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  1. Adam J. Arico & Don Fallis (2013). Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: An Empirical Investigation of the Concept of Lying. Philosophical Psychology 26 (6):790 - 816.
    There are many philosophical questions surrounding the notion of lying. Is it ever morally acceptable to lie? Can we acquire knowledge from people who might be lying to us? More fundamental, however, is the question of what, exactly, constitutes the concept of lying. According to one traditional definition, lying requires intending to deceive (Augustine. (1952). Lying (M. Muldowney, Trans.). In R. Deferrari (Ed.), Treatises on various subjects (pp. 53?120). New York, NY: Catholic University of America). More recently, Thomas Carson (2006. (...)
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  2. Seth Chin-Parker & Alexandra Bradner (2009). Background Shifts Affect Explanatory Style: How a Pragmatic Theory of Explanation Accounts for Background Effects in the Generation of Explanations. Cognitive Processing.
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  3. Florian Cova & Nicolas Pain (2012). Can Folk Aesthetics Ground Aesthetic Realism? The Monist 95 (2):241-263.
    We challenge an argument that aims to support Aesthetic Realism by claiming, first, that common sense is realist about aesthetic judgments because it considers that aesthetic judgments can be right or wrong, and, second, that becauseAesthetic Realism comes from and accounts for “folk aesthetics,” it is the best aesthetic theory available.We empirically evaluate this argument by probing whether ordinary people with no training whatsoever in the subtle debates of aesthetic philosophy consider their aesthetic judgments as right or wrong. Having shown (...)
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  4. John Doris (ed.) (2010). Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
    The Moral Psychology Handbook offers a survey of contemporary moral psychology, integrating evidence and argument from philosophy and the human sciences.
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  5. Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz (2008). Experimental Philosophy of Science. Philosophy Compass 3 (3):507–521.
    Experimental philosophy of science gathers empirical data on how key scientific concepts are understood by particular scientific communities. In this paper we briefly describe two recent studies in experimental philosophy of biology, one investigating the concept of the gene, the other the concept of innateness. The use of experimental methods reveals facts about these concepts that would not be accessible using the traditional method of intuitions about possible cases. It also contributes to the study of conceptual change in science, which (...)
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  6. Paul Griffiths, Edouard Machery & Stefan Linquist (2009). The Vernacular Concept of Innateness. Mind and Language 24 (5):605-630.
    The proposal that the concept of innateness expresses a 'folk biological' theory of the 'inner natures' of organisms was tested by examining the response of biologically naive participants to a series of realistic scenarios concerning the development of birdsong. Our results explain the intuitive appeal of existing philosophical analyses of the innateness concept. They simultaneously explain why these analyses are subject to compelling counterexamples. We argue that this explanation undermines the appeal of these analyses, whether understood as analyses of the (...)
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  7. Samuel Guttenplan (2011). Experimental Philosophy. Mind and Language 26 (4):452-452.
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  8. Steven D. Hales (2012). The Faculty of Intuition. Analytic Philosophy 53 (2):180-207.
    The present paper offers an analogical support for the use of rational intuition, namely, if we regard sense perception as a mental faculty that (in general) delivers justified beliefs, then we should treat intuition in the same manner. I will argue that both the cognitive marks of intuition and the role it traditionally plays in epistemology are strongly analogous to that of perception, and barring specific arguments to the contrary, we should treat rational intuition as a source of prima facie (...)
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  9. Richard Kamber (2011). Experimental Philosophy of Art. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 69 (2):197-208.
    Although experimental philosophers have been busy kindling fires under well-worn armchairs in areas of philosophy as varied as epistemology, normative ethics, theories of reference, and the free will controversy, the philosophy of art has remained largely untouched. As Denis Dutton observes: “There is precious little reference to empirical psychology in contemporary philosophical aesthetics, almost as if philosophers of art have wanted to protect their patch from incursions by psychologists.” I intend to show how techniques borrowed from experimental psychology can bring (...)
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  10. Joshua Knobe, Paul Bloom & David Pizarro, College Students Implicitly Judge Interracial Sex and Gay Sex to Be Morally Wrong.
