Both guilt and regret typically result from counterfactual evaluations of personal choices that caused a negative outcome and are thought to regulate human decisions by people’s motivation to avoid these emotions. Despite these similarities, studies asking people to describe typical situations of guilt and regret identified the social dimension as a fundamental distinguishing factor, showing that guilt but not regret specifically occurs for choices in interpersonal (social) contexts. However, an experimentalparadigm to investigate this distinction systematically by inducing (...) emotions of guilt and regret online is still missing. Here, extending existing procedures, we introduce such a paradigm, in which participants choose in each trial between two lotteries, with the outcome of the chosen lottery (gain or loss) being either assigned to themselves (intrapersonal trials) or to another person (interpersonal trials). After results of both the chosen and the unchosen lottery were shown, subjects rated how they felt about the outcome, including ratings of guilt and regret. Trait Guilt (TG) was determined for all participants in order to take their general inclination to experience guilt into account. Results confirmed that guilt but not regret specifically occurred in an interpersonal context. Percentages of loss averse choices (choosing the lottery with the lower possible monetary loss) were determined as indicators of regulation via guilt and regret avoidance. High TG scorers generally made more loss averse choices than low TG scorers, while trial-by-trial analyses showed that low TG scorers used their feelings of guilt more specifically to avoid the same emotional experience in subsequent choices. Our results confirm the social dimension as the critical factor distinguishing guilt from regret and identify TG as an important moderator determining the way in which guilt vs. regret can regulate their own occurrence by influencing choice strategies. (shrink)
Descriptive accounts of the nature of explanation in neuroscience and the global goals of such explanation have recently proliferated in the philosophy of neuroscience (e.g., Bechtel, Mental mechanisms: Philosophical perspectives on cognitive neuroscience. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2007; Bickle, Philosophy and neuroscience: A ruthlessly reductive account. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishing, 2003; Bickle, Synthese, 151, 411–434, 2006; Craver, Explaining the brain: Mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) and with them new understandings of the <span class='Hi'> (...) class='Hi'>experimental</span> practices of neuroscientists have emerged. In this paper, I consider two models of such practices; one that takes them to be reductive; another that takes them to be integrative. I investigate those areas of the neuroscience of learning and memory from which the examples used to substantiate these models are culled, and argue that the multiplicity of <span class='Hi'>experimental</span> protocols used in these research areas presents specific challenges for both models. In my view, these challenges have been overlooked largely because philosophers have hitherto failed to pay sufficient attention to fundamental features of <span class='Hi'>experimental</span> practice. I demonstrate that when we do pay attention to such features, evidence for reduction and integrative unity in neuroscience is simply not borne out. I end by suggesting some new directions for the philosophy of neuroscience that pertain to taking a closer look at the nature of neuroscientific experiments. (shrink)
Cognitive processing in psychology and semiotics are compared in relation to language processing and memory.Active reconstruction in memory is postulated, as well as the representation of whole messages as signs. The paradigm, then, is based on the study of active reconstruction of verbal messages from their semiotic representations in memory. Differences between original and reconstructed messages are used as dimension of empirical study in the paradigm. Research findings are cited in support of this approach.
