen (...) different languages. Our results speak against the proposal that there is no puzzle at all and against the proposal that there is a puzzle but one that has no solution. Our results suggest that there are two criteria—“continuity of form” and “continuity of matter”— that constitute our concept of persistence and these two criteria receive different weightings in settling matters concerning persistence. (shrink)
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition in 24 sites, located in 23 countries and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition with a very large sample size. Finally, we examine whether the Gettier intuition varies across people as a function of their disposition to engage in “reflective” thinking.
Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. Moreover, this apparent intersubjective validity has been taken to constitute one of the main explananda for philosophical accounts of aesthetic judgment. But is it really the case that most people (...) spontaneously treat aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity? In this paper, we report the results of a cross‐cultural study with over 2,000 respondents spanning 19 countries. Despite significant geographical variations, these results suggest that most people do not treat their own aesthetic judgments as having intersubjective validity. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for theories of aesthetic judgment and the purpose of aesthetics in general. (shrink)
In this paper we will propose a simple linguistic approach to the Knobe effect, or the moral asymmetry of intention attribution in general, which is just to ask the felicity judgments on the relevant sentences without any vignette at all. Through this approach we were in fact able to reproduce the Knobe effects in different languages, with large effect sizes. We shall defend the significance of this simple approach by arguing that our approach and its results not only tell interesting (...) facts about the concept of intentional action, but also show the existence of the linguistic default, which requires independent investigation. We will then argue that, despite the recent view on experimental philosophy by Knobe himself, there is a legitimate role of the empirical study of concepts in the investigations of cognitive processes in mainstream experimental philosophy, which suggests a broadly supplementary picture of experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Today the use of English is dominant, and even epistemologists in the " use English, using " But why, and to what extent can this be justified? As the first volume ever to be dedicated solely to this topic, the papers collected here will contribute to this important topic and in epistemology in general.
This volume features new perspectives on the implications of cross-linguistic and cultural diversity for epistemology. It brings together philosophers, linguists, and scholars working on knowledge traditions to advance work in epistemology that moves beyond the Anglophone sphere. The first group of chapters provide evidence of cross-linguistic or cultural diversity relevant to epistemology and discuss its possible implications. These essays defend epistemic pluralism based on Sanskrit data as a commitment to pluralism about epistemic stances, analyze the use of two Japanese knowledge (...) verbs in relation to knowledge how, explore the Confucian notion of justification, and surveys cultural differences about the testimonial knowledge. The second group of chapters defends "core monism"--which claims that despite the cross-linguistic diversity of knowledge verbs, there is certain core epistemological meaning shared by all languages--from both a Natural Semantic Metalanguage and skeptical perspective. The third cluster of essays considers the implications of cultural diversity for epistemology based on anthropological studies. These chapters explore real disparities in folk epistemology across cultures. Finally, the last two chapters discuss methods or perspectives to unify epistemology despite and based on the diversity of folk intuitions and epistemological concepts. Ethno-Epistemology is an essential resource for philosophers working in epistemology and comparative philosophy, as well as linguists and cultural anthropologists interested in the cultural-linguistic diversity of knowledge traditions. (shrink)
In this paper we introduce a paradigm of experiment which, we believe, is of interest both in psychology and philosophy. There the subject wears an HMD (head-mount display), and a camera is set up at the upper corner of the room, in which the subject is. As a result, the subject observes his own body through the HMD. We will mainly focus on the philosophical relevance of this experiment, especially to the thesis of so-called 'immunity to error through misidentification relative (...) to the first-person pronoun'. We will argue that one experiment conducted in this setting, which we call the bodily illusion experiment, provides a counterexample to that thesis. (shrink)
