Results for 'Philosophical expertise'

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  1. Philosophical expertise under the microscope.Miguel Egler & Lewis Dylan Ross - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1077-1098.
    Recent experimental studies indicate that epistemically irrelevant factors can skew our intuitions, and that some degree of scepticism about appealing to intuition in philosophy is warranted. In response, some have claimed that philosophers are experts in such a way as to vindicate their reliance on intuitions—this has become known as the ‘expertise defence’. This paper explores the viability of the expertise defence, and suggests that it can be partially vindicated. Arguing that extant discussion is problematically imprecise, we will (...)
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  2. Sceptical Thoughts on Philosophical Expertise.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (3):449-458.
    My topic is two-fold: a reductive account of expertise as an epistemic phenomenon, and applying the reductive account to the question of whether or not philosophers enjoy expertise. I conclude, on the basis of the reductive account, that even though philosophers enjoy something akin to second-order expertise (i.e. they are often experts on the positions of other philosophers, current trends in the philosophical literature, the history of philosophy, conceptual analysis and so on), they nevertheless lack first-order (...)
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  3. How not to test for philosophical expertise.Regina A. Rini - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):431-452.
    Recent empirical work appears to suggest that the moral intuitions of professional philosophers are just as vulnerable to distorting psychological factors as are those of ordinary people. This paper assesses these recent tests of the ‘expertise defense’ of philosophical intuition. I argue that the use of familiar cases and principles constitutes a methodological problem. Since these items are familiar to philosophers, but not ordinary people, the two subject groups do not confront identical cognitive tasks. Reflection on this point (...)
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  4. Why the Empirical Study of Non-philosophical Expertise Does not Undermine the Status of Philosophical Expertise.Theodore Bach - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (4):999-1023.
    In some domains experts perform better than novices, and in other domains experts do not generally perform better than novices. According to empirical studies of expert performance, this is because the former but not the latter domains make available to training practitioners a direct form of learning feedback. Several philosophers resource this empirical literature to cast doubt on the quality of philosophical expertise. They claim that philosophy is like the dubious domains in that it does not make available (...)
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  5. Not Esoteric, Just Fallible: Comment on Starmans and Friedman About Philosophical Expertise.Tsung-Hsing Ho - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (10):e12896.
    Gettier cases are scenarios conceived by philosophers to demonstrate that justified true beliefs may not be knowledge. Starmans and Friedman (2020) find that philosophers attribute knowledge in Gettier cases differently from laypeople and non‐philosophy academics, which seems to suggest that philosophers may be indoctrinated to adopt an esoteric concept of knowledge. I argue to the contrary: Their finding at most shows that philosophical reflection is fallible, but nevertheless able to clarify the concept of knowledge. I also suggest that their (...)
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  6. Comment on “How not to test for philosophical expertise”.Wesley Buckwalter - manuscript
    Rini 2015 [Synthese 192, (2): 431-452] claims to have identified a methodological flaw that invalidates the results of two experimental studies [Schwitzgebel & Cushman (2012) Mind and Language 27, (2): 135-153; Tobia, Buckwalter & Stich (2013) Philosophical Psychology 26, (5): 629–638] demonstrating order effects in professional philosophical intuition. This conclusion is reached on the basis of unsupported empirical premises for which no evidence is given. Subsequent findings in experimental cognitive science further reveal this as unsupported speculation.
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  7. Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise.Wesley Buckwalter - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):378-410.
    Experimental philosophers have empirically challenged the connection between intuition and philosophical expertise. This paper reviews these challenges alongside other research findings in cognitive science on expert performance and argues for three claims. First, evidence taken to challenge philosophical expertise may also be explained by the well-researched failures and limitations of genuine expertise. Second, studying the failures and limitations of experts across many fields provides a promising research program upon which to base a new model of (...)
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  8. Philosophical and Psychological Accounts of Expertise and Experts.Matt Stichter - 2015 - Humana.Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies 28:105-128.
