Perspectives on Ethics: Joshua Knobe

Perspectives on Ethics, Understanding Ethics

Norms and Normality

People ordinarily distinguish between ways of behaving that are “normal” and those that are “abnormal.” But how exactly is this distinction to be understood? This talk will discuss a series of experimental studies designed to explore people’s ordinary notion of normality. The key result is that people’s ordinary notion of normality is not a purely statistical one (e.g., the type of behavior that is most frequent) or a purely prescriptive one (e.g., the type of behavior that is ideal) but rather one that mixes together statistical and prescriptive considerations. I discuss implications of these findings for ethics and for research in cognitive science.

Joshua Knobe
Yale University
Program in Cognitive Science &
Department of Philosophy

Mon, Jan 15, 2018
04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Room 200, Larkin Building
15 Devonshire Place