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Here are a few responses to my work. Most of them say that I am wrong in one way or another. In some cases, I note explicitly that a paper succeeds in refuting one of my views (I have highlighted those notes in red), but the absence of any explicit note on a paper should not be taken as an indication that I disagree with it.

Intentional Action 

Mark Phelan and Hagop Sarkissian. (2008). The folk strike back; or, why you didn’t do it intentionally, though it was bad and you knew it. Philosophical Studies138, 291-298.

This paper refutes my initial claim that the moral judgment influencing people’s intentional action intuitions is a judgment about whether the side-effect is bad. In other words, this Phelan and Sarkissian paper refutes the hypothesis I proposed in Knobe & Mendlow (2004)., and that hypothesis is not worth discussing anymore.

I now think that the relevant moral judgment is a judgment about the attitude that it would be “normal” for an agent to have toward this effect (see Pettit & Knobe, 2009; Knobe, 2010).

Edouard Machery. (2008). The folk concept of intentional action: Philosophical and experimental issues. Mind & Language, 23, 165-189.

Response to the response: Mark Phelan and Hagop Sarkissian. (2009). Is the ‘trade‐off hypothesis’ worth trading for? Mind & Language24, 164-180.

Shaun Nichols and Joseph Ulatowski. (2007). Intuitions and individual differences: The Knobe effect revisited. Mind and Language, 22: 346-365.

Lawrence Ngo, Meagan Kelly, Christopher G. Coutlee, R. McKell Carter, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Scott Huettel. (2015). Two distinct moral mechanisms for ascribing and denying intentionality. Scientific Reports5.


Richard Klein et al. (2018). Many Labs 2: Investigating variation in replicability across samples and settings. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 1, 443-490.

This paper conclusively refutes my earlier claim that, in a particular type of case, people’s intuitions about intentional action are influenced by implicit anti-gay bias . Drawing on that claim, I had previously argued for a view on which people’s intuitions about intentional action were driven by an implicit moral judgment about an effect (distinct from their explicit moral judgment about that effect). In light of subsequent results, I now I think that this view was mistaken.  I argue instead for a view according to which the relevant judgment is a judgment of which attitude would be normal for an agent to have toward the effect (see previous note).

Steven Sloman, Philip Fernbach and Scott Ewing. (2012). A causal model of intentionality judgment. Mind & Language27, 154-180.

Tadeg Quillien and Tamsin German (2021). A simple definition of ‘intentionally’. Cognition, 214, 104806.

In previous work, I found that moral judgments impact people’s intuitions about whether an agent brings about an outcome intentionally in cases where the agent succeeds in bringing about the outcome purely as a matter of luck. At the time, I developed an explanation that was specific to the concept of intentional action and would not have predicted this same effect for other concepts. Quillien & German show that the same effect actually arises for judgments about causation. Regardless of what one thinks the best explanation now is, it seems clear that it cannot possibly be an explanation like the one I originally proposed that applies only to the concept of intentional action.

Chandra Sripada and Sara Konrath. (2011). Telling more than we can know about intentional action. Mind & Language. 26, 353 -380.

Response to the response: Florian Cova and Hichem Naar. (2012). Testing Sripada’s deep self model. Philosophical Psychology, 25, 647-659.

Kevin Uttich and Tania Lombrozo. (2010). Norms inform mental state ascriptions: A rational explanation for the side-effect effect. Cognition116, 87-100.


Mark Alicke, David Rose and Dori Bloom. (2011). Causation, norm violation and culpable control. Journal of Philosophy. 108, 670-696.

David Danks, David Rose and Edouard Machery. (2014). Demoralizing causation. Philosophical Studies171, 251-277.

Michael Strevens. (2013). Causality reunified. Erkenntnis, 78, 299-320.

Tadeg Quillien. (2020). When do we think that X caused Y? Cognition, 205, 104410.

Justin Sytsma. (in press). Crossed wires: Blaming artifacts for bad outcomes. Journal of Philosophy.

Dual Character Concepts

Sarah-Jane Leslie. (2015). “Hillary Clinton is the only man in the Obama administration”: Dual character concepts, generics, and gender. Analytic Philosophy56, 111-141.

Response to the response: Samia Hesni. (2021). Normative generics: Against semantic polysemy. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, 10(3), 218-225.

Guillermo Del Pinal and Kevin Reuter. (2017). Dual character concepts in social cognition: Commitments and the normative dimension of conceptual representation. Cognitive Science, 41, 477-501.

