6 Graduate Students to Present at 45th Annual Society for Philosophy and Psychology

The 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology will be held from July 10-13th, 2019. The conference is known as one of the most exclusive conferences in the country and boasts an acceptance rate that rivals top journals of philosophy. Six graduate student projects will be presenting their projects at the conference. 



Samantha Berthelette
Description: According to Dana Nelkin, a theory’s ability to sort clear cases in a way consistent with intuitions is an important theoretical desideratum for an account of self-deception. She argues that Mele’s account fails with regard to this intuition desideratum, so we should reject his account in favor of her own. However, I argue that Nelkin’s argument fails on two fronts. First, I present a study of folk intuitions which suggests that Nelkin’s own account is unable to satisfy the intuition desideratum. Second, I use the results of another study to argue that Nelkin’s criticism of Mele is misplaced to begin with.


Not All Who Ponder Count Costs: Mathematical Reflection Predicts Utilitarian Tendencies, but Logical Reflection Predicts both Deontological and Utilitarian Tendencies

Nick Byrd & Paul Conway 
To be presented by Nick Byrd
Description: Imagine that five people face immanent harm. However, if you harm another person, the five people will be spared from harm. Is it appropriate to harm the one to spare the five? Past work found that more reflective people were more likely to accept such harm tradeoffs (e.g., Paxton et al., 2012; Reynolds, Byrd, & Conway, in prep., Hannikainen & Cova, forthcoming). However, that work measured reflection with mathematical tasks. And, of course, the moral dilemma is, in part, a mathematical task—one vs. five. So, accepting harm tradeoffs might be explained by mathematical reflection rather than reflection per se. Two studies examined moral dilemma responses and performance on both mathematical and non-mathematical measures of reflection. Sure enough, accepting harm tradeoffs correlated only with mathematical reflection. However, both accepting and rejecting harm tradeoffs correlated with non-mathematical reflection. So, the alleged link between reflection and accepting harm tradeoffs is better explained by math than reflection per se.



Alexandra Nolte, David Rose, & John Turri
To be presented by Alexandra Nolte
Description: A standard view in philosophy is that knowledge entails justification. Yet recent research suggests otherwise. We argue that this admirable and striking research suffers from an important limitation: participants were asked about knowledge but not justification. It is also possible that earlier findings were due to perspective taking. This paper reports further research that directly addresses these questions. Our findings support the hypothesis that knowledge entails justification on the ordinary view.



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.



Matthew Taylor, Christopher J. Kalbach, & David Rose
To be presented by Christopher J. Kalbach
Description: A wide range of empirical research indicates that the most important feature in judgments of personal identity is the preservation or destruction of moral features. This paper argues that moral features do not play a central role in personal identity judgments. Across three experiments, we pit moral considerations against teleological considerations. The empirical results suggest that teleological considerations, and not moral considerations, play a direct role in generating judgments of personal identity. We then trace out two possibilities for supporting the claim that folk thinking about identity may be theory shaping. First, personal identity is first-personally important, playing a role in future-directed concerns for ourselves. Second, if “person” is a forensic term, then it may have a kind of normative significance in our ordinary practices of praising, blaming, punishing and rewarding. These practical and normative considerations lend support for the claim that folk thinking may be relevant for philosophical theorizing about personal identity.


Romy Vekony, David Rose, & Al Mele
To be presented by Romy Vekony
Description: In order to be doing something intentionally, must one know that one is doing it? A number of philosophers have said yes. They endorse what we call the KAT or the Knowledge/Awareness Thesis about intentional action: the thesis that in order to be doing something intentionally, one must know that one is doing it or be aware that one is doing it. Our paper offers empirical evidence that in these cases people are overwhelmingly inclined to ascribe intentionality to an action, even when denying the agent knowledge and awareness of performing the action. These results threaten the KAT and raise a challenge to its proponents: they must explain why the KAT should be endorsed despite its conflict with the ordinary conception of intentional action.