Experimental phenomenology has demonstrated that perception is much richer than stimulus. As is seen in color perception, one and the same stimulus provides more than several modes of appearance or perceptual dimensions. Similarly, there are various perceptual dimensions in form perception. Even a simple geometrical figure inducing visual illusion gives not only perceptual impressions of size, shape, slant, depth, and orientation, but also affective or aesthetic impressions. The present study reviews our experimental phenomenological work on visual illusion and (...)experimental aesthetics, and examines how aesthetic preference is influenced by stimulus factors determining visual illusions including anomalous surface and transparency as well as geometrical illusion. Along with line figures producing geometrical illusions, illusory surface figures inducing neon color spreading and transparency effects were used as test patterns. Participants made both of psychophysical judgments and of aesthetic judgments for the same test pattern. Both of geometrical illusions and aesthetic preferences were found to change similarly as a function of stimulus variables such as the number of filling lines and the size ratio of the inner and outer figural components. Also, following specific stimulus variables such as lightness contrast ratio and spatial interval between inducing figural elements (so called ``packmen''), strong effects of color spreading and transparency were accompanied with strong preferences. It seems that the paradigm to investigate aesthetic phenomena along with perceptual dimensions is useful to bridge the gap between experimental phenomenology and experimental aesthetics. (shrink)
Objective: This study aimed at developing an experimentalparadigm to assess vicarious pain experiences. We further explored the putative moderating role of observer’s characteristics such as hypervigilance for pain and dispositional empathy. Methods: Two experiments are reported using a similar procedure. Undergraduate students were selected based upon whether they reported vicarious pain in daily life, and categorized into a pain responder group or a comparison group. Participants were presented a series of videos showing hands being pricked whilst receiving (...) occasionally pricking (electrocutaneous) stimuli themselves. In congruent trials, pricking and visual stimuli were applied to the same spatial location. In incongruent trials, pricking and visual stimuli were in the opposite spatial location. Participants were required to report on which location they felt a pricking sensation. Of primary interest was the effect of viewing another in pain upon vicarious pain errors, i.e., the number of trials in which an illusionary sensation was reported. Furthermore, we explored the effect of individual differences in hypervigilance to pain, dispositional empathy and the rubber hand illusion (RHI) upon vicarious pain errors. Results: Results of both experiments indicated that the number of vicarious pain errors was overall low. In line with expectations, the number of vicarious pain errors was higher in the pain responder group than in the comparison group. Self-reported hypervigilance for pain lowered the probability of reporting vicarious pain errors in the pain responder group, but dispositional empathy and the RHI did not. Conclusion: Our paradigm allows measuring vicarious pain experiences in students. However, the prevalence of vicarious experiences of pain is low, and only a small percentage of participants display the phenomenon. It remains however unknown which variables affect its occurrence. (shrink)
Computing is changing the traditional field of Philosophy of Science in a very profound way. First as a methodological tool, computing makes possible ``experimental Philosophy'' which is able to provide practical tests for different philosophical ideas. At the same time the ideal object of investigation of the Philosophy of Science is changing. For a long period of time the ideal science was Physics (e.g., Popper, Carnap, Kuhn, and Chalmers). Now the focus is shifting to the field of Computing/Informatics. There (...) are many good reasons for this paradigm shift, one of those being a long standing need of a new meeting between the sciences and humanities, for which the new discipline of Computing/Informatics gives innumerable possibilities. Contrary to Physics, Computing/Informatics is very much human-centered. It brings a potential for a new Renaissance, where Science and Humanities, Arts and Engineering can reach a new synthesis, so very much needed in our intellectually split culture. This paper investigates contemporary trends and the relation between the Philosophy of Science and the Philosophy of Computing and Information, which is equivalent to the present relation between Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Physics. (shrink)
