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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. 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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  • Lingering Stereotypes: Salience Bias in Philosophical Argument.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    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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  • "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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  • Lingering Stereotypes: Salience Bias in Philosophical Argument.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    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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  • Experimental Ordinary Language Philosophy: A Cross-Linguistic Study of Defeasible Default Inferences.Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt, Joachim Horvath & Hiroshi Ohtani - forthcoming - Synthese:1-42.
    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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