    There are many philosophical problems surrounding experts, given the power and status accorded to them in society. We think that what makes someone an expert is having expertise in some skill domain. But what does expertise consist in, and how closely related is expertise to the notion of an expert? Although most of us have acquired several practical skills, few of us have achieved the level of expertise with regard to those skills. So we can (...)
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  9. Philosophers' linguistic expertise: A psycholinguistic approach to the expertise objection against experimental philosophy.Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt & Aurélie Herbelot - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-33.
    Philosophers are often credited with particularly well-developed conceptual skills. The ‘expertise objection’ to experimental philosophy builds on this assumption to challenge inferences from findings about laypeople to conclusions about philosophers. We draw on psycholinguistics to develop and assess this objection. We examine whether philosophers are less or differently susceptible than laypersons to cognitive biases that affect how people understand verbal case descriptions and judge the cases described. We examine two possible sources of difference: Philosophers could be better at deploying (...)
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  10. The Expertise Defense and Experimental Philosophy of Free Will.Kiichi Inarimori - 2024 - Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 24:125-143.
    This paper aims to vindicate the expertise defense in light of the experimental philosophy of free will. My central argument is that the analogy strategy between philosophy and other domains is defensible, at least in the free will debate, because philosophical training contributes to the formation of philosophical intuition by enabling expert philosophers to understand philosophical issues correctly and to have philosophical intuitions about them. This paper will begin by deriving two requirements on the (...) defense from major criticisms of it. First, precisely how philosophical training contributes to the formation of philosophical intuitions requires explanation (Contribution); second, it must be explained how philosophical training immunizes philosophical intuitions from distorting factors (Immunity). I shall argue that the Contribution requirement is crucial for the expertise defense and that this requirement can be satisfied at least in the domain of free will: recent research shows that most novices are unable to understand determinism correctly, suggesting that having intuitions about determinism requires philosophical expertise. I then discuss how this proposal can be applied to other philosophical disciplines. (shrink)
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  11. Spirituality, Expertise, and Philosophers.Bryan Frances - 2013 - In L. Kvanvig Jonathan (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press. pp. 44-81.
    We all can identify many contemporary philosophy professors we know to be theists of some type or other. We also know that often enough their nontheistic beliefs are as epistemically upstanding as the non-theistic beliefs of philosophy professors who aren’t theists. In fact, the epistemic-andnon-theistic lives of philosophers who are theists are just as epistemically upstanding as the epistemic-and-non-theistic lives of philosophers who aren’t theists. Given these and other, similar, facts, there is good reason to think that the pro-theistic beliefs (...)
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  12. In Defence of Armchair Expertise.Theodore Bach - 2019 - Theoria 85 (5):350-382.
    In domains like stock brokerage, clinical psychiatry, and long‐term political forecasting, experts generally fail to outperform novices. Empirical researchers agree on why this is: experts must receive direct or environmental learning feedback during training to develop reliable expertise, and these domains are deficient in this type of feedback. A growing number of philosophers resource this consensus view to argue that, given the absence of direct or environmental philosophical feedback, we should not give the philosophical intuitions or theories (...)
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  13. Three Arguments Against the Expertise Defense.Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (1):52-64.
    Experimental philosophers have challenged friends of the expertise defense to show that the intuitive judgments of professional philosophers are different from the intuitive judgments of nonphilosophers, and the intuitive judgments of professional philosophers are better than the intuitive judgments of nonphilosophers, in ways that are relevant to the truth or falsity of such judgments. Friends of the expertise defense have responded by arguing that the burden of proof lies with experimental philosophers. This article sketches three arguments which show (...)
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  14. Where Philosophical Intuitions Come From.Helen De Cruz - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):233-249.
