Biography

Joshua Knobe is an experimental philosopher, whose work ranges across issues in philosophy of mind and action and ethics.

He is an associate professor in the Program in Cognitive Science and Department of Philosophy at Yale University. He was previously Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Knobe received his BA at Stanford University in 1996 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 2006, where he studied under Gilbert Harman, among others. His work has been discussed in various media, including The New York Times and Slate, and he is a fairly frequent guest on the online news, science, and current events channel bloggingheads.tv. Knobe is arguably most widely known for what has come to be called "the Knobe effect" or the "Side-Effect Effect".

Most of his work involves using the kinds of experimental methods associated with cognitive science to address the kinds of questions associated with philosophy. Much of his recent research has been concerned with the impact of people's moral judgments on their intuitions about questions that might initially appear to be entirely independent of morality (questions about intention, causation, etc.). It has often been suggested that people's basic approach to thinking about such questions is best understood as being something like a scientific theory. Knobe and his co-authors have offered a somewhat different view, according to which people's ordinary way of understanding the world is actually infused through and through with moral considerations.