    College students implicitly judge interracial sex and gay sex to be morally wrong Some moral intuitions arise from psychological processes that are not fully accessible to consciousness. For instance, most people disapprove of consensual adult incest between siblings, but are unable to articulate why—they just feel that it is wrong (Haidt, 2001). More generally, there is evidence for at least two sources of moral judgment: explicit conscious reasoning and tacit intuitions, which are motivated by emotional responses (Greene et al., 2001) (...)
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  11. J. R. Kuntz & J. R. C. Kuntz (2011). Surveying Philosophers About Philosophical Intuition. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):643-665.
    This paper addresses the definition and the operational use of intuitions in philosophical methods in the form of a research study encompassing several regions of the globe, involving 282 philosophers from a wide array of academic backgrounds and areas of specialisation. The authors tested whether philosophers agree on the conceptual definition and the operational use of intuitions, and investigated whether specific demographic variables and philosophical specialisation influence how philosophers define and use intuitions. The results obtained point to a number of (...)
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  12. David M. Mark, Andre Skupin & Barry Smith (2001). Features, Objects, and Other Things: Ontological Distinctions in the Geographic Domain. In Spatial Information Theory. Foundations of Geographic Information Science. Lecture Notes in Computer Science.
    Two hundred and sixty-three subjects each gave examples for one of five geographic categories: geographic features, geographic objects, geographic concepts, something geographic, and something that could be portrayed on a map. The frequencies of various responses were significantly different, indicating that the basic ontological terms feature, object, etc., are not interchangeable but carry different meanings when combined with adjectives indicating geographic or mappable. For all of the test phrases involving geographic, responses were predominantly natural features such as mountain, river, lake, (...)
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  13. Corey McGrath (2011). Can Substitution Inferences Explain the Knobe Effect? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):667-679.
    The Knobe effect is the phenomenon demonstrated in the course of repeated studies showing that moral valence affects the way in which we apply concepts. Knobe explains the effect by appealing to the nature of the concepts themselves: whether they actually apply in some situation depends upon the moral valence of some element of that situation. In this paper, a different picture of the effect is presented and given motivation. It is suggested that subjects apply concepts on the basis of (...)
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  14. Adam Morton (2006). But Are They Right? The Prospects for Empirical Conceptology. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6:193-197.
    This is exciting stuff. Philosophers have long explored the structure of human concepts from the inside, by manipulating their skills as users of those concepts. And since Quine most reasonable philosophers have accepted that the structure is a contingent matter – we or not too different creatures could have thought differently – which in principle can be..
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  15. Adam Morton (2006). But Are They Right? The Prospects for Empirical Conceptology. Journal of Cognition and Culture 6.
    This is exciting stuff. Philosophers have long explored the structure of human concepts from the inside, by manipulating their skills as users of those concepts. And since Quine most reasonable philosophers have accepted that the structure is a contingent matter – we or not too different creatures could have thought differently – which in principle can be..
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  16. Susana Nuccetelli & Gary Seay (2012). Reasoning, Normativity, and Experimental Philosophy. American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (2):151 - 163.
    The development of modern science, as everybody knows, has come largely through naturalizing domains of inquiry that were historically parts of philosophy. Theories based on mere speculation about matters empirical, such as Aristotle‟s view about teleology in nature, were replaced with law-based, predictive explanatory theories that invoked empirical data as supporting evidence. Although philosophers have, by and large, applauded such developments, inquiry into normative domains presents a different set of problems, and there is no consensus about whether such an inquiry (...)
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  17. Niki Pfeifer (2006). On Mental Probability Logic. Dissertation, Department of Psychology
    Mental probability logic is a psychological competence theory about how humans interpret and reason about common-sense conditionals. Probability logic is proposed as an appropriate standard of reference for evaluating the rationality of human inferences. Common-sense conditionals are interpreted as “high” conditional probabilities, P(B|A) > .5. Probability logical accounts of nonmonotonic reasoning and inference rules like the modus ponens are explored. Categorical syllogisms with comparative and quantitative quantifiers are investigated. A series of eight experiments on human probabilistic reasoning in the framework (...)