Experimental research is commonly held up as the paradigm of "good" science. Although experiment plays many roles in science, its classical role is testing hypotheses in controlled laboratory settings. Historical science (which includes work in geology, biology, and astronomy, as well as paleontology and archaeology) is sometimes held to be inferior on the grounds that its hypothesis cannot be tested by controlled laboratory experiments. Using contemporary examples from diverse scientific disciplines, this paper explores differences in practice between (...) historical and experimental research vis-à-vis the testing of hypotheses. It rejects the claim that historical research is epistemically inferior. For as I argue, scientists engage in two very different patterns of evidential reasoning and, although there is overlap, one pattern predominates in historical research and the other pattern predominates in classical experimental research. I show that these different patterns of reasoning are grounded in an objective and remarkably pervasive time asymmetry of nature. (shrink)
Using the matching bias example, the aim of the present studies was to show that adults' reasoning biases are due to faulty executive inhibition programming. In the first study, the subjects were trained on Wason's classical card selection task; half were given training in how to inhibit the perceptual matching bias (experimental group) and half in logic without the inhibition component (control group). On the pre- and post-tests, their performance was assessed on the Evans conditional rule falsification task (with (...) a negation in the antecedent of the rule), a task that also involves matching bias. In addition, subjects were tested for perceptual field dependence/independence using the Embedded Figures Test. The results brought out a specific inhibition training effect, as well as a clear-cut relationship in the experimental group between receptiveness to training and perceptual field independence. In the second study, the training paradigm was the same except that on the pre- and post-tests, the negation was in the consequent of the conditional rule (in this case, the perceptual matching response corresponds to the logical response). The subjects succeeded on the pre-test, and the matching-bias inhibition training had a negative effect on post-test performance. This specific negative priming effect confirms the inhibitory impact of our experimental training and outlines the dissociation of inhibition and logical components. (shrink)
In the past decades, an enormous amount of precious information has been collected about molecular and genetic characteristics of cancer. This knowledge is mainly based on a reductionistic approach, meanwhile cancer is widely recognized to be a ‘system biology disease’. The behavior of complex physiological processes cannot be understood simply by knowing how the parts work in isolation. There is not solely a matter how to integrate all available knowledge in such a (...) way that we can still deal with complexity, but we must be aware that a deeply transformation of the currently accepted oncologic paradigm is urgently needed. We have to think in terms of biological networks: understanding of complex functions may in fact be impossible without taking into consideration influences (rules and constraints) outside of the genome. Systems Biology involves connecting experimental unsupervised multivariate data to mathematical and computational approach than can simulate biologic systems for hypothesis testing or that can account for what it is not known from high-throughput data sets. Metabolomics could establish the requested link between genotype and phenotype, providing informations that ensure an integrated understanding of pathogenic mechanisms and metabolic phenotypes and provide a screening tool for new targeted drug. (shrink)
This position paper advocates combining formal epistemology and the new paradigm psychology of reasoning in the studies of conditionals and reasoning with uncertainty. The new paradigm psychology of reasoning is characterized by the use of probability theory as a rationality framework instead of classical logic, used by more traditional approaches to the psychology of reasoning. This paper presents a new interdisciplinary research program which involves both formal and experimental work. To illustrate the program, the paper discusses recent (...) work on the paradoxes of the material conditional, nonmonotonic reasoning, and Adams’ Thesis. It also identifies the issue of updating on conditionals as an area which seems to call for a combined formal and empirical approach. (shrink)
Dreaming - a particular form of consciousness that occurs during sleep - undergoes major changes in the course of the night. We aimed to outline state-dependent features of consciousness using a paradigm with multiple serial awakenings/questionings that allowed for within as well as between subject comparisons. Seven healthy participants who spent 44 experimental study nights in the laboratory were awakened by a computerized sound at 15-30 minute intervals, regardless of sleep stage, and questioned for the presence or absence (...) of sleep consciousness. Recall without content (‘I was experiencing something but do not remember what’) was considered separately. Subjects had to indicate the content of the most recent conscious experience prior to the alarm sound and to estimate its duration and richness. We also assessed the degree of thinking and perceiving, self- and environment-relatedness and reflective consciousness