Currently a Professor of Cognitive Science and Philosophy at Yale University, Joshua Knobe is known as an experimental philosopher, mainly focused in the areas of philosophy of mind and ethics. Knobe studied at Stanford University, earning his BA in philosophy in 1996, and went on to earn his PhD at Princeton University in 2006. Prior to his current position, Knobe taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Much of Knobe’s work focuses on the intersection of moral bias and action, or their moral cognition. In this, Knobe asks to what extent underlying moral judgements influence actions and decisions, even as we believe those actions and decisions to be scientific or non-moral in nature. In this investigation, Knobe is known as an “experimental philosopher” because of his application of experimental and scientific methods toward answering traditional philosophical questions. Moreover, Knobe’s influence extends beyond academia; he frequently appears in popular media and is recognized discussing the “Knobe Effect,” also known as the “Side-Effect Effect,” which attempts to account for the complexity of seemingly simple decisions.
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