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  18. Niki Pfeifer & G. D. Kleiter (2009). Framing Human Inference by Coherence Based Probability Logic. Journal of Applied Logic 7 (2):206--217.
  19. Niki Pfeifer & G. D. Kleiter (2007). Human Reasoning with Imprecise Probabilities: Modus Ponens and Denying the Antecedent. In Proceedings of the 5 T H International Symposium on Imprecise Probability: Theories and Applications. 347--356.
    The modus ponens (A -> B, A :. B) is, along with modus tollens and the two logically not valid counterparts denying the antecedent (A -> B, ¬A :. ¬B) and affirming the consequent, the argument form that was most often investigated in the psychology of human reasoning. The present contribution reports the results of three experiments on the probabilistic versions of modus ponens and denying the antecedent. In probability logic these arguments lead to conclusions with imprecise probabilities. In the (...)
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  20. Niki Pfeifer & G. D. Kleiter (2006). Is Human Reasoning About Nonmonotonic Conditionals Probabilistically Coherent? In Proceedings of the 7 T H Workshop on Uncertainty Processing. 138--150.
    Nonmonotonic conditionals (A |∼ B) are formalizations of common sense expressions of the form “if A, normally B”. The nonmonotonic conditional is interpreted by a “high” coherent conditional probability, P(B|A) > .5. Two important properties are closely related to the nonmonotonic conditional: First, A |∼ B allows for exceptions. Second, the rules of the nonmonotonic system p guiding A |∼ B allow for withdrawing conclusions in the light of new premises. This study reports a series of three experiments on reasoning (...)
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  21. Niki Pfeifer & G. D. Kleiter (2003). Nonmonotonicity and Human Probabilistic Reasoning. In Proceedings of the 6 T H Workshop on Uncertainty Processing. 221--234.
    Nonmonotonic logics allow—contrary to classical (monotone) logics— for withdrawing conclusions in the light of new evidence. Nonmonotonic reasoning is often claimed to mimic human common sense reasoning. Only a few studies, though, have investigated this claim empirically. system p is a central, broadly accepted nonmonotonic reasoning system that proposes basic rationality postulates. We previously investigated empirically a probabilistic interpretation of three selected rules of system p. We found a relatively good agreement of human reasoning and principles of nonmonotonic reasoning according (...)
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  22. Niki Pfeifer & G. D. Kleiter (2002). Experiments on Nonmonotonic Reasoning. The Coherence of Human Probability Judgments. In H. Leitgeb & G. Schurz (eds.), Pre-Proceedings of the 1 s T Salzburg Workshop on Paradigms of Cognition.
    Nonmonotonic reasoning is often claimed to mimic human common sense reasoning. Only a few studies, though, investigated this claim empirically. In the present paper four psychological experiments are reported, that investigate three rules of system p, namely the and, the left logical equivalence, and the or rule. The actual inferences of the subjects are compared with the coherent normative upper and lower probability bounds derived from a non-infinitesimal probability semantics of system p. We found a relatively good agreement of human (...)
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  23. Ullin T. Place (1992). The Role of the Ethnomethodological Experiment in the Empirical Investigation of Social Norms and its Application to Conceptual Analysis. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 22 (4):461-474.
    It is argued that conceptual analysis as practiced by the philosophers of ordinary language, is an empirical procedure that relies on a version of Garfinkel's ethnomethodological experiment. The ethnomethodological experiment is presented as a procedure in which the existence and nature of a social norm is demonstrated by flouting the putative convention and observing what reaction that produces in the social group within which the convention is assumed to operate. Examples are given of the use of ethnomethodological experiments, both in (...)
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  24. Alan Salter & Charles T. Wolfe (2009). “Empiricism Contra Experiment: Harvey, Locke and the Revisionist View of Experimental Philosophy”. Bulletin d'histoire et d'épistémologie des sciences de la vie 16 (2):113-140.
    In this paper we suggest a revisionist perspective on two significant figures in early modern life science and philosophy: William Harvey and John Locke. Harvey, the discoverer of the circulation of the blood, is often named as one of the rare representatives of the ‘life sciences’ who was a major figure in the Scientific Revolution. While this status itself is problematic, we would like to call attention to a different kind of problem: Harvey dislikes abstraction and controlled experiments (aside from (...)
