6 Graduate Students and 1 Faculty Member to Present Internationally at the X-Phi Bern Conference, at the University of Bern, Switzerland

X-Phi Bern 2019 will be held from September 19-21th, 2019. This international conference will feature major speakers from around the globe, and we are proud of our graduate students for their hard work and international recognition!



Samantha Berthelette & David Rose

Description: A common objection to motivationist accounts of self-deception is that they are unable to explain the cognitive tension between the truth and the self-deceptive belief that seems inherent to self-deception. Motivationists themselves have largely accepted the terms of this “tension challenge.” They have repeatedly attempted to work tension into their respective motivationist frameworks and judged it to be a crucial fault when an account cannot adequately do so. In this paper, we argue that the tension challenge is fundamentally misguided: tension is not a necessary component of self-deception. To show this, we constructed five test cases where a protagonist appears to be self-deceived despite lacking tension. In every test case, people overwhelmingly agreed that there was no tension. Yet, judgments that the protagonist was self-deceived exceeded 90% in every case. Our findings thus undermine the claim that tension is necessary for self-deception. In light of our results, we argue that motivationism is better equipped than alternatives to capture the concept of self-deception.




Alexandra Nolte & David Rose

To be presented by Alexandra Nolte

Description: Many philosophers endorse the epistemic theory of memory, arguing that remembering is a kind of knowing. Despite this, some have argued that remembering does not entail knowing by giving examples where one can remember without believing that p, having a justified belief that p, or having a non-accidental true belief that p. This paper reports empirical evidence on this issue. Our findings support the claim that memory does entail knowledge on the ordinary view.




Jay Spitzley

Description: In this paper, I provide empirical evidence that moral responsibility intuitions are sensitive to forward-looking considerations (facts pertaining to states and events after the time of an action) thus calling into question some popular presuppositions about the nature of moral responsibility.




Daniel Stermer

Description: In this paper, I focus on an underdeveloped area of experimental philosophy and intentional action: the role that epistemic normativity plays in side-effect actions—particularly, the influence that first-person determinations of side-effect action probability exert on folk judgments of intentionality. That is, if an agent ought to have known a side-effect action would occur, does it ever render the side-effect action as intentional? First, I outline the theory and method behind my vignettes. I finish this section by briefly outlining some philosophical motivations for linking intentional action and epistemic normativity. Next, I explain the vignettes I have tested. Finally, I give a tentative interpretation of the data and address possible objections to the structure of my vignettes.



Sam Sims & Brad Stockdale

Accepted but not presenting 

Description: According to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), a person is morally responsible for what she has done only if she could have done otherwise. To determine whether people rely on this principle when making judgments about moral responsibility, we presented introductory-level college undergraduates with cases in which either (1) there are no alternative possibilities available to an agent, but the agent acts on his own without manipulation, (2) there are no alternative possibilities available to the agent, and the agent acts as a result of being manipulated, or (3) alternative possibilities are available to the agent when the agent acts with no manipulation. We found that alternative possibilities had no significant effect on people's judgments about whether the agent is morally responsible. Manipulation, on the other hand, had a significant and very large effect on these moral responsibility judgments.