of the experiences. Of the 778 questionings, 5% were performed during wakefulness, 2% in stage N1, 42% in N2, 33% in N3 and 17% in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Recall with content was reported in 34% of non-REM and in 77% of REM sleep awakenings. Sleep fragmentation inherent to the study design appeared to only minimally affect the recall of conscious experiences. Each stage displayed a unique combination of characteristic features of sleep consciousness. In conclusion, our serial awakening paradigm allowed us to collect a large and representative sample of conscious experiences across states of being. It represents a time-efficient method for the study of sleep consciousness that may prove particularly advantageous when combined with techniques such as functional MRI and high-density EEG. (shrink)
Background: This study investigates the effect of altered auditory feedback (AAF) in musician's dystonia (MD) and discusses whether altered auditory feedback can be considered as a sensory trick in MD. Furthermore, the effect of AAF is compared with altered tactile feedback, which can serve as a sensory trick in several other forms of focal dystonia. Methods: The method is based on scale analysis (Jabusch et al. 2004). Experiment 1 employs synchronization paradigm: 12 MD patients and 25 healthy pianists had (...) to repeatedly play C-major scales in synchrony with a metronome on a MIDI-piano with 3 auditory feedback conditions: 1. normal feedback; 2. no feedback; 3. constant delayed feedback. Experiment 2 employs synchronization-continuation paradigm: 12 MD patients and 12 healthy pianists had to repeatedly play C-major scales in two phases: first in synchrony with a metronome, secondly continue the established tempo without the metronome. There are 4 experimental conditions, among them 3 are the same altered auditory feedback as in Experiment 1 and 1 is related to altered tactile sensory input. The coefficient of variation of inter-onset intervals of the key depressions was calculated to evaluate fine motor control. Results: In both experiments, the healthy controls and the patients behaved very similarly. There is no difference in the regularity of playing between the two groups under any condition, and neither did AAF nor did altered tactile feedback have a beneficial effect on patients’ fine motor control. Conclusions: The results of the two experiments suggest that in the context of our experimental designs, AAF and altered tactile feedback play a minor role in motor coordination in patients with musicians' dystonia. We propose that altered auditory and tactile feedback do not serve as effective sensory tricks and may not temporarily reduce the symptoms of patients suffering from MD in this experimental context. (shrink)
The topic is experimental philosophy as a naturalistic movement, and its bearing on the value of intuitions in philosophy. This paper explores first how the movement might bear on philosophy more generally, and how it might amount to something novel and promising. Then it turns to one accomplishment repeatedly claimed for it already: namely, the discrediting of armchair intuitions as used in philosophy.
Experimental philosophy is often presented as a new movement that avoids many of the difficulties that face traditional philosophy. This article distinguishes two views of experimental philosophy: a narrow view in which philosophers conduct empirical investigations of intuitions, and a broad view which says that experimental philosophy is just the colocation in the same body of (i) philosophical naturalism and (ii) the actual practice of cognitive science. These two positions are rarely clearly distinguished in the literature about (...)experimental philosophy, both pro and con. The article argues, first, that the broader view is the only plausible one; discussions of experimental philosophy should recognize that the narrow view is a caricature of experimental philosophy as it is currently done. It then shows both how objections to experimental philosophy are transformed and how positive recommendations can be provided by adopting a broad conception of experimental philosophy. (shrink)
Incommensurability was Kuhn’s worst mistake. If it is to be found anywhere in science, it would be in physics. But revolutions in theoretical physics all embody theoretical unification. Far from obliterating the idea that there is a persisting theoretical idea in physics, revolutions do just the opposite: they all actually exemplify the persisting idea of underlying unity. Furthermore, persistent acceptance of unifying theories in physics when empirically more successful disunified rivals can always be concocted means that physics makes a persistent (...) implicit assumption concerning unity. To put it in Kuhnian terms, underlying unity is a paradigm for paradigms. We need a conception of science which represents problematic assumptions concerning the physical comprehensibility and knowability of the universe in the form of a hierarchy, these assumptions becoming less and less substantial and more and more such that their truth is required for science, or the pursuit of knowledge, to be possible at all, as one goes up the hierarchy. This hierarchical conception of science has important Kuhnian features, but also differs dramatically from the view Kuhn expounds in his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In this paper, I compare and contrast these two views in a much more detailed way than has been done hitherto. I show how the hierarchical view can be construed to emerge from Kuhn’s view as it is modified to overcome objections. I argue that the hierarchical conception of science is to be preferred to Kuhn’s view. (shrink)