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  25. Alan E. Shapiro (2004). Newton's "Experimental Philosophy". Early Science and Medicine 9 (3):185-217.
    My talk today will be about Newton’s avowed methodology, and specifically the place of experiment in his conception of science, and how his ideas changed significantly over the course of his career. I also want to look at his actual scientific practice and see how this influenced his views on the nature of the experimental sciences.
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  26. Barry Smith & David M. Mark (2001). Geographical Categories: An Ontological Investigation. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 15 (7):591–612.
    This paper reports the results of a series of experiments designed to establish how non-expert subjects conceptualize geospatial phenomena. Subjects were asked to give examples of geographical categories in response to a series of differently phrased elicitations. The results yield an ontology of geographical categories—a catalogue of the prime geospatial concepts and categories shared in common by human subjects independently of their exposure to scientific geography. When combined with nouns such as feature and object, the adjective geographic elicited almost exclusively (...)
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  27. Karola Stotz (2009). Philosophy in the Trenches: From Naturalized to Experimental Philosophy (of Science). Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):225-226.
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  28. Marcel Weber (2005). Philosophy of Experimental Biology. Cambridge University Press.
    Exploring central philosophical issues concerning scientific research in modern experimental biology, this book clarifies the strategies, concepts, reasoning, approaches, tools, models and experimental systems deployed by researchers. It also integrates recent developments in historical scholarship, in particular, the New Experimentalism, making this work of interest to philosophers and historians of science as well as to biological researchers.
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  29. Philip Paul Wiener (1932). The Experimental Philosophy of Robert Boyle (1626-91). Philosophical Review 41 (6):594-609.
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  30. Dr John Yates (2008). Experimental Philosophy and the Mbi. Cogprints.
    Various facets of the MBI are discussed, and how it can be used in connection with experimental philosophy, experimental psychology and neuroscience. Brief historical references are given. The large implications of the MBI with regards to McTaggart's paradox and the resolution of the difficulties with quantum mechanics is mentioned. Later sections deal with the mereological fallacy, multiple universes, teletransportation, mind cloning and mind splitting. Dreamwork is chosen as a prime example of the use of the MBI and recent work by (...)
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Experimental Philosophy: Crosscultural Research
  1. Michael Bishop (2009). Reflections on Cognitive and Epistemic Diversity : Can a Stich in Time Save Quine? In Dominic Murphy & Michael A. Bishop (eds.), Stich and His Critics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    In “Epistemology Naturalized”, Quine famously suggests that epistemology, properly understood, “simply falls into place as a chapter of psychology and hence of natural science” (1969, 82). Since the appearance of Quine’s seminal article, virtually every epistemologist, including the later Quine (1986, 664), has repudiated the idea that a normative discipline like epistemology could be reduced to a purely descriptive discipline like psychology. Working epistemologists no longer take Quine’s vision in “Epistemology Naturalized” seriously. In this paper, I will explain why I (...)
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  2. Wesley Buckwalter & Stephen Stich (forthcoming). Gender and Philosophical Intuition. In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy, Vol.2. Oxford University Press.
    In recent years, there has been much concern expressed about the under-representation of women in academic philosophy. Our goal in this paper is to call attention to a cluster of phenomena that may be contributing to this gender gap. The findings we review indicate that when women and men with little or no philosophical training are presented with standard philosophical thought experiments, in many cases their intuitions about these cases are significantly different. In section 1 we review some of the (...)
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  3. Barry Lam (2010). Are Cantonese Speakers Really Descriptivists? Revisiting Cross-Cultural Semantics. Cognition 115 (2):320–32.
    In an article in Cognition, Machery, Mallon, Nichols, and Stich [Machery et al., 2004] present data which purports to show that “East Asian” native Cantonese speakers tend to have descriptivist intuitions about the referents of proper names, while “Western” native English speakers tend to have causal-historical intuitions about proper names. Machery et al take this finding to support the view that some intuitions, the universality of which they claim is central to philosophical theories, vary according to cultural background. Machery et (...)
