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Ethics discussion centers on experimental philosophy

Nov. 29, 2010

KALAMAZOO--A Yale University philosopher will expound on discoveries made by graduate students in the area of experimental philosophy when he speaks in early December at Western Michigan University.

Photo of Dr. Joshua Knobe.Dr. Joshua Knobe, assistant professor in the Program in Cognitive Science and Department of Philosophy at Yale, will speak at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in Room 2018 of the Fetzer Center. His talk, part of the WMU Center for the Study of Ethics in Society's fall lecture series, is free and open to the public.

Knobe says one striking aspect of the field of experimental philosophy is that many of the most important discoveries have been made, not by faculty members, but rather by graduate students. He will present a few of the most influential findings to come out of graduate student work in the past few years and will ask audience members for suggestions about how one might move further in these strands of research.

After receiving his bachelor's degree at Stanford University, Knobe completed his doctoral degree at Princeton University. Before coming to Yale, Knobe served as assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Knobe is regarded as a leader in the new field of experimental philosophy, and his work employs the methods of cognitive science to attempt to answer substantive questions in philosophy. He has come to be known for "The Knobe Effect," a phenomenon that illustrates the role moral judgments play in people's ascriptions of intention and causation.

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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