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This chapter summarizes an emerging sub-discipline of both empirical bioethics and experimental philosophy (“x-phi”) which has variously been referred to as experimental philosophical bioethics, experimental bioethics, or simply “bioxphi” (Earp, Latham and Tobia, 2020; Earp et al., 2020; Lewis, 2020; Mihailov, Hannikainen and Earp, 2021). Like empi...
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Recent literature in experimental philosophy has postulated the existence of the abstract/concrete paradox (ACP): the tendency to activate inconsistent intuitions (and generate inconsistent judgment) depending on whether a problem to be analyzed is framed in abstract terms or is described as a concrete case. One recent study supports the thesis tha...
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A prevalent assumption in metaethics is that people believe in moral objectivity. If this assumption were true then people should believe in the possibility of objective moral progress, objective moral knowledge, and objective moral error. We developed surveys to investigate whether these predictions hold. Our results suggest that, neither abstract...
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A large body of research has found that people judge bad foreseen side effects to be more intentional than good. While the standard interpretation of this Side-Effect Effect (SEE) takes it to show that the ordinary concept of intentionality is influenced by normative considerations, a competing account holds that it is the result of pragmatic press...
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Metacognitive mental states are mental states about mental states. For example, I may be uncertain whether my belief is correct. In social discourse, an interlocutor’s metacognitive certainty may constitute evidence about the reliability of their testimony. For example, if a speaker is certain that their belief is correct, then we may take this as...
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According to the so-called Classical Theory, concepts are mentally represented by individually necessary and jointly sufficient application conditions. One of the principal empirical objections against this view stems from evidence that people judge some instances of a concept to be more typical than others. In this paper we present and discuss fou...
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Well over half a century before the development of contemporary experimental philosophy, the Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss conducted a number of empirical investigations intended to document non-philosophers’ convictions regarding a number of topics of philosophical interest. In the 1930s and 1950s, Næss collected data relevant to non-philosopher...
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The goal of this synthetic paper is to break down the dimensions of consciousness, attempt to reverse-engineer their evolutionary function, and make sense of the origins of consciousness by breaking off those dimensions that are more likely to have arisen later. A Darwinian approach will allow us to revise the philosopher’s concept of consciousness...
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Overview of experimental philosophy.
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Considerable attention in bioethics has been devoted to moral expertise and its implications for handling applied moral problems. The existence and nature of moral expertise has been a contested topic, and particularly, whether philosophers are moral experts. In this study, we put the question of philosophers' moral expertise in a wider context, ut...
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In a recent paper, Justin D’Ambrosio (2020) has offered an empirical argument in support of a negative solution to the puzzle of Macbeth’s dagger—namely, the question of whether, in the famous scene from Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth sees a dagger in front of him. D’Ambrosio’s strategy consists in showing that “seeing” is not an existence-neutral ver...
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Thomas Reid, Adam Ferguson and Dugald Stewart were exponents of the experimental philosophy of mind in the Scottish Enlightenment. The unique character of their philosophical project lies in the adoption of the mind-matter dualism as a necessary condition for the study of mental phenomena. This fact led them to recognize the importance of Descartes...
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The paper addresses the problem of imaginative resistance in science, that is, why and under what circumstances imagination sometimes resists certain scenarios. In the first part, the paper presents and discusses two accounts concerning the problem and relevant for the main thesis of this study. The first position is that of Gendler (Journal of Phi...
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In this paper, I will discuss van Petrus van Musschenbroek’s (1692-1761) philosophy of science and more particularly his views on the exemplary status of chemistry. Throughout his oeuvre, van Musschenbroek reflected on the nature of and the proper method for “experimental philosophy”. Characteristic for van Musschenbroek’s philosophy of science are...
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Empirical work has lately confirmed what many philosophers have taken to be true: people are ‘biased toward the future’. All else being equal, we usually prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. According to one hypothesis, the temporal metaphysics hypothesis, future-bias is explained either by our (t...
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Contemporary Western discourse on freedom and choice – some of the most championed modern values – is usually anchored in the concept cluster of free will and autonomous choice. In turn, academic research on free will in philosophy (including experimental philosophy) and psychology is largely based on a limited conceptual framework with roots in pa...
