Florian Cova

Florian Cova
University of Geneva | UNIGE · Interfaculty Centre for Affective Sciences

PhD

About

86
Publications
247,800
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771
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2011 - present
University of Geneva
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2008 - August 2011
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (86)
Article
Is love possible if we are not free? Some philosophers consider that true love is necessarily free, while others think that the nature of love makes it incompatible with a certain type of freedom. Here, we explored the relationship between feelings of passionate love, belief in free will and determinism across three online studies. In Study 1 (N =...
Article
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Based on the “Knobe Effect,” Knobe has argued that moral evaluations can influence intentionality judgments. However, two methodological objections have been raised against this claim: first, that participants’ answers do not accurately reflect what they think and, second, that the Knobe Effect can be fully explained by non-moral factors, such as t...
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The Allais Paradox represents one of the earliest empirical challenges to normative models of decision-making, and suggests that choices in one part of a gamble may depend on the possible outcome in another, independent, part of the gamble—a violation of the so-called "independence axiom." To account for Allaisian behavior, one well-known class of...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-021-00559-0
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Some people publicly pretend to be experts while not being ones. They are pseudoexperts, and their presence seems to be ubiquitous in the current cultural landscape. This manuscript explores the nature and mechanisms of pseudoexpertise. We first provide a conceptual analysis of pseudoexperts based on prototypical cases of pseudoexpertise and recent...
Preprint
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Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and its use as a treatment against COVID-19 have been at the center of heated debates. Some claim that physicians' hostility towards HCQ was partly orchestrated by rival pharmaceutical companies seeking to promote their own treatment. In favor of this hypothesis, Roussel and Raoult (2020) have presented the results of a stu...
Preprint
It is often assumed that most people want their life to be “meaningful”. But what exactly does this mean? Though numerous researches have documented which factors lead people to experience their life as meaningful and people’s conceptions about the best ways to secure a meaningful life, investigations in people’s concept of meaningful life are scar...
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Emergency situations require individuals to make important changes in their behaviour. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, official recommendations to avoid the spread of the virus include costly behaviours such as self-quarantining or drastically diminishing social contacts. Compliance (or lack thereof) with these recommendations is a controvers...
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Despite the promise to boost human potential and wellbeing, enhancement drugs face recurring ethical scrutiny. The present studies examined attitudes toward cognitive enhancement in order to learn more about these ethical concerns, who has them, and the circumstances in which they arise. Fairness-based concerns underlay opposition to competitive us...
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Responding to recent concerns about the reliability of the published literature in psychology and other disciplines, we formed the X-Phi Replicability Project (XRP) to estimate the reproducibility of experimental philosophy (osf.io/dvkpr). Drawing on a representative sample of 40 x-phi studies published between 2003 and 2015, we enlisted 20 researc...
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Appendix 1 was incomplete in the initial online publication. The original article has been corrected.
Preprint
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Despite the promise to boost human potential and wellbeing, enhancement drugs face recurring ethical scrutiny. The present studies examined attitudes toward cognitive enhancement in order to learn more about these ethical concerns, who has them, and the circumstances in which they arise. Fairness-based concerns underlay opposition to competitive us...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past two decades, the study of moral reasoning has been heavily influenced by Joshua Greene's dual-process model of moral judgment, according to which deontological judgments are typically supported by intuitive, automatic processes while utilitarian judgments are typically supported by reflective, conscious processes. However, most of the...
Preprint
Over the past two decades, the study of moral reasoning has been heavily influenced by Joshua Greene’s dual-process model of moral judgment, according to which deontological judgments are typically supported by intuitive, automatic processes while utilitarian judgments are typically supported by reflective, conscious processes. However, most of the...
Article
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ATTENTION ! Cet artilce n'est pas un artilce sur le cyclimse. Pour le détail, vous pouvez lire ce billet de blog : http://www.mimiryudo.com/blog/2020/08/le-meilleur-article-de-tous-les-temps/
Data
Voici la version de notre article anglais traduit en français par Robin Alais (merci !) Avoir son article traduit le jour de sa sortie est un privilège rare, confirmant l'importance de notre découverte. Comme de grands éditeurs de revue, nous avons choisi un nom clair pour notre fichier.