    Little is known about the aetiology of philosophical intuitions, in spite of their central role in analytic philosophy. This paper provides a psychological account of the intuitions that underlie philosophical practice, with a focus on intuitions that underlie the method of cases. I argue that many philosophical intuitions originate from spontaneous, early-developing, cognitive processes that also play a role in other cognitive domains. Additionally, they have a skilled, practiced, component. Philosophers are expert elicitors of intuitions in the (...)
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  15. Aristotle and Expertise: Ideas on the Skillfulness of Virtue.Noell Birondo - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (2):599-609.
    Many philosophers working on virtue theory have resisted the idea that the virtues are practical skills, apparently following Aristotle’s resistance to that idea. Bucking the trend, Matt Stichter defends a strong version of this idea in The Skillfulness of Virtue by marshaling a wide range of conceptual and empirical arguments to argue that the moral virtues are robust skills involving the cognitive-conative unification of Aristotelian phronêsis (‘practical intelligence’). Here I argue that Aristotle overlooks a more delimited kind of practical intelligence, (...)
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  16. Expertise and the fragmentation of intellectual autonomy.C. Thi Nguyen - 2018 - Philosophical Inquiries 6 (2):107-124.
    In The Great Endarkenment, Elijah Millgram argues that the hyper-specialization of expert domains has led to an intellectual crisis. Each field of human knowledge has its own specialized jargon, knowledge, and form of reasoning, and each is mutually incomprehensible to the next. Furthermore, says Millgram, modern scientific practical arguments are draped across many fields. Thus, there is no person in a position to assess the success of such a practical argument for themselves. This arrangement virtually guarantees that mistakes will accrue (...)
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  17. Perceptual Expertise, Universality, and Objectivity.Casey O'Callaghan - 2023 - Philosophical Studies.
    Perceptual malleability and diversity can stem from perceptual learning, expertise, genetics, disease, or accident. Perceptual malleability and diversity force us to reject the claim that perceptual capacities, perceptual experience, and perceptual content are universal across subjects and times. And it casts doubt on the presumption of a universal human perceptual nature. However, it does not directly challenge perceptual objectivity, understood as the claim that one can perceive a world of things and features that are independent from oneself and one's (...)
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  18. Skill and expertise in three schools of classical Chinese thought.Hagop Sarkissian - 2020 - In Ellen Fridland & Carlotta Pavese (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Skill and Expertise. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 40-52.
    The classical Chinese philosophical tradition (ca. 6th to 3rd centuries BCE) contains rich discussion of skill and expertise. Various texts exalt skilled exemplars (whether historical persons or fictional figures) who guide and inspire those seeking virtuosity within a particular dao (guiding teaching or way of life). These texts share a preoccupation with flourishing, or uncovering and articulating the constituents of an exemplary life. Some core features thought requisite to leading such a life included spontaneity, naturalness, and effortless ease. (...)
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  19. The Philosophy of Expertise: The Case of Vatican Astronomers.Louis Caruana - 2018 - In S. J. Gionti & S. J. Kikwaya Eluo (eds.), The Vatican Observatory, Castel Gandolfo: 80th Anniversary Celebration. Springer Verlag. pp. 245-252.
    These last decades, the many contributions to the literary output on science and religion have dealt with topics that are on the cutting edge of scientific discovery, topics mainly in the area of theoretical physics, cognitive science, and evolutionary biology. Philosophers of religion, responding to this trend, have therefore struggled with intricate arguments, and have often made use of the highly technical language of these sciences. The overall result was that truly original philosophical contributions, ones that present new perspectives (...)
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  20. Analogies, Moral Intuitions, and the Expertise Defence.Regina A. Rini - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (2):169-181.
    The evidential value of moral intuitions has been challenged by psychological work showing that the intuitions of ordinary people are affected by distorting factors. One reply to this challenge, the expertise defence, claims that training in philosophical thinking confers enhanced reliability on the intuitions of professional philosophers. This defence is often expressed through analogy: since we do not allow doubts about folk judgments in domains like mathematics or physics to undermine the plausibility of judgments by experts in these (...)