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Ordinary judgments about personal identity are complicated by the fact that phrases like “same person” and “different person” have multiple uses in ordinary English. This complication calls into question the significance of recent experimental work on this topic. For example, Tobia (Anal 75: 396–405, 2015) found that judgments of personal identity...
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Research in experimental philosophy has increasingly been turning to corpus methods to produce evidence for empirical claims, as they open up new possibilities for testing linguistic claims or studying concepts across time and culture. The present article reviews the quasi‐experimental studies that have been done using textual data from corpora in...
Chapter
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Classical logic was long believed to provide the norms of reasoning. But more recently researchers interested in the norms of reasoning have shifted their attention toward probability theory and various concepts and rules that can be defined in probabilistic terms. In philosophy, this shift gave rise to formal epistemology, while in psychology, it...
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Experimental Philosophy (X-Phi) is now a fully-fledged methodological project with applications in almost all areas of analytic philosophy, including, as of recently, aesthetics. Another methodological project which has been attracting attention in the last few years is conceptual engineering (CE). Its areas of implementation are now diverse, but a...
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It is widely held in philosophy that knowing is not a state of mind. On this view, rather than knowledge itself constituting a mental state, when we know, we occupy a belief state that exhibits some additional non-mental characteristics. Fascinatingly, however, new empirical findings from cognitive neuroscience and experimental philosophy now offer...
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This paper argues for two interrelated claims. The first is that the most innovative contribution of Timothy Williamson, Herman Cappelen, and Max Deutsch (a.k.a., the intuition deniers) in the debate about the epistemology of thought experiments is not the denial of intuition and the claim of the irrelevance of experimental philosophy but the claim...
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Are emotions bodily feelings or evaluative cognitions? What is happiness, pain, or "being moved"? Are there basic emotions? In this chapter, I review extant empirical work concerning these and related questions in the philosophy of emotion. This will include both (1) studies investigating people's emotional experiences and (2) studies investigating...
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Experimental philosophy (or “x-phi”) is a way of doing philosophy. It is “traditional” philosophy, but with a little something extra: In addition to the expected philosophical arguments and engagement, x-phi involves the use of empirical methods to test the empirical claims that arise. This extra bit strikes some as a new, perhaps radical, addition...
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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 (1) defining culture, (2) finding representative samples, (3)...
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In emotion research, both conceptual analyses and empirical studies commonly rely on emotion reports. But what do people mean when they say that they are angry, afraid, joyful, etc.? Building on extant theories of emotion, this paper presents four new studies (including a pre-registered replication) measuring the weight of cognitive evaluations, bo...
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Purpose There is a widespread recognition that biomedical explanations offer benefits to those diagnosed with a mental disorder. Recent research points out that such explanations may nevertheless have stigmatizing effects. In this study, this ‘mixed blessing’ [2] account of biomedical explanations is investigated in a case of philosophical interest...
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Recent metaphilosophical debates have focused on the methods/epistemology of philosophy (e.g., the role of intuitions), and the structure of the discipline (e.g., which subfields are considered central to philosophy). The paper reports the results of an exploratory study examining the relationship between personality and both kinds of metaphilosoph...
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People are ‘biased toward the future’: all else being equal, we typically prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. Several explanations have been suggested for this pattern of preferences. Adjudicating among these explanations can, among other things, shed light on the rationality of future-bias: For...
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Philosophers and scientists refer to the special character of phenomenal consciousness, something supposedly obvious to all conscious persons. However, we had no empirical evidence about the folk view of consciousness until the first studies were carried out in the experimental philosophy of consciousness. According to the leading interpretation of...
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Experimental philosophy is now some twenty years old and has a large body of work to its credit. Little of this work focusses directly on memory, but it has, as the philosophy of memory has come into its own over the last several years, become increasingly clear that there are numerous questions about the concept of memory to which the tools develo...
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What does the future hold for analytic and experimental philosophy? Petr Jedlička looks at current research methods and asks where the next generation of philosophers might lead us. https://www.lse.ac.uk/philosophy/blog/2022/03/16/what-else-is-ending-and-what-is-beginning/
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Much of the force behind doxastic involuntarism comes from our pre-theoretical judgement that any effort to form a belief simply by intending to form it must remain unsuccessful. However, despite this, ordinary language use of locutions like “chose to believe” are common. In this article, we present new experimental data that shows that the prevale...