Preprint
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, French public opinion has been divided about Pr. Didier Raoult and his hydroxychloroquine-based treatment against COVID-19. In this paper, our aim is to contribute to the understanding of this polarization of public opinion by investigating the relationship between (analytic vs. intuitive) cognitive style an...
Article
Does phenomenal consciousness overflow access consciousness? Some researchers have claimed that it does, relying on interpretations of various psychological experiments such as Sperling's or Landman's, and crucially using alleged subjective reports from participants to argue in favor of these interpretations. However, systematic empirical investiga...
Preprint
Full-text available
Emergency situations require individuals to make important changes in their behavior. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, official recommendations to avoid the spread of the virus include costly behaviors such as self-quarantining or drastically diminishing social contacts. Compliance (or lack thereof) with these recommendations is a controversia...
Preprint
Full-text available
Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ord...
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Philosophers have long debated whether, if determinism is true, we should hold people morally responsible for their actions since in a deterministic universe, people are arguably not the ultimate source of their actions nor could they have done otherwise if initial conditions and the laws of nature are held fixed. To reveal how non-philosophers ord...
Article
The moral value of distributive equality constitutes one of the most contentious debates in political philosophy. Following Frankfurt, many philosophers have claimed that the intuitive appeal of equality is illusory and that egalitarian intuitions are fundamentally intuitions about the importance of satisfying basic needs. According to this argumen...
Preprint
In everyday language, the expression “guilty pleasure” refers to instances where one feels bad about enjoying a particular artwork. Thus, one’s experience of guilty pleasure seems to involve the feeling that one should not enjoy this particular artwork and by implication the belief that there are norms according to which some aesthetic responses ar...
Chapter
Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all s...
Article
In everyday language, the expression ‘guilty pleasure’ refers to instances where one feels bad about enjoying a particular artwork. Thus, one’s experience of guilty pleasure seems to involve the feeling that one should not enjoy this particular artwork and, by implication, the belief that there are norms according to which some aesthetic responses...
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People can be moved and overwhelmed, a phenomenon typically accompanied by goose-bumps and tears. We argue that these feelings of being moved are not limited to situations that are appraised as pro-social but elicited when someone surpasses an internal standard. In line with these predictions, people were moved by relationships and success (Study 1...
Book
Experimental philosophy has blossomed into a variety of philosophical fields including ethics, epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of language. But there has been very little experimental philosophical research in the domain of philosophical aesthetics. Advances to Experimental Philosophy of Aesthetics introduces this burgeoning research field...
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Since at least Hume and Kant, philosophers working on the nature of aesthetic judgment have generally agreed that common sense does not treat aesthetic judgments in the same way as typical expressions of subjective preferences—rather, it endows them with intersubjective validity, the property of being right or wrong regardless of disagreement. More...
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For scientific theories grounded in empirical data, replicability is a core principle, for at least two reasons. First, unless we accept to have scientific theories rest on the authority of a small number of researchers, empirical studies should be replicable, in the sense that its methods and procedure should be detailed enough for someone else to...
Preprint
Full-text available
For scientific theories grounded in empirical data, replicability is a core principle, for at least two reasons. First, unless we accept to have scientific theories rest on the authority of a small number of researchers, empirical studies should be replicable, in the sense that its methods and procedure should be detailed enough for someone else to...
Chapter
People's attitude to animals is similar to the attitude Westworld has people adopt vis‐a‐vis the hosts: People often deem animal suffering acceptable because it improves their well‐being but still feel upset when an animal is mistreated just for the sake of it. Speciesism is the view that human well‐being matters more than that of other creatures....
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Les sciences cognitives peuvent-elles contribuer à éclairer des questions classiques en sciences sociales ? C'est la question à laquelle le présent chapitre tente de répondre, en cherchant à montrer l'utilité des recherches en sciences cognitives pour la compréhension de certains phénomènes sociaux, et en particulier la coopération et la transmissi...