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  21. Practical knowledge without practical expertise: the social cognitive extension via outsourcing.Xiaoxing Zhang - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (4):1255-1275.
    Practical knowledge is discussed in close relation to practical expertise. For both anti-intellectualists and intellectualists, the knowledge of how to φ is widely assumed to entail the practical expertise in φ-ing. This paper refutes this assumption. I argue that non-experts can know how to φ via other experts’ knowledge of φ-ing. Know-how can be ‘outsourced’. I defend the outsourceability of know-how, and I refute the objections that reduce outsourced know-how to the knowledge of how to ask for help, (...)
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  22. Expecting Moral Philosophers to be Reliable.James Andow - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (2):205-220.
    Are philosophers’ intuitions more reliable than philosophical novices’? Are we entitled to assume the superiority of philosophers’ intuitions just as we assume that experts in other domains have more reliable intuitions than novices? Ryberg raises some doubts and his arguments promise to undermine the expertise defence of intuition-use in philosophy once and for all. In this paper, I raise a number of objections to these arguments. I argue that philosophers receive sufficient feedback about the quality of their intuitions (...)
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  23. Naturalism and Moral Expertise in the Zhuangzi.Christopher Kirby - 2017 - Journal of East-West Thought 7 (3):13-27.
    This essay will examine scholarly attempts at distilling a proto-ethical philosophy from the Daoist classic known as the Zhuangzi. In opposition to interpretations of the text which characterize it as amoralistic, I will identify elements of a natural normativity in the Zhuangzi. My examination features passages from the Zhuangzi – commonly known as the “knack” passages – which are often interpreted through some sort of linguistic, skeptical, or relativistic lens. Contra such readings, I believe the Zhuangzi prescribes an art of (...)
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  24. Drawing on a Sculpted Space of Actions: Educating for Expertise while Avoiding a Cognitive Monster.Machiel Keestra - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 51 (3):620-639.
    Philosophers and scientists have across the ages been amazed about the fact that development and learning often lead to not just a merely incremental and gradual change in the learner but sometimes to a result that is strikingly different from the learner’s original situation: amazed, but at times also worried. Both philosophical and cognitive neuroscientific insights suggest that experts appear to perform ‘different’ tasks compared to beginners who behave in a similar way. These philosophical and empirical perspectives give (...)
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  25. Against ‘instantaneous’ expertise.Alexander Mebius - 2022 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 17 (1):1-6.
    Background Healthcare is predicated on the use of biotechnology and medical technology, both of which are indispensable in diagnosis, treatment, and most aspects of patient care. It is therefore imperative that justifications for use of new technologies are appropriate, with the technologies working as advertised. In this paper, I consider philosophical accounts of how such justifications are made. Methods Critical philosophical reflection and analysis. Results I propose that justification in many prominent accounts is based on the designer’s professional (...)
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  26. Experimental Philosophy, Williamson’s Expertise Defense of Armchair Philosophy and the Value of the History of Philosophy.Lucas Thorpe - 2018 - In Philosophy at Yeditepe: Special Issue on Philosophical Methodology. pp. 169-184.
    This paper examines Timothy Williamson's recent 'expertise defense' of armchair philosophy mounted by skeptical experimental philosophers. The skeptical experimental philosophers argue that the methodology of traditional 'armchair' philosophers rests up trusting their own intuitions about particular problem cases. Empirical studies suggest that these intuitions are not generally shared and that such intuitions are strongly influenced factors that are not truth conducive such as cultural background or whether or not the question is asked in a messy or tidy office. Williamson's (...)
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  27. The phenomenology of everyday expertise and the emancipatory interest.Brian O’Connor - 2013 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (9):0191453713498388.
    This is a critical theoretical investigation of Hubert Dreyfus’ ‘phenomenology of everyday expertise’ (PEE). Operating mainly through the critical perspective of the ‘emancipatory interest’ the article takes issue with the contention that when engaged in expert action human beings are in non-deliberative, reason-free absorption. The claim of PEE that absorbed actions are not amenable to reconstruction places those actions outside the space of reasons. The question of acting under the wrong reasons – the question upon which the emancipatory interest (...)
