Edited by Joshua May (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
|Summary||Experimental epistemology brings empirical methods to bear on epistemic issues---concerning knowledge, justification, belief, and so forth. Example questions include: Do ordinary speakers treat the truth of knowledge attributions as shifting depending on the context of utterance? Do our intuitions about whether someone is justified change with the order in which the case is presented in relation to others? These questions are often at least partly empirical, so we can address them by using methods more familiar from the social sciences. We can, for example, provide ordinary subjects with different hypothetical scenarios, gathering their immediate judgments about the cases (e.g. whether they agree or disagree that a protagonist in a vignette knows some proposition). By probing ordinary intuitions in different experimental settings, we can gain a clearer understanding of how people ordinarily think about knowledge and related phenomena. Experimental epistemologists also address methodological issues such as whether ordinary epistemic judgments are unstable or vary across cultures, and if so whether those judgments should be trusted.|
|Key works||Early studies of knowledge attributions, especially in connection with contextualism and invariantism, include: Buckwalter 2010, May et al 2010, and Feltz & Zarpentine 2010. Other experiments focus on know-how (Bengson et al 2009) and knowledge of the side-effects of actions (Beebe & Buckwalter 2010). The trustworthiness of epistemic intuitions was first called into doubt by Weinberg et al 2001, Nichols et al 2003, and Swain et al 2008.|
|Introductions||Pinillos 2011 and Beebe forthcoming provide excellent overviews of experimental epistemology, including discussion of methodological issues. Buckwalter 2012 discusses research on non-truth-conducive factors in epistemic judgments. Alexander & Weinberg 2007 discuss the trustworthiness of intuitions with a focus on epistemic judgments.|
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Experimental Philosophy: Contextualism and Invariantism
Experimental Philosophy: Epistemology, Misc
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