Paul Henne

Paul Henne
Lake Forest College · Department of Philosophy

PhD

About

30
Publications
4,906
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240
Citations
Introduction
I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lake Forest College. I research causal and moral reasoning, the judgments associated with these reasoning processes, and the moral and political decisions that result from them. I am also the Associate Director of Wireless Philosophy.

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
When comparing the roles of the lightning strike and the dry climate in causing the forest fire, one might think that the lightning strike is more of a cause than the dry climate, or one might think that the lightning strike completely caused the fire while the dry conditions did not cause it at all. Psychologists and philosophers have long debated...
Article
Mike accidentally knocked against a bottle. Seeing that the bottle was about to fall, Jack was just about to catch it when Peter accidentally knocked against him, making Jack unable to catch it. Jack did not grab the bottle, and it fell to the ground and spilled. In double‐prevention cases like these, philosophers and nonphilosophers alike tend to...
Article
Full-text available
People tend to stick with a default option instead of switching to another option. For instance, Johnson and Goldstein (2003) found a default effect in an organ donation scenario: if organ donation is the default option, people are more inclined to consent to it. Johnson et al. (2002) found a similar default effect in a health-survey scenarios: if...
Preprint
Mike accidentally knocked against a bottle. Seeing that the bottle was about to fall, Jack was just about to catch it when Peter accidentally knocked against him, making Jack unable to catch it. Jack did not grab the bottle, and it fell to the ground and spilled. In double-prevention cases like these, philosophers and non-philosophers alike tend to...
Preprint
Full-text available
People tend to stick with a default option instead of switching to another option. For instance, Johnson and Goldstein (2003) found a default effect in an organ donation scenario: if organ donation is the default option, people are more inclined to consent to it. Johnson et al. (2002) found a similar default effect in a health-survey scenarios: if...
Preprint
The human capacity for causal judgment has long been thought to depend on an ability to consider counterfactual alternatives: the lightning strike caused the forest fire because had it not struck, the forest fire would not have ensued. To accommodate psychological effects on causal judgment, a range of recent accounts of causal judgment have propos...
Article
People tend to judge more recent events, relative to earlier ones, as the cause of some particular outcome. For instance, people are more inclined to judge that the last basket, rather than the first, caused the team to win the basketball game. This recency effect, however, reverses in cases of overdetermination: people judge that earlier events, r...
Article
Normative ethical theories and religious traditions offer general moral principles for people to follow. These moral principles are typically meant to be fixed and rigid, offering reliable guides for moral judgment and decision-making. In two preregistered studies, we found consistent evidence that agreement with general moral principles shifted de...
Article
People frequently entertain counterfactual thoughts, or mental simulations about alternative ways the world could have been. But the perceived plausibility of those counterfactual thoughts varies widely. The current article interfaces research in the philosophy and semantics of counterfactual statements with the psychology of mental simulations, an...
Preprint
Full-text available
When asking if lightning caused the forest fire, one might think that the lightning is more of a cause than the dry climate (i.e., it is a graded cause) or they might instead think that the lightning strike completely caused the fire while the dry conditions did not cause it at all (i.e., it is a binary cause). Psychologists and philosophers have l...
Article
Full-text available
People more frequently select norm‐violating factors, relative to norm‐conforming ones, as the cause of some outcome. Until recently, this abnormal‐selection effect has been studied using retrospective vignette‐based paradigms. We use a novel set of video stimuli to investigate this effect for prospective causal judgments—that is, judgments about t...
Preprint
Full-text available
People tend to judge more recent events, relative to earlier ones, as the cause of some particular outcome. For instance, people are more inclined to judge that the last basket, rather than the first, caused the team to win the basketball game. This recency effect, however, reverses in cases of overdetermination: people judge that earlier events, r...
Article
Full-text available
People seem more divided than ever before over social and political issues, entrenched in their existing beliefs and unwilling to change them. Empirical research on mechanisms driving this resistance to belief change has focused on a limited set of well-known, charged, contentious issues and has not accounted for deliberation over reasons and argum...
Preprint
Full-text available
People more frequently select norm-violating factors, relative to norm- conforming ones, as the cause of some outcome. Until recently, this abnormal-selection effect has been studied using only retrospective vignette-based paradigms. In within-participants designs, we use a novel set of videos to investigate this effect for prospective causal judgm...
