Experimental Philosophy and the Philosophical Tradition

Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy, edited by Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma, Forthcoming

22 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2014

See all articles by Stephen Stich

Stephen Stich

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Kevin P. Tobia

Yale University; ETH Zurich

Date Written: January 1, 2015

Abstract

The term “experimental philosophy” has no standard or widely agreed upon definition, and recent writers have proposed very different accounts of how the term should be used. On the usage we prefer, the term has a broad extension and very fuzzy boundaries: experimental philosophy is empirical work undertaken with the goal of contributing to a philosophical debate, though of course that may not be the only goal. During the last decade, the term “experimental philosophy” has often been used in a much more restricted way. On that more restricted interpretation, which we will adopt for this chapter, experimental philosophy is the empirical investigation of philosophical intuitions, the factors that affect them, and the psychological and neurological mechanisms that underlie them. This characterization of experimental philosophy immediately raises a pair of questions: 1. What are philosophical intuitions? 2. Why do experimental philosophers want to study them using the methods of empirical science? Our goal in this chapter will be to explore answers to these questions and explain how these answers link experimental philosophy to the philosophical tradition.

Keywords: experimental philosophy

Suggested Citation

Stich, Stephen and Tobia, Kevin P., Experimental Philosophy and the Philosophical Tradition (January 1, 2015). Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy, edited by Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2543532

Stephen Stich (Contact Author)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~stich/

Kevin P. Tobia

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06511
United States

ETH Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 101
ZUE F7
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

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