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  4. Hamid Seyedsayamdost, On Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions: Failure of Replication.
    In one of the earlier influential papers in the field of experimental philosophy titled Normativity and Epistemic Intuitions published in 2001, Jonathan M. Weinberg, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich reported that respondents answered Gettier type questions differently depending on their ethnic background as well as socioeconomic status. There is currently a debate going on, on the significance of the results of Weinberg et al. (2001) and its implications for philosophical methodology in general and epistemology in specific. Despite the debates, however, (...)
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  5. Stephen Stich & Wesley Buckwalter (2011). Gender and the Philosophy Club. The Philosophers' Magazine 52 (52):60-65.
    If intuitions are associated with gender this might help to explain the fact that while the gender gap has disappeared in many other learned clubs, women are still seriously under-represented in the Philosophers Club. Since people who don’t have the intuitions that most club members share have a harder time getting into the club, and since the majority of Philosophers are now and always have been men, perhaps the under-representation of women is due, in part, to a selection effect.
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Experimental Philosophy, Misc
  1. Toni Adleberg, Morgan Thompson & Eddy Nahmias (forthcoming). Do Men and Women Have Different Philosophical Intuitions? Further Data. Philosophical Psychology:1-27.
    To address the underrepresentation of women in philosophy effectively, we must understand the causes of the loss of women after their initial philosophy classes. In this paper we challenge one of the few explanations that has focused on why women might leave philosophy at early stages. Wesley Buckwalter and Stephen Stich (2014) offer some evidence that women have different intuitions than men about philosophical thought experiments. We present some concerns about their evidence and we discuss our own study, in which (...)
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  2. Fernando Aguiar, Alice Becker & Luis Miller (2013). Whose Impartiality? An Experimental Study of Veiled Stakeholders, Involved Spectators and Detached Observers. Economics and Philosophy 29 (2):155-174.
    We present an experiment designed to investigate three different mechanisms to achieve impartiality in distributive justice. We consider a first-person procedure, inspired by the Rawlsian veil of ignorance,and two third-party procedures, an involved spectator and a detached observer. First-person veiled stakeholders and involved spectators are affected by an initially unfair distribution that, in the stakeholders’ case,is to be redressed. We find substantial differences in the redressing task.Detached observers propose significantly fairer redistributions than veiled takeholders or involved spectators. Risk preferences partly (...)
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  3. John Bengson (2013). Experimental Attacks on Intuitions and Answers. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):495-532.
  4. Mike Braverman, John Clevenger, Ian Harmon, Andrew Higgins, Zachary Horne, Joseph Spino & Jonathan Waskan (2012). Intelligibility is Necessary for Scientific Explanation, but Accuracy May Not Be. In Naomi Miyake, David Peebles & Richard Cooper (eds.), Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society.
    Many philosophers of science believe that empirical psychology can contribute little to the philosophical investigation of explanations. They take this to be shown by the fact that certain explanations fail to elicit any relevant psychological events (e.g., familiarity, insight, intelligibility, etc.). We report results from a study suggesting that, at least among those with extensive science training, a capacity to render an event intelligible is considered a requirement for explanation. We also investigate for whom explanations must be capable of rendering (...)
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  5. Yuri Cath, Metaphilosophy. Oxford Bibliographies Online.
    Often philosophers have reason to ask fundamental questions about the aims, methods, nature, or value of their own discipline. When philosophers systematically examine such questions, the resulting work is sometimes referred to as “metaphilosophy.” Metaphilosophy, it should be said, is not a well-established, or clearly demarcated, field of philosophical inquiry like epistemology or the philosophy of art. However, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries there has been a great deal of metaphilosophical work on issues concerning the methodology of (...)
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  6. Helen De Cruz (2014). Where Philosophical Intuitions Come From. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    Intuitions play a central role in analytic philosophy, but their psychological basis is little understood. This paper provides an empirically-informed, psychological char- acterization of philosophical intuitions. Drawing on McCauley’s distinction between maturational and practiced naturalness, I argue that philosophical intuitions originate from several early-developed, specialized domains of core knowledge (maturational naturalness). Eliciting and deploying such intuitions in argumentative contexts is the domain of philosophical expertise, thus philosophical intuitions are also practiced nat- ural. This characterization has implications for the evidential value (...)