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Why do we enjoy sad and serious narratives? According to recent research in communication theory and media psychology, it is because such narratives provide us with an occasion to reflect on deep and meaningful truths about human lives. However, this “eudaimonic” appreciation of sad narratives is not purely cognitive. Here, we connect this literatu...
Article
This article examines whether people share the Gettier intuition (viz. that someone who has a true justified belief that p may nonetheless fail to know that p) in 24 sites, located in 23 countries (counting Hong Kong as a distinct country) and across 17 languages. We also consider the possible influence of gender and personality on this intuition w...
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In this paper, I provide a general introduction to the trolley problem. I describe its birth as a philosophical thought experiment, then its successful career in moral psychology. I explain the different reasons behind its popularity and success but argue that, despite its popularity and widespread utilization in psychological research, few researc...
Article
Frankfurt-style cases (FSCs) are supposed to constitute counter-examples to the principle of alternate possibilities, for they are cases in which we have the intuition that an agent is morally responsible for his action, even though he could not have done otherwise. In a recent paper, Swenson (2015) rejects this conclusion, on the basis of a compar...
Article
Gervais & Fessler argue that because contempt is a sentiment, it cannot be an emotion. However, like many affective labels, it could be that “contempt” refers both to a sentiment and to a distinct emotion. This possibility is made salient by the fact that contempt can be defined by contrast with respect, but that there are different kinds of respec...
Article
Based on a puzzling pattern in our judgments about intentional action, Knobe (2003) has claimed that these judgments are shaped by our moral judgments and evaluations. However, this claim goes directly against a key conceptual intuition about intentional action – the 'frame-of-mind condition', according to which judgments about intentional action a...
Article
“Frankfurt-style cases” (FSCs) are widely considered as having refuted the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP) by presenting cases in which an agent is morally responsible even if he could not have done otherwise. However, Neil Levy has recently argued that FSCs fail because (i) our intuitions about cases involving counterfactual interveners...
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In the past decade, a number of empirical researchers have suggested that laypeople have compatibilist intuitions. In a recent paper, Feltz and Millan (in press) have challenged this conclusion by claiming that most laypeople are only compatibilists in appearance, and are rather willing to attribute free will no matter what. As evidence for this cl...
Chapter
This chapter provides a critical though comprehensive review of the empirical literature on the folk concept of intentional action. Recently, experimental evidence suggested that authors? judgments about whether an action counts as intentional are sensitive to normative, or evaluative, factors. Evidence for the putative influence of such considerat...
Article
If feeling a genuine emotion requires believing that its object actually exists, and if this is a belief we are unlikely to have about fictional entities, then how could we feel genuine emotions towards these entities? This question lies at the core of the paradox of fiction. Since its original formulation, this paradox has generated a substantial...
Article
In the past decade, experimental philosophy – the attempt at making progress on philosophical problems using empirical methods – has thrived in a wide range of domains. However, only in recent years has aesthetics succeeded in drawing the attention of experimental philosophers. The present paper constitutes the first survey of these works and of th...
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We present the results of four experiments concerning the evaluations people make of sentences involving many, showing that two sentences of the form many As are Bs and many As are Cs need not be equivalent when evaluated relative to a background in which B and C have the same cardinality and proportion to A, but in which B and C are predicates wit...
Article
Why is it that most fictions present one and only one ending, rather than multiple ones? Fictions presenting multiple endings are possible, because a few exist; but they are very rare, and this calls for an explanation. We argue that such an explanation is likely to shed light on our engagement with fictions, for fictions having one and only one en...
Article
The capacity to anticipate future experiences of regret has been hypothesized to explain otherwise irrational aspects of human decision-making, including the certainty effect (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979) and the common ratio effect (Allais, 1953). The anticipated regret hypothesis predicts that individuals incapable of episodically imagining their...
Article
Fundamental beliefs about free will and moral responsibility are often thought to shape our ability to have healthy relationships with others and ourselves. Emotional reactions have also been shown to have an important and pervasive impact on judgments and behaviors. Recent research suggests that emotional reactions play a prominent role in judgmen...
