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Experimental Philosophy and the Philosophical Tradition

In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 5 (2016)

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  1. When Do Caregivers Ignore the Veil of Ignorance? An Empirical Study on Medical Triage Decision–Making.Azgad Gold, Binyamin Greenberg, Rael Strous & Oren Asman - 2021 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 24 (2):213-225.
    In principle, all patients deserve to receive optimal medical treatment equally. However, in situations in which there is scarcity of time or resources, medical treatment must be prioritized based on a triage. The conventional guidelines of medical triage mandate that treatment should be provided based solely on medical necessity regardless of any non-medical value-oriented considerations. This study empirically examined the influence of value-oriented considerations on medical triage decision–making. Participants were asked to prioritize medical treatment relating to four case scenarios of (...)
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  • The Folk Theory of Well-Being.John Bronsteen, Brian Leiter, Jonathan Masur & Kevin Tobia - forthcoming - In Shaun Nichols & Joshua Knobe (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 5.
    What constitutes a “good” life—not necessarily a morally good life, but a life that is good for the person who lived it? In response to this question of “well-being," philosophers have offered three significant answers: A good life is one in which a person can satisfy their desires (“Desire-Satisfaction” or “Preferentism”), one that includes certain good features (“Objectivism”), or one in which pleasurable states dominate or outweigh painful ones (“Hedonism”). To adjudicate among these competing theories, moral philosophers traditionally gather data (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy Within its Proper Bounds.John Symons - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (5):586-606.
    ABSTRACT In Philosophy Within its Proper Bounds, Édouard Machery argues that the results of experimental philosophy should lead us to abandon much of traditional philosophical practice. In its place Machery defends naturalized conceptual analysis as a more modest and pragmatic alternative to standard analytic philosophy. This paper argues that Machery overstates the metaphilosophical significance of x-phi’s results. We can and should keep many of the insights and good methodological habits that come with x-phi. However, if one is not already convinced (...)
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  • A Guide to Thought Experiments in Epistemology.Wesley Buckwalter - forthcoming - In Ernest Sosa, Matthias Steup, John Turri & Blake Roeber (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
    The purpose of this chapter is to provide a guide for conducting thought experiments in epistemology effectively. The guide raises several considerations for best practices when using this research method. Several weaknesses in the way thought experiments are conducted are also identified and several suggestions are reviewed for how to improve them. Training in these research techniques promotes more productive scholarship in epistemology, saves time and resources wasted on less efficient approaches, and reduces the risk that researchers are fooling themselves (...)
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  • First-Person Authority Through the Lens of Experimental Philosophy.Joanna Komorowska-Mach & Andrzej Szczepura - 2021 - Filozofia Nauki 29 (2):209-227.
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  • Culture and Cognitive Science.Andreas De Block & Daniel Kelly - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Human behavior and thought often exhibit a familiar pattern of within group similarity and between group difference. Many of these patterns are attributed to cultural differences. For much of the history of its investigation into behavior and thought, however, cognitive science has been disproportionately focused on uncovering and explaining the more universal features of human minds—or the universal features of minds in general. -/- This entry charts out the ways in which this has changed over recent decades. It sketches the (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy, Folk Metaethics and Qualitative Methods.David Moss - 2017 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):185-203.
    The file associated with this record is under embargo while permission to archive is sought from the publisher. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
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  • Conceptual Analysis and X-Phi.Mark Balaguer - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8).
    This paper does two things. First, it argues for a metaphilosophical view of conceptual analysis questions; in particular, it argues that the facts that settle conceptual-analysis questions are facts about the linguistic intentions of ordinary folk. The second thing this paper does is argue that if this metaphilosophical view is correct, then experimental philosophy is a legitimate methodology to use in trying to answer conceptual-analysis questions.
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  • Why bother the public? A critique of Leslie Cannold’s empirical research on ectogenesis.Anna Smajdor - 2021 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 42 (3):155-168.
    Can discussion with members of the public show philosophers where they have gone wrong? Leslie Cannold argues that it can in her 1995 paper ‘Women, Ectogenesis and Ethical Theory’, which investigates the ways in which women reason about abortion and ectogenesis. In her study, Cannold interviewed female non-philosophers. She divided her participants into separate ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ groups and asked them to consider whether the availability of ectogenesis would change their views about the morality of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. (...)
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  • Two Origin Stories for Experimental Philosophy.Justin Sytsma - unknown
    Both advocates and critics of experimental philosophy often describe it in narrow terms as being the empirical study of people’s intuitions about philosophical cases. This conception corresponds with a narrow origin story for the field—it grew out of a dissatisfaction with the uncritical use of philosophers’ own intuitions as evidence for philosophical claims. In contrast, a growing number of experimental philosophers have explicitly embraced a broad conception of the sub-discipline, which treats it as simply the use of empirical methods to (...)
