What we take to be “normal” not only influences the way we evaluate the behaviour of others, it also has an impact on how we think about causal relations in the world. For example, if two people do the exact same thing, but the ‘normative’ status of their actions differs, e.g. one of them breaks a rule, or does something she or he normally doesn’t do, we are inclined to judge the person who has acted in a norm-deviant way as more causal to the outcome. But why is this so, and do all norms have the same effect on our causal judgements?
My PhD research focuses on how norms, e.g. moral norms or statistical norms, influence our judgements about causation. I aim to investigate how normative aspects change the way we think about the cause of an event, and whether (and, if so, to what extent) counterfactual theories of causation can capture the influence of norms on causal judgements. My general research interests lie in the area of causal judgement, decision making and counterfactual reasoning, and I aim to combine philosophically informed theories of causation with empirical research to understand how we think about norms and causes. My further research interests include the philosophy of science and theories of causation.