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In this paper, we argue that, barring a few important exceptions, the phenomenon we refer to using the expression “being moved” is a distinct type of emotion. In this paper’s first section, we motivate this hypothesis by reflecting on our linguistic use of this expression. In section two, pursuing a methodology that is both conceptual and empirical...
Article
The debate over whether free will and determinism are compatible is controversial, and produces wide scholarly discussion. This paper argues that recent studies in experimental philosophy suggest that people are in fact "natural compatibilists". To support this claim, it surveys the experimental literature bearing directly (section 1) or indirectly...
Article
The ‘Knobe effect’ is the name given to the empirical finding that judgments about whether an action is intentional or not seems to depend on the moral valence of this action. To account for this phenomenon, Scaife and Webber have recently advanced the ‘Consideration Hypothesis’, according to which people’s ascriptions of intentionality are driven...
Article
‘Frankfurt-style cases’ (FSCs) are widely considered as having refuted the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP) by presenting cases in which an agent is morally responsible even if he could not have done otherwise. However, Neil Levy (J Philos 105:223–239, 2008) has recently argued that FSCs fail because we are not entitled to suppose that th...
Chapter
In this paper, I argue that some of the disagreements about the continuity or discontinuity of human moral life with that of animals can be assuaged by drawing a distinction between two senses in which someone can be a ‘moral being’: being a moral agent (i.e. being morally responsible for one’s action) and being a moral judge (i.e. being able to fo...
Article
The evolutionary hypothesis advanced by Baumard et al. makes precise predictions on which emotions should play the main role in our moral lives: morality should be more closely linked to “avoidance” emotions (like contempt and disgust) than to “punitive” emotions (like anger). Here, we argue that these predictions run contrary to most psychological...
Article
Sripada has recently advanced a new account for asymmetries that have been uncovered in folk judgments of intentionality: the “Deep Self model,” according to which an action is more likely to be judged as intentional if it matches the agent's central and stable attitudes and values (i.e., the agent's Deep Self). In this paper, we present new experi...
Article
Recent empirical and conceptual research has shown that moral considerations have an influence on the way we use the adverb ‘intentionally’. Here we propose our own account of these phenomena, according to which they arise from the fact that the adverb ‘intentionally’ has three different meanings that are differently selected by contextual factors,...
Article
Studying the folk concept of intentional action, Knobe (2003a12. Knobe , J . 2003a . Intentional action and side-effects in ordinary language . Analysis , 63 : 190 – 193 . [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]View all references) discovered a puzzling asymmetry: most people consider some bad side effects as intentional while they consider some good...
Article
Full-text available
We use psychological concepts (e.g., intention and desire) when we ascribe psychological states to others for purposes of describing, explaining, and predicting their actions. Does the evidence reported by Knobe show, as he thinks, that moral evaluation shapes our mastery of psychological concepts? We argue that the evidence so far shows instead th...

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Projects (4)
Project
The rapid progress in affective neuroscience and neurochemistry of human attachment raises the questions of our attitudes toward cognitive enhancements (Savulescu & Bostrom, 2009). This project aims at 1) interrogating attitudes, moral evaluation toward human attachment and its biomedical enhancements (Boudesseul, Lantian, & Cova, 2016), 2) distinguishing judgments about action and acceptability in attitudes toward cognitive enhancement (Cova, Boudesseul, & Lantian, 2019) and 3) exploring attitudes toward self-report vs. physiological measurements (Boudesseul et al., in prep; Nisbett & Wilson, 1977).
Project
The goal of this collaborative Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) and Collaborative Replications and Education Project (CREP) study is two-fold. First, we aim to directly replicate an influential experimental philosophy study on epistemics (Turri, Buckwalter, & Blouw, 2015) across multiple independent labs. Second, each independent lab will be led by an instructor-supervised student team, thus providing a pedagogical platform for educating junior researchers on best practices in rigorous, open science.
Project
People can be moved and overwhelmed by exceptional helpfulness, psychological closeness, outstanding achievement or simply by music. We study how these feelings are elicited building on appraisal theories of emotion.