In this paper, we present what we call the argument from accidental truth, according to which some instances of deflationist schemata, even those carefully reformulated and adjusted by Field and Horwich to accommodate the truth of utterances, are falsified due to accidental truths. Since the folk concept of truth allows for accidental truths, the deflationary theory of truth will face a serious problem. In particular, it follows that the deflationist schema fails to capture the proper extension of truth by precluding (...) accidental truths of utterances. Even though the argument uses the contextualist cases, this conclusion does not require so much as the truth of contextualism, but only two assumptions, the existence of context-relative non-literal contents of utterances (or speech acts), and the existence of accidental truths, both of which are widely accepted by folks and theorists. We will also consider various responses to the argument, including the revisionary deflationist position, all of which we argue are unsatisfactory or committed to a highly implausible view. (shrink)
Since the heyday of ordinary language philosophy, Anglophone epistemologists have devoted a great deal of attention to the English word ‘know’ and to English sentences used to attribute knowledge. Even today, many epistemologists, including contextualists and subject-sensitive invariantists are concerned with the truth conditions of “S knows that p,” or the proposition it expresses. In all of this literature, the method of cases is used, where a situation is described in English, and then philosophers judge whether it is true that (...) S knows that p, or whether saying “S knows that p” is false, deviant, etc. in that situation. However, English is just one of over 6000 languages spoken around the world, and is the native language of less than 6% of the world’s population. When Western epistemology first emerged, in ancient Greece, English did not even exist. So why should we think that facts about the English word “know,” the concept it expresses, or subtle semantic properties of “S knows that p” have important implications for epistemology? Are the properties of the English word “know” and the English sentence ‘S knows that p’ shared by their translations in most or all languages? If that turned out to be true, it would be a remarkable fact that cries out for an explanation. But if it turned out to be false, what are the implications for epistemology? Should epistemologists study knowledge attributions in languages other than English with the same diligence they have shown for the study of English knowledge attributions? If not, why not? In what ways do the concepts expressed by ‘know’ and its counterparts in different languages differ? And what should epistemologists make of all this? (shrink)
According to Bengson et al.’s Salchow case, Irina is a novice skater who has a mistaken belief about what amounts to a Salchow, but also has a neurological abnormality which, unknowingly to her, affects both her movement and her sense of it. As a result of this twist, she always ends up succeeding in jumping the Salchow whenever she tries. This story was presented as a counterexample to a variant of anti-intellectualism, and as Bengson and colleagues expected, the vast majority (...) of participants in their survey judged both that Irina is able to do the Salchow and that she does not know how to do it. But the three conditions above leave some ambiguity about the story. That is whether Irina is aware of her own ability, or whether she is aware of what she is doing when she performs it, and therefore the fact that she can reliably perform the Salchow. However, as we report here, disambiguating this point will radically change the responses of people, which rather poses a serious challenge to intellectualism. (shrink)
This work explores the conceptual and empirical issues of the concept of knowledge and its relation to the pattern of our belief change, from formal and experimental perspectives. Part I gives an analysis of knowledge (called Sustainability) that is formally represented and naturalistically plausible at the same time, which is claimed to be a synthesized view of knowledge, covering not only empirical knowledge, but also knowledge of future, practical knowledge, mathematical knowledge, knowledge of general facts. Part II tries to formalize (...) the natural pattern of belief change assumed in Sustainability in terms of a specific formal theory of belief change, after carefully examining the notions of belief, belief change, and Information, from which the cognitive function F in Chapter 3 is actually constructed, which is later implemented by a computer program and its behavior against random input is demonstrated. In Part III we proceed to examine the analysis empirically. In particular, we will investigate Sustainability from the developmental point of view. We first justify experimental approach in philosophy as a legitimate method of philosophical investigation, and then developmental approach in particular. The specific proposal of experiment here is what we call the Gettier Task, an analogue of the famous false-belief task in developmental psychology, which has been much discussed in philosophy of mind. Two versions of the Gettier Task were tested on children aged from 6 to 12, and we claim that the data obtained empirically supports our analysis of knowledge, or Sustainability. (shrink)
The Blinking Qualia Argument is the argument presented in Mizumoto (2006), which is to establish that zombies are impossible a priori. In this paper I will defend the argument from the actual and possible criticisms. Since such criticisms mainly focus on the premise “If qualia blinks, the subject can notice the blinking qualia,” I will give arguments to specifically defend that premise. This will bring into light the critic’s misunderstandings on the argument, and more generally, typical misunderstandings surrounding the debates (...) over the possibility of zombies, concerning the very concept of qualia. (shrink)