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  7. Oisín Deery (2013). Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction. [REVIEW] International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (5):787-791.
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  8. Adam Feltz (2009). Experimental Philosophy. Analyze and Kritik 31 (1):201-219.
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  9. Adam Feltz & Edward Cokely (2012). The Philosophical Personality Argument. Philosophical Studies 161 (2):227-246.
    Perhaps personality traits substantially influence one’s philosophically relevant intuitions. This suggestion is not only possible, it is consistent with a growing body of empirical research: Personality traits have been shown to be systematically related to diverse intuitions concerning some fundamental philosophical debates. We argue that this fact, in conjunction with the plausible principle that almost all adequate philosophical views should take into account all available and relevant evidence, calls into question some prominent approaches to traditional philosophical projects. To this end, (...)
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  10. Carrie Figdor & Matt L. Drabek (forthcoming). Experimental Philosophy and the Underrepresentation of Women. In W. Buckwalter & J. Sytsma (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell.
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  11. A. J. B. Fugard, Niki Pfeifer, B. Mayerhofer & Gernot D. Kleiter (2011). How People Interpret Conditionals: Shifts Towards the Conditional Event. Journal of Experimental Psychology 37 (3):635-648.
    We investigated how people interpret conditionals and how stable their interpretation is over a long series of trials. Participants were shown the colored patterns on each side of a six-sided die, and were asked how sure they were that a conditional holds of the side landing upwards when the die is randomly thrown. Participants were presented with 71 trials consisting of all combinations of binary dimensions of shape (e.g., circles and squares) and color (e.g., blue and red) painted onto the (...)
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  12. Mikkel Gerken & James R. Beebe (2014). Knowledge in and Out of Contrast. Noûs 48 (4).
    We report and discuss the results of a series of experiments that address a contrast effect exhibited by folk judgments about knowledge ascriptions. The contrast effect, which was first reported by Schaffer and Knobe (), is an important aspect of our folk epistemology. However, there are competing theoretical accounts of it. We shed light on the various accounts by providing novel empirical data and theoretical considerations. Our key findings are, firstly, that belief ascriptions exhibit a similar contrast effect and, secondly, (...)
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  13. Joshua Glasgow (2009). A Theory of Race. Routledge.
    Social commentators have long asked whether racial categories should be conserved or eliminated from our practices, discourse, institutions, and perhaps even private thoughts. In A Theory of Race, Joshua Glasgow argues that this set of choices unnecessarily presents us with too few options. Using both traditional philosophical tools and recent psychological research to investigate folk understandings of race, Glasgow argues that, as ordinarily conceived, race is an illusion. However, our pressing need to speak to and make sense of social life (...)
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  14. Joshua Glasgow, Julie L. Shulman & Enrique G. Covarrubias (2009). The Ordinary Conception of Race in the United States and Its Relation to Racial Attitudes: A New Approach. Journal of Cognition and Culture 9 (1):15-38.
    Many hold that ordinary race-thinking in the USA is committed to the 'one-drop rule', that race is ordinarily represented in terms of essences, and that race is ordinarily represented as a biological (phenotype- and/or ancestry-based, non-social) kind. This study investigated the extent to which ordinary race-thinking subscribes to these commitments. It also investigated the relationship between different conceptions of race and racial attitudes. Participants included 449 USA adults who completed an Internet survey. Unlike previous research, conceptions of race were assessed (...)
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  15. Steven D. Hales & Jennifer Adrienne Johnson (2014). Luck Attributions and Cognitive Bias. Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):509-528.
    Philosophers have developed three theories of luck: the probability theory, the modal theory, and the control theory. To help assess these theories, we conducted an empirical investigation of luck attributions. We created eight putative luck scenarios and framed each in either a positive or a negative light. Furthermore, we placed the critical luck event at the beginning, middle, or end of the scenario to see if the location of the event influenced luck attributions. We found that attributions of luckiness were (...)
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