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Most people believe in free will, which is foundational for our sense of agency and responsibility. Past research demonstrated that such beliefs are dynamic, and can be manipulated experimentally. Much less is known about free will attitudes (FWAs; do you value free will?), whether they are equally dynamic, and about their relation to free will bel...
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People experience stronger regret regarding negative outcomes resulting from more exceptional circumstances compared to routine. We hypothesized that the exceptionality-routine attribution asymmetry would extend to attributions of agency and moral responsibility. In Experiment 1 (N = 337), we found that people attributed more free will to exception...
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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...
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In a recent paper, Joshua Knobe (2019) offers a startling account of the metaphilosophical implications of findings in experimental philosophy. We argue that Knobe’s account is seriously mistaken, and that it is based on a radically misleading portrait of recent work in experimental philosophy and cultural psychology.
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If successful scientific inquiry is to be possible, there must be a world that is independent of how we believe it to be, and in which there are kinds and laws; and we must have the sensory apparatus to perceive particular things and events, and the capacity to represent them, to form generalized explanatory conjectures, and check how these conject...
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In many spheres, the law takes the legal concept of causation to correspond to the folk concept (the correspondence assumption). Courts, including the US Supreme Court, tend to insist on the "common understanding" and that which is "natural to say" (Burrage v. United States) when it comes to expressions relating to causation, and frequently refuse...
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There are two general views that social ontologists currently defend concerning the nature of joint intentional action. According to 'non-normativists', for a joint action to be established, we need to align certain psychological states in certain ways. 'Normativists' argue that joint action essentially involves normative relations that cannot be r...
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Machery’s book is an effort to show how experimental philosophy can be valuable without the perephenelia of intuitions. I argue that the effort fails.
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This chapter sheds light on a response to experimental philosophy that has not yet received enough attention: the reflection defense. According to proponents of this defense, judgments about philosophical cases are relevant only when they are the product of careful, nuanced, and conceptually rigorous reflection. The chapter argues that the reflecti...
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We consider how human subjects establish signaling conventions in the context of Lewis-Skyrms signaling games. These experiments involve games where there are precisely the right number of signal types to represent the states of nature, games where there are more signal types than states, and games where there are fewer signal types than states. Th...
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Experimental philosophy is a relatively recent discipline that employs experimental methods to investigate the intuitions, concepts, and assumptions behind traditional philosophical arguments, problems, and theories. While experimental philosophy initially served to interrogate the role that intuitions play in philosophy, it has since branched out...
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When experimental philosophers carry out studies on thought experiments, some participants are excluded based on certain exclusion criteria, mirroring standard social science vignette methodology. This involves excluding people that do not pay attention or who miscomprehend the scenario presented in thought experiments. However, experimental philos...
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This paper outlines a new method for identifying folk intuitions to complement armchair intuiting and experimental philosophy (X-Phi), and thereby enrich the philosopher’s toolkit. This new approach—trope analysis—depends not on what people report their intuitions to be but rather on what they have made and engaged with; I propose that tropes in fi...
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Expertise has become a topic of increased interest to philosophers. Fascinating in its own right, expertise also plays a crucial role in several philosophical debates. My aim in this paper is to draw attention to an important, and hitherto unappreciated feature of expertise: its brittleness. Experts are often unable to transfer their proficiency in...
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The experimental philosophy of law is a recent movement that aims to inform traditional debates in jurisprudence by conducting empirical research. This paper introduces and provides a systematic overview of the main lines of research in this field. It also covers the most important debates in the literature regarding the implications of these findi...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13164-021-00559-0
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Philosophers have long noted, and empirical psychology has lately confirmed, that most people are “biased toward the future”: we prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. At least two explanations have been offered for this bias: (1) belief in temporal passage (or related theses in temporal metaphysics...