Jonathan Weinberg (2007) has argued that we should not appeal to intuition as evidence because it cannot be externally corroborated. This paper argues for the normative claim that Weinberg’s demand for external corroboration is misguided. The idea is that Weinberg goes wrong in treating philosophical appeal to intuition analogous to the appeal to evidence in the sciences. Traditional practice is defended against Weinberg’s critique with the argument that some intuitions are true simply in virtue of being intuited by the majority (...) of people. The argument proceeds by way of examining a paradigm case, Putnam’s Twin Earth. (shrink)
One of the more visible recent developments in philosophical methodology is the experimental philosophy movement. On its surface, the experimentalist challenge looks like a dramatic threat to the apriority of philosophy; ‘experimentalist’ is nearly antonymic with ‘aprioristic’. This appearance, I suggest, is misleading; the experimentalist critique is entirely unrelated to questions about the apriority of philosophical investigation. There are many reasons to resist the skeptical conclusions of negative experimental philosophers; but even if they are granted—even if the experimentalists (...) are right to claim that we must do much more careful laboratory work in order legitimately to be confident in our philosophical judgments— the apriority of philosophy is unimpugned. The kinds of scientific investigation that experimental philosophers argue to be necessary involve merely enabling sensory experiences. Although they are not enabling in the sense of permitting concept acquisition, they are enabling in another epistemically significant way that is also consistent with the apriority of philosophy. (shrink)
I discuss experimental work by Nichols, and Nichols and Knobe, with respect to the philosophical problems of free will and moral responsibility. I mention some methodological concerns about the work, but focus principally on the philosophical implications of the work. The experimental results seem to show that in particular, concrete cases we are more willing to attribute responsibility than in cases described abstractly or in general terms. I argue that their results suggest a deep problem for traditional accounts (...) of compatibilism, and that they may cast some light on the literature surrounding Frankfurt cases. I also suggest a way in which mature philosophical convictions about free will may reflect a contingent process of refining and defending either of two competing strands of intuitions, and suggest that this may partly explain the persistence of philosophical debates about free will. (shrink)
In this paper I survey some recent developments in experimental philosophy and discuss their bearing on two leading theories in epistemology: Contextualism and Interest Relative Invariantism. In the first part of the paper, I survey some general issues of how experimental philosophy may be relevant to assessing contextualism and IRI. In the second part, I discuss and critique some of the recent experimental work.
Timothy Williamson devotes significant effort in his The Philosophy of Philosophy to arguing against skepticism about judgment. One might think that the recent “experimental philosophy” challenge to the philosophical practice of appealing to intuitions as evidence is a possible target of those arguments. However, this is not so. The structure of that challenge is radically dissimilar from that of traditional skeptical arguments, and the aims of the challenge are entirely congruent with the spirit of methodological improvement that Williamson himself (...) exemplifies in the Afterword of his book. (shrink)
Today, experimental philosophers challenge traditional appeals to intu- ition; they empirically collect folk intuitions and then use their findings to attack philosophers’ intuitions. However this movement is not uniform. Radical experi- mentalists criticize the use of intuitions in philosophy altogether and they have been mostly attacked. Contrariwise, moderate experimentalists imply that laypersons’ in- tuitions are somehow relevant to philosophical problems. Sometimes they even use folk intuitions in order to advance theoretical theses. In this paper I will try to challenge (...) the so-called moderate experimental attempts to rely on intuition in order to promote philosophical theses. (shrink)
Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) developed from the work of clinical epidemiologists at McMaster University and Oxford University in the 1970s and 1980s and self-consciously presented itself as a "new paradigm" called "evidence-based medicine" in the early 1990s. The techniques of the randomized controlled trial, systematic review and meta-analysis have produced an extensive and powerful body of research. They have also generated a critical literature that raises general concerns about its methods. This paper is a systematic review of the critical literature. (...) It finds the description of EBM as a Kuhnian paradigm helpful and worth taking further. Three kinds of criticism are evaluated in detail: criticisms of procedural aspects of EBM (especially from Cartwright, Worrall and Howick), data showing the greater than expected fallibility of EBM (Ioaanidis and others), and concerns that EBM is incomplete as a philosophy of science (Ashcroft and others). The paper recommends a more instrumental or pragmatic approach to EBM, in which any ranking of evidence is done by reference to the actual, rather than the theoretically expected, reliability of results. Emphasis on EBM has eclipsed other necessary research methods in medicine. With the recent emphasis on translational medicine, we are seeing a restoration of the recognition that clinical research requires an engagement with basic theory (e.g. physiological, genetic, biochemical) and a range of empirical techniques such as bedside observation, laboratory and animal studies. EBM works best when used in this context. (shrink)
In recent years, experimental philosophers have questioned the reliance of philosophical arguments on intuitions elicited by thought experiments. These challenges seek to undermine the use of this methodology for a particular domain of theorizing, and in some cases to raise doubts about the viability of philosophical work in the domain in question. The topic of semantic reference has been an important area for discussion of these issues, one in which critics of the reliance on intuitions have made particularly strong (...) claims about the prospects for philosophical theories of reference and arguments based on claims about reference. In this article, I review the main lines of argument in this area of experimental philosophy, with particular emphasis on the relevance of empirical data about intuitions to philosophical views. I argue that although traditional philosophical theorizing about reference faces little threat from experimental data about intuitions, there is nevertheless much to be gained from collecting and analyzing such data, which holds the promise of greatly enriching our conception of the mechanisms governing judgments about semantic reference in ways that are highly relevant to philosophers. (shrink)
The main purpose of this article is to undertake a conceptual investigation of the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm: a psychological project initiated by Paul Baltes and intended to study the complex phenomenon of wisdom. Firstly, in order to provide a wider perspective for the subsequent analyses, a short historical sketch is given. Secondly, a meta-theoretical issue of the degree to which the subject matter of the Baltesian study can be identified with the traditional philosophical wisdom is addressed. The main result (...) yielded by a careful conceptual analysis is that the philosophical and psychological concepts of wisdom, though not entirely the same, are at least parallel. Finally, one of the revealed aspects of the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm, i.e. its relative neglect of the non-cognitive and personal aspects of wisdom is brought to the fore. This deficiency, it is suggested, can be remedied by the application of the virtue ethics' conceptual framework. (shrink)
Kuhn wanted to install a new research agenda in philosophy of science. I argue that the tools are now available to better articulate his paradigm and let it guide philosophical research instead of itself remaining the object of philosophical debate.
What are the folk-conceptual connections between free will and consciousness? In this paper I present results which indicate that consciousness plays central roles in folk conceptions of free will. When conscious states cause behavior, people tend to judge that the agent acted freely. And when unconscious states cause behavior, people tend to judge that the agent did not act freely. Further, these studies contribute to recent experimental work on folk philosophical affiliation, which analyzes folk responses to determine whether folk (...) views are consistent with the view that free will and determinism are incompatible (incompatibilism) or with the opposite view (compatibilism). Conscious causation of behavior tends to elicit pro-free will judgments, even when the causation takes place deterministically. Thus, when controlling for consciousness, many folk seem to be compatibilists. However, participants who disagree with the deterministic or cognitive scientific descriptions given of human behavior tend to give incompatibilist responses. (shrink)
In her paper ‘An Awkward Relationship: the Case of Feminism and Anthropology’, Marilyn Strathern argues that feminist research cannot produce a paradigm shift in social anthropology. I present an argument for thinking that, on the relevant understanding of paradigm shift, it is possible for this to happen. I then object to Strathern’s arguments against the possibility.
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.