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  • Projects and Methods of Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Justin Sytsma - forthcoming - In Alexander Max Bauer & Stephan Kornmesser (eds.), The Compact Compendium of Experimental Philosophy. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    How does experimental philosophy address philosophical questions and problems? That is: What projects does experimental philosophy pursue? What is their philosophical relevance? And what empirical methods do they employ? Answers to these questions will reveal how experimental philosophy can contribute to the longstanding ambition of placing philosophy on the ‘secure path of a science’, as Kant put it. We argue that experimental philosophy has introduced a new methodological perspective – a ‘meta-philosophical naturalism’ that addresses philosophical questions about a phenomenon by (...)
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  • Lingering Stereotypes: Salience Bias in Philosophical Argument.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (4):415-439.
    Many philosophical thought experiments and arguments involve unusual cases. We present empirical reasons to doubt the reliability of intuitive judgments and conclusions about such cases. Inferences and intuitions prompted by verbal case descriptions are influenced by routine comprehension processes which invoke stereotypes. We build on psycholinguistic findings to determine conditions under which the stereotype associated with the most salient sense of a word predictably supports inappropriate inferences from descriptions of unusual (stereotype-divergent) cases. We conduct an experiment that combines plausibility ratings (...)
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  • The Challenges to the Study of Cultural Variation in Cognition.Martin J. Packer & Michael Cole - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-23.
    We describe seven challenges that confront the kind of cross-cultural research currently practiced in experimental philosophy, illustrating them in an example in which intuitions about moral responsibility were studied in participants in four different countries. The seven challenge are defining culture, finding representative samples, defining cognition, task variation, ecological validity, interpreting the results, and conducting ethical research. We suggest that these challenges can be overcome or avoided by attending to the ways cognition arises in everyday life, and briefly describe an (...)
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  • Stereotypical Inferences: Philosophical Relevance and Psycholinguistic Toolkit.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - 2017 - Ratio 30 (4):411-442.
    Stereotypes shape inferences in philosophical thought, political discourse, and everyday life. These inferences are routinely made when thinkers engage in language comprehension or production: We make them whenever we hear, read, or formulate stories, reports, philosophical case-descriptions, or premises of arguments – on virtually any topic. These inferences are largely automatic: largely unconscious, non-intentional, and effortless. Accordingly, they shape our thought in ways we can properly understand only by complementing traditional forms of philosophical analysis with experimental methods from psycholinguistics. This (...)
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  • Theoretical Motivation of “Ought Implies Can”.Wesley Buckwalter - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):83-94.
    A standard principle in ethics is that moral obligation entails ability, or that “ought implies can”. A strong case has been made that this principle is not well motivated in moral psychology. This paper presents an analogous case against the theoretical motivation for the principle. The principle is in tension with several foundational areas of ethical theorizing, including research on apologies, excuses, promises, moral dilemmas, moral language, disability, and moral agency. Across each of these areas, accepting the principle that obligation (...)
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  • Introduction: New Perspectives on Philosophical Thought Experiments.Adriano Angelucci & Margherita Arcangeli - 2019 - Topoi 38 (4):763-768.
    The idea of the present Issue originated in a workshop held at the University of Urbino, Italy, in June 2014, and subsequently developed into an independent editorial project by including contributions that were not initially presented at the workshop. The eight essays that follow authored by young and emerging philosophers as well as fully accomplished ones—touch upon various aspects of the most recent debate surrounding TEs, closely engaging with many influential proposals that have been put forward over the last few (...)
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  • Jane Addams as Experimental Philosopher.Joshua August Skorburg - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (5):918-938.
    This paper argues that the activist, feminist and pragmatist Jane Addams was an experimental philosopher. To defend this claim, I argue for capacious notions of both philosophical pragmatism and experimental philosophy. I begin in Section 2 with a new defence of Rose and Danks’ [‘In Defense of a Broad Conception of Experimental Philosophy’. Metaphilosophy 44, no. 4 : 512–32] argument in favour of a broad conception of experimental philosophy. Koopman [‘Pragmatist Resources for Experimental Philosophy: Inquiry in Place of Intuition’. Journal (...)
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  • Who's Afraid of Cognitive Diversity?Miguel Egler - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The Challenge from Cognitive Diversity (CCD) states that demography-specific intuitions are unsuited to play evidential roles in philosophy. The CCD attracted much attention in recent years, in great part due to the launch of an international research effort to test for demographic variation in philosophical intuitions. In the wake of these international studies, the CCD may prove revolutionary. For, if these studies uncover demographic differences in intuitions, then, in line with the CCD, there would be good reason to challenge philosophical (...)
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  • Experimental Ordinary Language Philosophy: A Cross-Linguistic Study of Defeasible Default Inferences.Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt, Joachim Horvath & Hiroshi Ohtani - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1029-1070.