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The finding that intuitions about the reference of proper names vary cross-culturally (Machery et al. Cognition 92: 1–12. 2004) was one of the early milestones in experimental philosophy. Many follow-up studies investigated the scope and magnitude of such cross-cultural effects, but our paper provides the first systematic meta-analysis of studies r...
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In order to be doing something intentionally, must one know that one is doing it? Some philosophers have answered yes. Our aim is to test a version of this knowledge thesis, what we call the Knowledge/Awareness Thesis, or KAT. KAT states that an agent is doing something intentionally only if he knows that he is doing it or is aware that he is doing...
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Plausibly, how much is at stake in some salient practical task can affect how generously people ascribe knowledge of task-relevant facts. There is a metaphysical puzzle about this phenomenon, and an empirical puzzle. Metaphysically: there are competing theories about when and how practical stakes affect whether it is correct to ascribe knowledge. W...
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The cross-cultural differences in epistemic intuitions reported by Weinberg, Nichols and Stich (2001; hereafter: WNS) laid the ground for the negative program of experimental philosophy. However, most of WNS’s findings were not corroborated in further studies. The exception here is the study concerning purported differences between Westerners and I...
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This paper offers a novel account of practical factor effects on knowledge attributions that is consistent with the denial of contextualism, relativism and pragmatic encroachemt. The account goes as follows. Knowledge depends on factors like safety, reliability or probability. In many cases, it is uncertain just how safe, how reliably formed or how...
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This work gives a new argument for ‘Empirical Philosophy of Mathematical Practice’. It analyses different modalities on how empirical information can influence philosophical endeavours. We evoke the classical dichotomy between “armchair” philosophy and empirical/experimental philosophy, and claim that the latter should in turn be subdivided in thre...
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Appeals to the ‘common sense’, or ‘naïve’, or ‘folk’ concept of time, and the purported phenomenology as of time passing, play a substantial role in philosophical theorising about time. When making these appeals, philosophers have been content to draw upon their own assumptions about how non‐philosophers think about time. This paper reviews a serie...
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This paper trials new experimental methods for the analysis of natural language reasoning and the (re)development of critical ordinary language philosophy in the wake of J.L. Austin. Philosophical arguments and thought experiments are strongly shaped by default pragmatic inferences, including stereotypical inferences. Austin suggested that contextu...
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The lecture starts by considering analytic philosophy as a tradition, and its global spread over recent years, of which Disputatio ’s success is itself evidence. The costs and benefits of the role of English as the international language of analytic philosophy are briefly assessed. The spread of analytic philosophy is welcomed as the best hope for...
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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 preci...
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What it would take to vindicate folk temporal error theory? This question is significant against a backdrop of new views in quantum gravity—so-called timeless physical theories—that claim to eliminate time by eliminating a one-dimensional substructure of ordered temporal instants. Ought we to conclude that if these views are correct, nothing satisf...
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This article presents an empirical examination of the consequences of the virtual entailment principle proposed by Jean Buridan to resolve the Liar paradox. This principle states that every sentence in natural language implicitly asserts its own truth. Adopting this principle means that the Liar sentence is not paradoxical but false, because its co...
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In philosophical thought experiments, as in ordinary discourse, our understanding of verbal case descriptions is enriched by automatic comprehension inferences. Such inferences have us routinely infer what else is also true of the cases described. We consider how such routine inferences from polysemous words can generate zombie intuitions: intuitio...
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In this paper, we call for a new approach to the psychology of free will attribution. While past research in experimental philosophy and psychology has mostly been focused on reasoning-based judgment ("the courtroom approach"), we argue that like agency and mindedness, free will can also be experienced perceptually ("the perceptual approach"). We f...
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In the replication crisis in psychology, a “tone debate” has developed. It concerns the question of how to conduct scientific debate effectively and ethically. How should scientists give critique without unnecessarily damaging relations? The increasing use of Facebook and Twitter by researchers has made this issue especially pressing, as these soci...
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One debate surrounding Derk Pereboom’s (2001, 2014) four-case argument against compatibilism focuses on whether, and why, we judge manipulated agents to be neither free nor morally responsible. In this paper, we propose a novel explanation. The four-case argument features cases where an agent is the only individual in her universe who has been mani...
