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« Intuitions in Science and Philosophy | Main | Online Conference at Brains blog »



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Justin Sytsma

Hey Josh,

Good idea pulling this information together!

A recent article on intuitions about reference you could add to the list: Sytsma, Livengood, Sato, and Oguchi (2015), "Reference in the Land of the Rising Sun: A Cross-cultural study on the Reference of Proper Names." Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 6(2): 213-230.

The article is available at (and a preprint is available at This article extends the work of Sytsma and Livengood (2011) to a cross-cultural comparison, finding that the perspectival ambiguity that affected the results of Westerners on Machery et al.'s original Godel probe did not have a comparable impact on the responses of East Asian participants. Further, using the clarified materials we found that a significant cross-cultural difference remains between American and Japanese people.

Joshua Knobe

Hi Justin,

Excellent. I've added that in. This whole thing strikes me as a real model of the way research programs ought to proceed. It's clear that you guys aren't trying to advance any preconceived hypothesis but just to get at the truth about these matters. So although your previous paper did a lot to cast doubt on the original Machery et al. claims, this new one seems to vindicate those very same claims.

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3QD Prize 2012: Wesley Buckwalter