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  28. Future Selves and Present Moral Philosophers: Our Epistemic Superiors in Moral Matters.Jakob Lohmar - 2021 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 98 (3):436-445.
    Moral expertise requires a level of reliability in moral matters that is significantly higher than that of the average person. The author argues that this requirement of epistemic superiority in moral matters is sometimes fulfilled by our future selves and generally fulfilled by present moral philosophers. Our future selves are more reliable in answering moral questions than we are, when they have been prepared to answer those questions by various epistemic activities. But if our future selves are our epistemic (...)
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  29. Epistemic Authorities and Skilled Agents: A Pluralist Account of Moral Expertise.Federico Bina, Sofia Bonicalzi & Michel Croce - forthcoming - Topoi:1-13.
    This paper explores the concept of moral expertise in the contemporary philosophical debate, with a focus on three accounts discussed across moral epistemology, bioethics, and virtue ethics: an epistemic authority account, a skilled agent account, and a hybrid model sharing key features of the two. It is argued that there are no convincing reasons to defend a monistic approach that reduces moral expertise to only one of these models. A pluralist view is outlined in the attempt to (...)
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  30. Five Pragmatist Insights on Scientific Expertise.Mathias Girel - 2020 - Philosophical Inquiries 8 (2):151-176.
    A common objection to a pragmatist perspective on scientific expertise is that, while there is a well-known pragmatist theory of inquiry, which was formulated first by Peirce, then refined by Dewey and others, this theory cannot provide a clear-cut account of scientific expertise. In this paper, after addressing this objection in the second section, I claim that, on the contrary, pragmatism offers robust tools to think scientific expertise. In Sections 3 to 7, I present five important insights (...)
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  31.  80
    Are philosophers' intuitions more reliable than novices' intuitions?Kiichi Inarimori - 2024 - Tetsugaku 75 (8):84-101.
    This paper aims to defend the Expertise Defense by addressing the problem of disanalogy, which represents one of the two main critiques against this argument. The Expertise Defense is an argument which defends the notion that philosophers’ judgments are more reliable than those of novices by making analogies between philosophy and other fields in which experts’ judgments are given a privileged position. Conventionally, this line of argumentation has aimed to demonstrate that philosophers' intuitions about thought experiments or metaphysical (...)
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  32.  66
    Forming Impressions: Expertise in Perception and Intuition.Margot Strohminger - 2024 - Philosophical Review 133 (1):92-95.
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  33. Affective, cognitive, and ecological components of joint expertise in collaborative embodied skills.John Sutton - 2024 - In Mirko Farina, Andrea Lavazza & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Expertise: Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
    To better understand the nature of joint expertise and its underlying processes, we need not only analyses of the general conditions for skilled group action, but also descriptive accounts of the features and dimensions that vary across distinct performances and contexts, such as sport and the arts. And in addition to positioning our accounts against current models of individual skill, we need concepts and lessons from work on collaborative processes in other cognitive domains. This paper examines ecological or situational (...)
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  34. A philosopher’s guide to discounting.Kian Mintz-Woo - 2021 - In Budolfson Mark, McPherson Tristram & Plunkett David (eds.), Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford University Press. pp. 90-110.
    This chapter introduces several distinctions relevant to what is called the “discounting problem”, since the issue is how (future) costs and benefits are discounted to make them comparable in present terms. The author defends the claim that there are good reasons to adopt Ramsey-style discounting in the context of climate change: the Ramsey rule is robust, flexible, and well-understood. An important distinction involved in discounting—“descriptivism” and “prescriptivism”—is discussed. It is argued that, even if we adopt prescriptivism, and accept that this (...)
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  35. Extensive Philosophical Agreement and Progress.Bryan Frances - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (1-2):47-57.
