Experimental Political Philosophy: Justice Judgments in the Hypothetical Society Paradigm

37 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2006

See all articles by Gregory Mitchell

Gregory Mitchell

University of Virginia School of Law

Philip E. Tetlock

University of California, Berkeley - Organizational Behavior & Industrial Relations Group; University of Pennsylvania - Management Department

Date Written: June 29, 2006

Abstract

In this draft of a chapter forthcoming in a book on political psychology, we advocate blending thought experiments with laboratory experiments via a technique we call "the hypothetical society paradigm," which is designed to bring out the inferential advantages of both approaches while minimizing their disadvantages. We discuss the primary benefits of this technique and survey the principal empirical findings thus far obtained using this technique. We also discuss two categories of fruitful future applications of this and related techniques: (a) isolating sources of support and resistance to particular policy proposals with potentially profound societal implications; (b) helping to clarify boundary conditions for the applicability of competing and complementary psychological theories of justice.

Keywords: thought experiments, distributive justice, corrective justice

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, Gregory and Tetlock, Philip E., Experimental Political Philosophy: Justice Judgments in the Hypothetical Society Paradigm (June 29, 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=912981 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.912981

Gregory Mitchell (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
434-243-4088 (Phone)

Philip E. Tetlock

University of California, Berkeley - Organizational Behavior & Industrial Relations Group ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States

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