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The expression experimental philosophy has taken on a lively interest in recent research on Nietzsche, as the growing shows number of interpreters.This reflection occupied a small place in the discussions at the end of the 20th century; a situation that changed dramatically at the beginning of our century. To understanding the questions that revolv...
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A target article for the Bulletin of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP) on the topic of "Experimental Philosophy of Psychiatry." This target article is followed by commentaries by Daniel J. Dunleavy, Sam Fellowes, Daniel D. Moseley, Christian Perring, John Z Sadler, Allison Arp, Jim Phillips, and responses by th...
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The moral comparison of the three venues of deception—lying, falsely implicating, and nonverbal deception—is a central, ongoing debate in the ethics of deception. To date there has been no attempt to advance in the debate through experimental philosophy. Using methods of experimental economics, we devised a strategic game to test positions in the d...
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In his paper "The Ontology of Musical Versions: Introducing the Hypothesis of Nested Types" (2019), Nemesio Puy raises a hypothesis that continuity of the purpose is both a necessary and a sufficient condition for musical work's identity. Puy's hypothesis is relevant to two topics in cognitive psychology and experimental philosophy. The first topic...
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A key challenge in experimental social science research is the incentivisation of subjects such that they take the tasks presented to them seriously and answer honestly. If subject responses can be evaluated against an objective baseline, a standard way of incentivising participants is by rewarding them monetarily as a function of their performance...
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This paper explores an emerging sub-field of both empirical bioethics and experimental philosophy (“x-phi”), which has been called “experimental philosophical bioethics” (“bioxphi”). As an empirical discipline, bioxphi adopts the methods of experimental moral psychology and cognitive science; it does so to make sense of the eliciting factors and un...
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Financial incentives, learning (feedback and repetition), group consultation, and increased experimental control are among the experimental techniques economists have successfully used to deflect the behavioral challenge posed by research conducted by such scholars as Tversky and Kahneman. These techniques save the economic armchair to the extent t...
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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 (the gestation of foetuses in artificial wombs). In her study, Cannold interviewed femal...
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Commentary on Aftab's "Experimental Philosophy of Psychiatry" for the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry (AAPP) Bulletin, 28(1).
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If one had to identify the biggest change within the philosophical tradition in the 21st century, it would certainly be the rapid rise of experimental philosophy to address differences in intuitions about concepts. Yet, it is within the philosophy of medicine that one particular conceptual debate has overshadowed all others: the long-standing dispu...
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According to standard philosophical and clinical understandings, pain is essentially a mental phenomenon (typically, a kind of conscious experience). In a challenge to this standard conception, a recent burst of empirical work in experimental philosophy (e.g. by Sytsma and Reuter [1-3]) purports to show that people ordinarily conceive of pain as an...
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This article is an introductory work towards a larger research framework relative to Scientific Prediction. It is a mixed between science and philosophy of science, therefore we can talk about Experimental Philosophy of Science. As a first result, we introduce a new forecasting method based on image completion, named Forecasting Method by Image Inp...
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The so-called “conciliatory” norm in epistemology and meta-ethics requires that an agent, upon encountering peer disagreement with her judgment, lower her confidence about that judgment. But whether agents actually abide by this norm is unclear. Although confidence is excessively researched in the empirical sciences, possible effects of disagreemen...
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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 interna...
Book
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This book provides a reading of Newton’s argument for universal gravity that is focused on the evidence-based, “experimental” reason-ing that Newton associates with his program of experimental philoso-phy. It highlights the richness and complexity of the Principia and also draws important lessons about how to situate Newton in his natural philosoph...
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Generation of nitrogen dioxide is a well-known demonstration/experiment, usually performed by pyrolysis of Pb(NO 3) 2. In order to prevent obstructing the glass tubes or the test-tube where NO 2 is generated, one may safely use a homogenized mixture of lead(II) nitrate and dry sand. Aesthetically it is not quite appealing, so during the same lesson...
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People who judge that a wrongdoer’s behaviour is determined are disposed, in certain cases, to judge that the wrongdoer cannot be responsible for his behaviour. Some try to explain this phenomenon by arguing that people are intuitive incompatibilists about determinism and moral responsibility. However, Peter Strawson argues that we excuse determine...