    This article argues, first, that there is plenty of agreement among philosophers on philosophically substantive claims, which fall into three categories: reasons for or against certain views, elementary truths regarding fundamental notions, and highly conditionalized claims. This agreement suggests that there is important philosophical progress. It then argues that although it's easy to list several potential kinds of philosophical progress, it is much harder to determine whether the potential is actual. Then the article attempts to articulate the truth (...)
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  36. INTUICIÓN, PERICIA FILOSÓFICA Y ARGUMENTACIÓN.Fernando Eliécer Vásquez Barba - 2021 - Analítica 1 (1):80 - 92.
    In this paper it is explored the relationship between the practice of philosophy and the development of a sort of professional intuition through it. That is to say, this paper is broadly concerned with a very traditional metaphilosophical topic, namely, the sort of abilities a skillful philosopher must possess to excel at philosophizing. More precisely, it critically examines the long-held common place in philosophy according to which the competences acquired through philosophical training are related to applying concepts. Such a (...)
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  37.  78
    A New Method in Philosophical Counseling (IPAA).Adrian Hagiu, Sergiu Bortoș & Iosif Tamaș - 2023 - Postmodern Openings 14 (1):46-61.
    Starting from the four principles of Pólya's problem-solving method, by analogy, in this paper we propose a new method of philosophical counseling. Thus, the objectives of this study are as follows: the review of several methods of philosophical counseling; justifying the need for a new method, which we called the IPAA method; developing the four principles – the principle of identification (I), the principle of planification (P), the principle of application (A) and the principle of assumption (A). In (...)
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  38. The Role of Philosophers in Climate Change.Eugene Chislenko - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (4):780-798.
    Some conceptions of the role of philosophers in climate change focus mainly on theoretical progress in philosophy, or on philosophers as individual citizens. Against these views, I defend a skill view: philosophers should use our characteristic skills as philosophers to combat climate change by integrating it into our teaching, research, service, and community engagement. A focus on theoretical progress, citizenship, expertise, virtue, ability, social role, or power, rather than on skill, can allow for some of these contributions. But the (...)
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  39. Does religious belief impact philosophical analysis?Kevin P. Tobia - 2016 - Religion, Brain and Behavior 6 (1):56-66.
    One popular conception of natural theology holds that certain purely rational arguments are insulated from empirical inquiry and independently establish conclusions that provide evidence, justification, or proof of God’s existence. Yet, some raise suspicions that philosophers and theologians’ personal religious beliefs inappropriately affect these kinds of arguments. I present an experimental test of whether philosophers and theologians’ argument analysis is influenced by religious commitments. The empirical findings suggest religious belief affects philosophical analysis and offer a challenge to theists and (...)
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  40. Was sollen Philosoph/innen tun? Kommentar Kommentar zur Podiumsdiskussion „Bedrohtes Denken“ (DGPhil Kongress 2017).Maria Kronfeldner & Alexander Reutlinger - 2018 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 72 (1):114-118.
    Wie können Philosoph/innen mit der Bedrohung der akademischen Freiheit umgehen, die von rechtspopulistischen Strömungen (in Deutschland, Europa und weltweit) und autoritären Staaten (wie der Türkei und Ungarn) ausgeht? – Diese Frage stand im Zentrum der Podiumsdiskussion „Bedrohtes Denken“, die während des DGPhil Kongresses in Berlin am Tag der Bundestagswahl 2017 stattfand. Es war eine Diskussion, deren Ende von der bedrückenden Nachricht überschattet wurde, die rechtsextreme AfD werde drittstärkste Kraft im neuen Bundestag. Angesichts dieses zutiefst beunruhigenden Wahlergebnisses glauben wir, dass es (...)
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  41. Two Potential Problems with Philosophical Intuitions: Muddled Intuitions and Biased Intuitions.Jeanine Weekes Schroer & Robert Schroer - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (4):1263-1281.
