On Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions: Further Evidence for Cross-Cultural Uniformity of Epistemic Intuitions - Short Report
8 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 15, 2014
A highly influential paper authored by Jonathan Weinberg, Shaun Nichols, and Stephen Stich in 2001 claimed that the epistemic intuitions of individuals varied depending on ethnic background. Specifically, the authors claimed that individuals from East and South Asian backgrounds displayed different intuitions on a host of scenarios (such as Gettier and Truetemp cases) from their ‘Western’ counterparts. Seyedsayamdost has shown in exact replications that the findings of the original paper by Weinberg and colleagues are not reproducible (Seyedsayamdost, 2012, 2014c). Weinberg and colleagues, as well as Seyedsayamdost (2012, 2014c) surveyed individuals living or studying in the ‘West’. Some commentators have suggested that these individuals of Asian backgrounds were immersed in Western culture and hence are not representative of East/South Asian populations. We have now often heard the objection that had Seyedsayamdost (2012, 2014c) surveyed Asians who were born and live in Asia, the outcomes may have been different. The current paper provides evidence that this is unlikely to be the case. For this research note, we collected data from South Asian individuals who were born and who reside in South Asia and once again the findings are in support of the null hypothesis, that is, epistemic intuitions are much more uniform across these ethnic groups than Weinberg et al. (2001) argued, even when surveying individuals living in their native regions. Furthermore, since two research groups had reported differences in epistemic intuitions based on gender and age (Buckwalter & Stich, 2013; Colaço, Buckwalter, Stich, & Machery, 2014), we also inspected this new data set with a focus on these variables. Age and gender did not impact epistemic intuitions significantly in our study.
Keywords: experimental philosophy, epistemic intuitions, intuitions, replication, cross-cultural, epistemology
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