Advertisement

Philosophical Studies

, Volume 175, Issue 7, pp 1613–1630 | Cite as

A simple linguistic approach to the Knobe effect, or the Knobe effect without any vignette

  • Masaharu MizumotoEmail author
Article

Abstract

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 (quasi-) Knobe effects in different languages (English and Japanese), 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.

Keywords

Knobe Effect Experimental philosophy Semantic/pragmatic distinction Moral asymmetry Cross-linguistic study 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Yoshihisa Kashima for encouragement and Joshua Knobe for kindly reading and commenting on an earlier manuscript. This work was supported by J. S. P. S Kakenhi (C) Grant No. JP26370010.

References

  1. Adams, F., & Steadman, A. (2004a). Intentional action in ordinary language: Core concept or pragmatic understanding? Analysis, 64, 173–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adams, F., & Steadman, A. (2004b). Intentional actions and moral considerations: Still pragmatic. Analysis, 64, 268–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexander, J. (2012). Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bach, K. (1997). The semantics-pragmatics distinction: What it is and why it matters. Pragmatik, 33–50.Google Scholar
  5. Buckwalter, W., & Phelan, M. (2014). Phenomenal Consciousness Disembodied. In Justin Sytsma (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind (pp. 45–73). New York: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  6. Cushman, F. (2014). What scientific idea is ready for retirement? Big effects have big explanations. Retrieved from http://edge.org/response-detail/25508.
  7. Davidson, D. (1973). Radical interpretation. In Inquiries into truth and interpretation (pp. 125–140). Oxford: Clarendon Press (1985).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davidson, D. (1975). Thought and talk. In Inquiries into truth and interpretation (pp. 125–140). Oxford: Clarendon Press (1985).Google Scholar
  9. Driver, J. (2008a). Attributions of causation and moral responsibility. In W. Sinnott-Amstrong (Ed.), Moral psychology: The cognitive science of morality—Intuition and diversity (Vol. 2, pp. 423–439). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Driver, J. (2008b). Kinds of norms and legal causation: Reply to Knobe and Fraser and Deigh. In W. Sinnott-Amstrong (Ed.), Moral psychology: The cognitive science of morality—Intuition and diversity (Vol. 2, pp. 459–461). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  11. Knobe, J. (2003a). Intentional action and side effects in ordinary language. Analysis, 63(279), 190–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Knobe, J. (2003b). Intentional action in folk psychology: An experimental investigation. Philosophical Psychology, 16(2), 309–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Knobe, J. (2007). Experimental philosophy and philosophical significance. Philosophical Explorations, 10, 119–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Knobe, J. (2010). Person as scientist, person as moralist. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(04), 315–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Knobe, J. (2016). Experimental philosophy is cognitive science. In Sytsma, J., & Buckwalter, W. (Eds.), A companion to experimental philosophy (pp. 78–96).Google Scholar
  16. Knobe, J., & Nichols, S. (2008). An experimental philosophy manifesto. In J. Knobe & S. Nichols (Eds.), experimental philosophy (pp. 3–14). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Machery, E. (2016). Experimental philosophy of science. In Sytsma, J., & Buckwalter, W. (Eds.), A companion to experimental philosophy (pp. 475–490).Google Scholar
  18. Mizumoto, M. (forthcoming). “Know” and Japanese counterparts: “Shitte-iru” and “Wakatte-iru”. In Mizumoto, M., Stich, S., McCready, E., & Stanley J. (Eds.), Epistemology for the rest of the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Mortensen, K. & Nagel, J. (2016). Armchair-friendly experimental philosophy. In Sytsma, J., & Buckwalter, W. (Eds.), A companion to experimental philosophy (pp. 53–70).Google Scholar
  20. Murray, D., & Nahmias, E. (2014). Explaining Away Incompatibilist Intuitions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 88, 434–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nadelhoffer, T. (2005). Skill, luck, control, and folk ascriptions of intentional action. Philosophical Psychology, 18, 343–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nadelhoffer, T., & Nahmias, E. (2007). The past and future of experimental philosophy. Philosophical Explorations, 10(2), 123–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nahmias, Eddy, Morris, Stephen G., Nadelhoffer, Thomas, & Turner, Jason. (2006). Is Incompatibilism Intuitive? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 73, 28–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nichols, S., & Knobe, J. (2007). Moral responsibility and Determinism: The cognitive science of folk intuitions. Nous, 41, 663–685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Phillips, J., Luguri, J. B., & Knobe, J. (2015). Unifying morality’s influence on non-moral judgments: The relevance of alternative possibilities. Cognition, 145, 30–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Potts, C. (2007). Into the Conventional-Implicature Dimension. Philosophy compass, 2(4), 665–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Reuter, K., Phillips, D., & Sytsma, J. (2014). Hallucinating Pain. In Justin Sytsma (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind (pp. 75–99). New York: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  28. Robinson, B., Stey, P., & Alfano, M. (2015). Reversing the side-effect effect: The power of salient norms. Philosophical Studies, 172(1), 177–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stich, S., & Tobia, K. (2016). Experimental philosophy and the philosophical tradition. In Sytsma, J., & Buckwalter, W. (Eds.), A companion to experimental philosophy (pp. 5–21).Google Scholar
  30. Strickland, B., Fisher, M., Knobe, J., & Keil, F. (2015). Syntax and intentionality: An automatic link between between language and theory-of-mind. Cognition, 133(1), 249–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sytsma, J., & Buckwalter, W. (Eds.). (2016). A companion to experimental philosophy. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  32. Sytsma, J., & Machery, E. (2013). Experimental philosophy. In Hancock, P. A., & Hancock, G. M. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of philosophy and the social sciences (pp. 319–321).Google Scholar
  33. 金光林(2005), 近現代の中国語、韓国 ・ 朝鮮語における日本語の影響—日本の漢字語の移入を中心に—新潟産業大学人文学部紀要 第17号, 111–238.Google Scholar
  34. Weinberg, J. M. (2016). Going positive by going negative: On keeping X-Phi relevant and dangerous. In Sytsma, J., & Buckwalter, W. (Eds.) (pp. 71–86).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Knowledge ScienceJapan Advanced Institute of Science and TechnologyNomiJapan

Personalised recommendations