    This paper provides new tools for philosophical argument analysis and fresh empirical foundations for ‘critical’ ordinary language philosophy. Language comprehension routinely involves stereotypical inferences with contextual defeaters. J.L. Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia first mooted the idea that contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences from verbal case-descriptions drive some philosophical paradoxes; these engender philosophical problems that can be resolved by exposing the underlying fallacies. We build on psycholinguistic research on salience effects to explain when and why even perfectly competent speakers cannot help making (...)
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  • No hope for the Irrelevance Claim.Miguel Egler - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3351-3371.
    Empirical findings about intuitions putatively cast doubt on the traditional methodology of philosophy. Herman Cappelen and Max Deutsch have argued that these methodological concerns are unmotivated as experimental findings about intuitions are irrelevant for assessments of the methodology of philosophy—I dub this the ‘Irrelevance Claim’. In this paper, I first explain that for Cappelen and Deutsch to vindicate the Irrelevance Claim from a forceful objection, their arguments have to establish that intuitions play no epistemically significant role whatsoever in philosophy—call this (...)
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  • Diagnostic Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - 2017 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):117-137.
    Experimental philosophy’s much-discussed ‘restrictionist’ program seeks to delineate the extent to which philosophers may legitimately rely on intuitions about possible cases. The present paper shows that this program can be (i) put to the service of diagnostic problem-resolution (in the wake of J.L. Austin) and (ii) pursued by constructing and experimentally testing psycholinguistic explanations of intuitions which expose their lack of evidentiary value: The paper develops a psycholinguistic explanation of paradoxical intuitions that are prompted by verbal case-descriptions, and presents two (...)
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  • Wittgensteinian 'Therapy', Experimental Philosophy, and Metaphilosophical Naturalism.Eugen Fischer - 2018 - In Kevin Cahill & Thomas Raleigh (eds.), Wittgenstein and Naturalism. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 260-286.
    An important strand of current experimental philosophy promotes a new kind of methodological naturalism. This chapter argues that this new ‘metaphilosophical naturalism’ is fundamentally consistent with key tenets of Wittgenstein’s metaphilosophy, and can provide empirical foundations for therapeutic conceptions of philosophy. Metaphilosophical naturalism invites us to contribute to the resolution of philosophical problems about X by turning to scientific findings about the way we think about X – in general or when doing philosophy. This new naturalism encourages us to use (...)
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  • Fast, Cheap, and Unethical? The Interplay of Morality and Methodology in Crowdsourced Survey Research.Matthew Haug - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):363-379.
    Crowdsourcing is an increasingly popular method for researchers in the social and behavioral sciences, including experimental philosophy, to recruit survey respondents. Crowdsourcing platforms, such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, have been seen as a way to produce high quality survey data both quickly and cheaply. However, in the last few years, a number of authors have claimed that the low pay rates on MTurk are morally unacceptable. In this paper, I explore some of the methodological implications for online experimental philosophy research (...)
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  • "Ought Implies Can,” Framing Effects, and "Empirical Refutations".Alicia Kissinger-Knox, Patrick Aragon & Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):165-182.
    This paper aims to contribute to the current debate about the status of the “Ought Implies Can” principle and the growing body of empirical evidence that undermines it. We report the results of an experimental study which show that people judge that agents ought to perform an action even when they also judge that those agents cannot do it and that such “ought” judgments exhibit an actor-observer effect. Because of this actor-observer effect on “ought” judgments and the Duhem-Quine thesis, talk (...)
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  • Rethinking the Scope of Experimental Philosophy: Eugen Fischer and John Collins : Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism: Rethinking Philosophical Method. London: Routledge, 2015, 302pp, $54.95 PB, $155.00 HB.Justin Sytsma - 2016 - Metascience 25 (2):301-304.
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  • Religious Presuppositions of Logic and Rationality.Alberto Leopoldo Batista Neto - 1970 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 23 (1):5-57.
    There is a crisis in philosophical rationality today—in which modern logic is implicated—that can be traced to the abandonment of a common background of principles. The situation has no parallel within the pre-modern tradition, which not only admits of such principles, but also refers them back to a set of assumptions grounded in a clearly religious frame of mind. Modern conceptions of rationality claim complete independence from religious sources, as from tradition more generally, and typically end up disposing of first (...)
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  • Moral Psychology: Empirical Approaches.John Doris & Stephen Stich - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Moral psychology investigates human functioning in moral contexts, and asks how these results may impact debate in ethical theory. This work is necessarily interdisciplinary, drawing on both the empirical resources of the human sciences and the conceptual resources of philosophical ethics. The present article discusses several topics that illustrate this type of inquiry: thought experiments, responsibility, character, egoism v . altruism, and moral disagreement.
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  • Culture and Cognitive Science.Jesse Prinz - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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