    One critique of experimental philosophy is that the intuitions of the philosophically untutored should be accorded little to no weight; instead, only the intuitions of professional philosophers should matter. In response to this critique, “experimentalists” often claim that the intuitions of professional philosophers are biased. In this paper, we explore this question of whose intuitions should be disqualified and why. Much of the literature on this issue focuses on the question of whether the intuitions of professional philosophers are reliable. In (...)
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  42. A philosophical investigation into coercive psychiatric practices Vols 1.Gerry Roche - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Limerick
    This dissertation seeks to examine the validity of the justification commonly offered for a coercive(1) psychiatric intervention, namely that the intervention was in the ‘best interests’ of the subject and/or that the subject posed a danger to others. As a first step,it was decided to analyse justifications based on ‘best interests’ [the ‘Stage 1’ argument] separately from those based on dangerousness [the ‘Stage 2’ argument]. Justifications based on both were the focus of the ‘Stage 3’ argument. Legal and philosophical (...)
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  43. A philosophical investigation into coercive psychiatric practices_Vol 2.Gerry Roche - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Limerick
    This dissertation seeks to examine the validity of the justification commonly offered for a coercive (1) psychiatric intervention, namely that the intervention was in the ‘best interests’ of the subject and/or that the subject posed a danger to others. As a first step,it was decided to analyse justifications based on ‘best interests’ [the ‘Stage 1’ argument] separately from those based on dangerousness [the ‘Stage 2’ argument]. Justifications based on both were the focus of the ‘Stage 3’ argument. Legal and (...) analyses of coercive psychiatric interventions generally regard such interventions as embodying a benign paternalism occasioning slight, if any, ethical concern. Whilst there are some dissenting voices even at the very heart of academic and professional psychiatry, the majority of psychiatrists also appear to share such views. The aim of this dissertation is to show that such a perspective is mistaken and that such interventions raise philosophical and ethical questions of the profoundest importance.(2) The philosophical well-spring of the Stage 1 dissertation argument lay in an observation made by Philippa Foot (3) that the “… right to be let free from unwanted interference” is one of the most fundamental and distinctive rights of persons, a right which takes precedence over any “… action we would dearly like to take for his sake.” This – in conjunction with the recognition that some coercive psychiatric interventions are of a gravity as to result in the personhood of the subject being severely damaged if not destroyed – suggested that the concept of personhood play a central role in the formulation of the dissertation argument. For ease of analysis it was presumed that the term ‘person’ could be defined by a set of necessary and sufficient conditions of which ‘minimum levels of rationality’ and ‘ability to communicate’ were the only conditions relevant to the formulation of justifications for coercive psychiatric interventions. This presumption was explicated into a number of postulates which enabled the construction of a rigorous foundation on which to develop the dissertation argument. This argument then sought to determine whether psychiatric assessments of irrationality were accurate and reliable. In furtherance of this analysis it was necessary to examine the reliability of psychiatric determinations in other areas of claimed expertise namely diagnosis, treatment and assessment of dangerousness. This ‘crossing of the disciplinary threshold’ brought to light the dearth of studies on psychiatric misdiagnosis and iatrogenic harm. A variant of the Precautionary Principle was developed to enable the extent of such harms to be estimated. The not insignificant levels of psychiatric misdiagnosis and iatrogenic harm and erroneous assessments of dangerousness which were thus found are of considerable relevance to any ethical analysis of the justification for coercive psychiatric intervention and serve to undermine simple paternalistic justifications. --- (1)The term ‘coercive’ (rather than ‘non-consensual’) is used to indicate an intervention carried out against the explicit and contemporaneous objections of the subject (2)Not least because the number of individuals detained in Irish psychiatric hospitals is of a comparable order of magnitude to the number detained in Irish prisons subsequent to a criminal conviction (3)See Foot (1977), p.102. (shrink)
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  44. Who's Afraid of Trolleys?Antti Kauppinen - 2018 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. New York: Routledge.
