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Eugen Fischer
University of East Anglia
  1.  30
    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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  2.  69
    Eyes as Windows to Minds: Psycholinguistics for Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - forthcoming - In Eugen Fischer & Mark Curtis (eds.), Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy. London, UK: Bloomsbury.
    Psycholinguistic methods hold great promise for experimental philosophy. Many philosophical thought experiments and arguments proceed from verbal descriptions of possible cases. Many relevant intuitions and conclusions are driven by spontaneous inferences about what else must also be true in the cases described. Such inferences are continually made in language comprehension and production. This chapter explains how methods from psycholinguistics can be employed to study such routine automatic inferences, with a view to assessing intuitions and reconstructing arguments. We demonstrate how plausibility (...)
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  3. 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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  4. Intuitions' Linguistic Sources: Stereotypes, Intuitions and Illusions.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (1):67-103.
    Intuitive judgments elicited by verbal case-descriptions play key roles in philosophical problem-setting and argument. Experimental philosophy's ‘sources project’ seeks to develop psychological explanations of philosophically relevant intuitions which help us assess our warrant for accepting them. This article develops a psycholinguistic explanation of intuitions prompted by philosophical case-descriptions. For proof of concept, we target intuitions underlying a classic paradox about perception, trace them to stereotype-driven inferences automatically executed in verb comprehension, and employ a forced-choice plausibility-ranking task to elicit the relevant (...)
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  5.  69
    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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  6. 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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  7. Verbal Fallacies and Philosophical Intuitions: The Continuing Relevance of Ordinary Language Analysis.Eugen Fischer - 2014 - In Brian Garvey (ed.), Austin on Language. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 124-140.
    The paper builds on a methodological idea from experimental philosophy and on findings from psycholinguistics, to develop and defend ordinary language analysis (OLA) as practiced in J.L. Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia. That attack on sense-datum theories of perception focuses on the argument from illusion. Through a case-study on this paradoxical argument, the present paper argues for a form of OLA which is psychologically informed, seeks to expose epistemic, rather than semantic, defects in paradoxical arguments, and is immune to the main (...)
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  8.  68
    Two Analogy Strategies: The Cases of Mind Metaphors and Introspection.Eugen Fischer - 2018 - Connection Science 30 (2):211-243.
    Analogical reasoning is often employed in problem-solving and metaphor interpretation. This paper submits that, as a default, analogical reasoning addressing these different tasks employs different mapping strategies: In problem-solving, it employs analogy-maximising strategies (like structure mapping, Gentner & Markman 1997); in metaphor interpretation, analogy-minimising strategies (like ATT-Meta, Barnden 2015). The two strategies interact in analogical reasoning with conceptual metaphors. This interaction leads to predictable fallacies. The paper supports these hypotheses through case-studies on ‘mind’-metaphors from ordinary discourse, and abstract problem-solving in (...)
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  9. Therapie als philosophisches Projekt.Eugen Fischer - 2009 - In Gunther Gebauer, Fabian Goppelsroeder & Joerg Volbers (eds.), Wittgenstein - Philosophie als "Arbeit and Einem selbst". Fink. pp. 167-194.
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  10. A Cognitive Self-Therapy : PI 138-97.Eugen Fischer - 2004 - In Erich Ammereller & Eugen Fischer (eds.), Wittgenstein at Work: Method in the Philosophical Investigations. Routledge. pp. 86--126.
    Wittgenstein compared his treatment of philosophical questions to the cure of an illness, his philosophical methods to different types of therapies. This paper seeks to spell out the point of these comparisons. To this end, it analyzes Wittgenstein's problems and proceeding in sections 138-197 of his "Philosophical Investigations", with the help of some new concepts, in part adapted from clinical psychology, namely, cognitive therapy. They are used to conceptualize the problems at issue in such a way as to bring out (...)
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  11.  50
    Therapie statt Theorie. Das Big Typescript als Schluessel zu Wittgensteins spaeter Philosophieauffassung.Eugen Fischer - 2006 - In Stefan Majetschak (ed.), Wittgensteins "grosse Maschinenschrift". Lang. pp. 31-59.
    The paper clarifies therapeutic ideas about philosophical method which Wittgenstein puts forward in his "Big Typescript". It does so by analysing how Wittgenstein treats the question 'What is meaning?', in that part of the same work from which the opening sections of his "Philosophical Investigations" derive. On this basis, the paper explains why Wittgenstein set himself a therapeutic goal, why this is reasonable, and how he sought to attain that goal without 'pronouncing new truths about the subject of the investigation', (...)
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  12.  96
    Unfair to Physiology.Eugen Fischer - 2001 - Acta Analytica 16 (26):135-155.
    The paper seeks to refute the idea that physiology can explain at best an organism’s behaviour, outward and inner, but not the conscious experiences that accompany that behaviour. To do so, the paper clarifies the idea by confrontation with an actual example of psychophysical explanation of perceptual experience. This reveals that the idea relies on a prejudice about physiological practice. Then the paper explores some peculiar ways in which this prejudice may survive its refutation. This is to bring out that (...)
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  13.  68
    Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Mark Curtis (eds.) - forthcoming - London: Bloomsbury Press.
    Until recently, experimental philosophy has been associated with the questionnaire-based study of intuitions; however, experimental philosophers now adapt a wide range of empirical methods for new philosophical purposes. New methods include paradigms for behavioural experiments from across the social sciences as well as computational methods from the digital humanities that can process large bodies of text and evidence. This book offers an accessible overview of these exciting innovations. The volume brings together established and emerging research leaders from several areas of (...)
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