Epistemic modals

Bob Beddor and Andy Egan. (2018). Might do better: Flexible relativism and the QUD. Semantics and Pragmatics, 11, 7.

Response to the response: Jonathan Phillips and Matthew Mandelkern. (2020). Eavesdropping: What is it good for? Semantics and Pragmatics, 13, 19.

Experimental Jurisprudence

Felipe Jimenez. (2021). Some Doubts about Folk Jurisprudence: The Case of Proximate Cause. University of Chicago Law Review, 1.


Rodrigo Díaz and Kevin Reuter. (2021). Feeling the right way: Normative influences on people’s use of emotion concepts. Mind & Language, 36(3), 451-470.


Mark Phelan, Adam Arico and Shaun Nichols. (2013). Thinking things and feeling things: On an alleged discontinuity in folk metaphysics of mind. Phenomenology and the cognitive sciences12, 703-725.

Justin Sytsma and Edouard Machery. (2010). Two conceptions of subjective experience. Philosophical Studies151, 299-327.


Mikkel Gerken and James Beebe. (2014). Knowledge in and out of contrast. Noûs, 50, 133-164.

This paper provides a strong evidence against the theory of knowledge attributions I defended in earlier work. My co-authors and I argue for a deeply different theory in a more recent paper.

Keith DeRose. (2011). Contextualism, contrastivism and x-phi surveys. Philosophical Studies, 156, 81-110.

Response to the responseWesley Buckwalter. (2014). The mystery of stakes and error in ascriber intuitions. Advances in Experimental Epistemology, 145-74.

Chandra Sripada and Jason Stanley. (2012). Empirical tests of interest-relative invariantism. Episteme9, 3-26.

Response to the response: Wesley Buckwalter and Jonathan Schaffer. (2015). Knowledge, stakes, and mistakes. Noûs, 49, 201-234.

Free Will

Florian Cova, Maxime Bertoux, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde and Bruno Dubois. (2012). Judgments about moral responsibility and determinism in patients with behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia: Still compatibilists. Consciousness and Cognition21, 851-864.

Adam Feltz and Florian Cova. (2014). Moral responsibility and free will: A meta-analysis. Consciousness and Cognition30, 234-246.

In early work, my co-authors and I found a difference between abstract vs. concrete judgments about the problem of free will and determinism. We proposed that the effect might be driven by people’s affective reactions (the “affective performance error hypothesis”). This paper, in combination with the previous one, refute the affective performance error hypothesis.

In my view, there has been too much continuing discussion of our original affective performance error hypothesis.. That hypothesis has been adequately explored in the existing literature, and at this point, it’s definitely looking like it is not true.

Importantly, however, subsequent studies consistently show that there is indeed an abstract/concrete effect. This effect seems to show something important about people’s intuitions about free will, and within the existing literature, there are a number of different views about how to explain it. The explanation of this effect now strikes me as a open question. (I suggest one possible answer in footnote 2 of  the paper here.)

Dylan Murray and Eddy Nahmias. (2014). Explaining away incompatibilist intuitions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research88, 434-467.

This paper shows that people’s intuitions about free will and determinism are influenced in part by a phenomenon of ‘bypassing.’ I think this is a very valuable contribution, and I discuss it in the paper here.

Regan Bernhard, Hannah LeBaron and Jonathan Scott Phillips. It’s not what you did, it’s what you could have done.

In previous work, my co-authors and I found that people are more inclined to say that an agent acted with free will when the agent does something morally bad than when the agent does something morally good. We suggested that this effect was explained by motivated cognition. Subsequent research confirms that the effect really does exist, but much of this research also calls into question our original explanation. Although the issue is still being actively explored, I am now inclined to think that the right explanation is not the one we originally proposed but rather the one in this Bernhard et al. paper.

Experimental Philosophy 

Antti Kauppinen. (2007). The rise and fall of experimental philosophy. Philosophical Explorations, 10: 95-118.

Brent Strickland and Aysu Suben. (2012). Experimenter philosophy: The problem of experimenter bias in experimental philosophy. Review of Philosophy and Psychology3, 457-467.

This paper raises some serious questions about the methodology are used in earlier works. I have tried to revise my methods in light of it (see Newman et al., 2015; Phillips et al., 2015).

Stephen Stich and Edouard Machery. (in press). Demographic differences in philosophical intuition: A reply to Joshua Knobe. Review of Philosophy and Psychology.

This is perhaps the only occasion on which I have replied to a response by simply defending the claims I made in my original paper. My defense is here (or, for a longer and more in-depth defense, see the paper here).

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