    Recent empirical studies of philosophers by Eric Schwitzgebel and others have seriously called into question whether professional ethicists have any useful expertise with thought experiments, given that their intuitions appear to be no more reliable than those of lay subjects. Drawing on such results, sceptics like Edouard Machery argue that normative ethics as it is currently practiced is deeply problematic. In this paper, I present two main arguments in defense of the standard methodology of normative ethics. First, there is (...)
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  45.  37
    Public Health Policies: Philosophical Perspectives Between Science and Democracy.Federico Boem & Matteo Galletti - 2021 - Humana Mente 14 (40).
    COVID19 pandemic has clarified that public health policies are central for the future of human societies from several perspectives. As a matter of fact, they are based on certain premises that are practical-political (e.g., ensuring the health of citizens), moral (e.g., health is a value), or epistemological (e.g., certain ideas concerning expertise and shared knowledge). Indeed, effective policies require first and foremost not only to be based on reliable data and models (i.e., so-called evidence-based policy) but also to ensure (...)
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  46. Limitations and Criticism of Experimental Philosophy.Theodore Bach - 2023 - In Alexander Max Bauer & Stephan Kornmesser (eds.), The Compact Compendium of Experimental Philosophy. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 101-130.
    Experimental philosophy involves subjecting philosophical methods and judgments to empirical scrutiny. I begin by exploring conceptual, confirmational, and empirical factors that limit the significance of experiment-based and survey-based approaches to the evaluation of philosophical epistemic activities. I then consider specific criticisms of experimental philosophy: its experimental conditions lack ecological validity; it wrongly assumes that philosophers rely on psychologized data; it overlooks the reflective and social elements of philosophical case analysis; it misconstrues the importance of both procedural and (...)
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  47. The Methodological Necessity of Experimental Philosophy.Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2015 - Discipline Filosofiche 25 (1):23-42.
    Must philosophers incorporate tools of experimental science into their methodological toolbox? I argue here that they must. Tallying up all the resources that are now part of standard practice in analytic philosophy, we see the problem that they do not include adequate resources for detecting and correcting for their own biases and proclivities towards error. Methodologically sufficient resources for error- detection and error-correction can only come, in part, from the deployment of specific methods from the sciences. However, we need not (...)
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  48. A plague on both your houses: Virtue theory after situationism and repligate.Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Teoria.
    Virtues are dispositions that make their bearers admirable. Dispositions can be studied scientifically by systematically varying whether their alleged bearers are in (or take themselves to be in) the dispositions' eliciting conditions. In recent decades, empirically-minded philosophers looked to social and personality psychology to study the extent to which ordinary humans embody dispositions traditionally considered admirable in the Aristotelian tradition. This led some to conclude that virtues are not attainable ideals, and that we should focus our ethical reflection and efforts (...)
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  49. Practice for Wisdom: On the Neglected Role of Case-Based Critical Reflection.Jason D. Swartwood - 2024 - Topoi 43:1-13.
    Despite increased philosophical and psychological work on practical wisdom, contemporary interdisciplinary wisdom research provides few specifics about how to develop wisdom (Kristjánsson 2022). This lack of practically useful guidance is due in part to the difficulty of determining how to combine the tools of philosophy and psychology to develop a plausible account of wisdom as a prescriptive ideal. Modeling wisdom on more ordinary forms of expertise is promising, but skill models of wisdom (Annas 2011; De Caro et al. (...)
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  50. The Gender Wars, Academic Freedom and Education.Judith Suissa & Alice Sullivan - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 55 (1):55-82.
    Philosophical arguments regarding academic freedom can sometimes appear removed from the real conflicts playing out in contemporary universities. This paper focusses on a set of issues at the front line of these conflicts, namely, questions regarding sex, gender and gender identity. We document the ways in which the work of academics has been affected by political activism around these questions and, drawing on our respective disciplinary expertise as a sociologist and a philosopher, elucidate the costs of curtailing discussion (...)
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