Article
Full-text available
While philosophers generally accept some version of the principle “ought” implies “can,” recent work in experimental philosophy and cognitive science provides evidence against a presupposition or a conceptual entailment from “ought” to “can.” Here, we review some of this evidence, its effect on particular formulations of the principle, and future d...
Preprint
Full-text available
People often reason about omissions. One line of research shows that people can distinguish between the semantics of omissive causes and omissive enabling conditions: for instance, not flunking out of college enabled you (but didn’t cause you) to graduate. Another line of work shows that people rely on the normative status of omissive events in inf...
Preprint
While philosophers generally accept some version of the principle ‘ought’ implies ‘can’, recent work in experimental philosophy and cognitive science provides evidence against a presupposition or a conceptual entailment from ‘ought’ to ‘can’. Here, we review some of this evidence, its effect on particular formulations of the principle, and future d...
Preprint
People's causal judgments are susceptible to the action effect, whereby they judge actions to be more causal than inactions. We offer a new explanation for this effect, the counterfactual explanation: people judge actions to be more causal than inactions because they are more inclined to consider the counterfactual alternatives to actions than to c...
Preprint
Full-text available
People’s causal judgments are susceptible to the action effect, whereby they judge actions to be more causal than inactions. We offer a new explanation for this effect, the counterfactual explanation: people judge actions to be more causal than inactions because they are more inclined to consider the counterfactual alternatives to actions than to c...
Article
Full-text available
Many philosophers claim that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. In light of recent empirical evidence, however, some skeptics conclude that philosophers should stop assuming the principle unconditionally. Streumer, however, does not simply assume the principle’s truth; he provides arguments for it. In this article, we argue that his arguments fail to support t...
Article
Having positive moral traits is central to one’s sense of self, and people generally are motivated to maintain a positive view of the self in the present. But it remains unclear how people foster a positive, morally good view of the self in the present. We suggest that recollecting and reflecting on moral and immoral actions from the personal past...
Chapter
In Chapter 4, the authors explore whether neuroscience undermines morality. The authors distinguish, analyze, and assess the main arguments for neuroscientific skepticism about morality and argue that neuroscience does not undermine all of our moral judgments, focusing the majority of their attention on one argument in particular-the idea that neur...
Preprint
While many philosophers argue that making and revising moral decisions ought to be a matter of deliberating over reasons, the extent to which the consideration of reasons informs people’s moral decisions and induces them to change their initial decisions remains unclear. Here, after making an initial decision in two-option moral dilemmas, participa...
Article
Although many philosophers argue that making and revising moral decisions ought to be a matter of deliberating over reasons, the extent to which the consideration of reasons informs people's moral decisions and prompts them to change their decisions remains unclear. Here, after making an initial decision in 2-option moral dilemmas, participants exa...
Article
People maintain a positive identity in at least two ways: They evaluate themselves more favorably than other people, and they judge themselves to be better now than they were in the past. Both strategies rely on autobiographical memories. The authors investigate the role of autobiographical memories of lying and emotional harm in maintaining a posi...
Article
Most philosophers assume that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’, and most of them hold that this principle is true not only universally but also analytically or conceptually. Some skeptics deny this principle, although they often admit some related one. In this article, we show how new empirical evidence bolsters the skeptics’ arguments. We then defend the ske...
Article
People generally accept that there is causation by omission—that the omission of some events cause some related events. But this acceptance elicits the selection problem, or the difficulty of explaining the selection of a particular omissive cause or class of causes from the causal conditions. Some theorists contend that dependence theories of caus...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, psychologists have explored moral concepts including obligation, blame, and ability. While little empirical work has studied the relationships among these concepts, philosophers have widely assumed such a relationship in the principle that “ought” implies “can,” which states that if someone ought to do something, then they must be able to...

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Projects

Projects (8)
Project
We will investigate an abstract-concrete effect on causal judgments.
Project
We explore recency effects in causal judgment and how they vary as a function of causal structure. We also investigate how people can infer temporal order from other people's causal judgments.
Project
We will explore the omission bias and its potential mediators in a virtual-reality context.