Edouard Machery

  • Distinguished Professor • Director of the Center for Philosophy of Science

My research focuses on the philosophical issues raised by the cognitive sciences. I have written extensively about concepts: I have argued that the notion of concept is ill-suited for a scientific psychology, and I have criticized the neo-empiricist accounts of concepts. My current research focuses on the methodology of experimental psychology, with a special focus on null hypothesis significance testing, external validity, and issues in statistics. Recent research projects and publications also include the nature and origin of racial categorization, the application of evolutionary theories to human cognition, the nature of culture, and the structure of moral concepts. Finally, I am involved in the development of experimental philosophy, and I have used experimental and quasi-experimental methods to study intuitions about reference, folk judgments about intentional action, causation, the folk concept of race, and the folk concept of phenomenal consciousness.

Selected Courses Taught

  • Philosophy of Cognitive Science
  • Experimental Philosophy
  • Epistemology of Experimental Practices

Professional Office

Editor of the naturalistic section of Philosophy Compass

Education & Training

  • PhD, Philosophy, Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2004

Representative Publications

Kneer, M., & Machery, E. (2019). "No luck for moral luck." Cognition, 182, 31-348.

Hannikainen, I. R., Machery, E., & Cushman, F. A. 2018. "Is utilitarian sacrifice becoming more morally permissible?" Cognition, 170, 95–101.

Machery, E.,et al. (2017). "Gettier Across Cultures 1." Noûs, 51, 645-664.

Benjamin, D. J., et al. 2018. "Redefine Statistical Significance." Nature Human Behavior, 2, 6-10.

Machery, E. 2017. Philosophy within its Proper Bounds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Machery, E. 2016. "The amodal brain and the offloading hypothesis." Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 1090-1095.

O’Neill, E., and Machery, E. 2014. Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. New York: Routledge.

Downes, S., and Machery, E. 2013. Arguing about Human Nature. New York: Routledge.

Werning, M., Hinzen, W., and Machery, E. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cova, F., Dutant, J., Machery, E., Knobe, J., Nichols, S., and Nahmias, E. 2012. La philosophie expérimentale. Paris: Vuibert.

Machery, E. 2014. "In defense of reverse inference." The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 65, 251-267.

Machery, E. 2012. "Dissociations in neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience." Philosophy of Science, 79, 490-518.

Machery, E. 2009. Doing without Concepts. New York: Oxford University Press.

Linquist, S., Machery, E., Griffiths, P. E., and Stotz, K. 2011. "Exploring the Folk Biological Conception of Human Nature," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 366, 444-453.

Sytsma, J., and Machery, E. 2010. "Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience." Philosophical Studies, 151, 299-327.

Mallon, R., Machery, E., Nichols, S., and Stich, S.P. 2009. "Against Arguments From Reference." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 79, 332-356.

Machery, E. 2007. "Concept Empiricism: A Methodological Critique." Cognition, 104, 19-46.

Machery, E. 2005. "Concepts are Not a Natural Kind." Philosophy of Science, 72, 444-467.

Machery, E., and Faucher, L. 2005. "Social Construction and the Concept of Race." Philosophy of Science, 1208-1219.

Machery, E., Mallon, R., Nichols, S., and Stich, S. P. 2004. "Semantics, Cross-cultural Style." Cognition, 92, 3, B1-B12.