Joshua Glasgow argues against the existence of races. His experimental philosophy asks subjects questions involving racial categorization to discover the ordinary concept of race at work in their judgments. The results show conflicting information about the concept of race, and Glasgow concludes that the ordinary concept of race is inconsistent. I conclude, rather, that Glasgow’s results fit perfectly fine with a social-kind view of races as real social entities. He also presents thought experiments to show that social-kind views give (...) the wrong results, but intuitions might differ on which results are the wrong ones, and social-kind views can resist the implications he derives from these cases. Widespread false beliefs about a concept or category need not undermine anything’s existence, and a sufficiently context-sensitive approach to races will allow for competing criteria for race-membership in different contexts without contradictory criteria in any one context. Glasgow’s arguments are therefore unsuccessful. (shrink)
Two experiments (N1 = 141, N2 = 40) investigate two versions of Aristotle’s Thesis for the first time. Aristotle’s Thesis is a negated conditional, which consists of one propositional variable with a negation either in the antecedent (version 1) or in the consequent (version 2). This task allows to infer if people interpret indicative conditionals as material conditionals or as conditional events. In the first experiment I investigate between-participants the two versions of Aristotle’s Thesis crossed with abstract versus concrete task (...) material. The modal response for all four groups is consistent with the conditional event and inconsistent with the material conditional interpretation. This observation is replicated in the second experiment. Moreover, the second experiment rules out scope ambiguities of the negation of conditionals. Both experiments provide new evidence against the material conditional interpretation of conditionals and support the conditional event interpretation. Finally, I discuss implications for modeling indicative conditionals and the relevance of this work for experimental philosophy. (shrink)
In recent decades, experimental mathematics has emerged as a new branch of mathematics. This new branch is defined less by its subject matter, and more by its use of computer assisted reasoning. Experimental mathematics uses a variety of computer assisted approaches to verify or prove mathematical hypotheses. For example, there is “number crunching” such as searching for very large Mersenne primes, and showing that the Goldbach conjecture holds for all even numbers less than 2 × 1018. There are (...) “verifications” of hypotheses which, while not definitive proofs, provide strong support for those hypotheses, and there are proofs involving an enormous amount of computer hours, which cannot be surveyed by any one mathematician in a lifetime. There have been several attempts to argue that one or another aspect of experimental mathematics shows that mathematics now accepts empirical or inductive methods, and hence shows mathematical apriorism to be false. Assessing this argument is complicated by the fact that there is no agreed definition of what precisely experimental mathematics is. However, I argue that on any plausible account of ’experiment’ these arguments do not succeed. (shrink)
Focusing on the work of Friedrich von Hayek and Vernon Smith, we discuss some conceptual links between Austrian economics and recent work in behavioral game theory and experimental economics. After a brief survey of the main methodological aspects of Austrian and experimental economics, we suggest that common views on subjectivism, individualism, and the role of qualitative explanations and predictions in social science may favour a fruitful interaction between these two research programs.
This paper considers ways that experimental design can affect judgments about informally presented context shifting experiments. Reasons are given to think that judgments about informal context shifting experiments are affected by an exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments and by experimenter bias. Exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments may produce experimental artifacts by obscuring important differences of degree between the phenomena being investigated. Experimenter bias is an effect generated when, for example, experimenters disclose (even unconsciously) their (...) own beliefs about the outcome of an experiment. Eliminating experimenter bias from context shifting experiments makes it far less obvious what the “intuitive” responses to those experiments are. After it is shown how those different kinds of bias can affect judgments about informal context shifting experiments, those experiments are revised to control for those forms of bias. The upshot of these investigations is that participants in the contextualist debate who employ informal experiments should pay just as much attention to the design of their experiments as those who employ more formal experimental techniques if they want to avoid obscuring the phenomena they aim to uncover. (shrink)
Kuhn's theory of paradigm reveals a pattern of scientific progress, in which normal science alternates with scientific revolution. But Kuhn underrated too much the function of scientific test in his pattern, because he focuses all his attention on the hypothetico-deductive schema instead of Bayesian schema. This paper employs Bayesian schema to re-examine Kuhn's theory of paradigm, to uncover its logical and rational components, and to illustrate the tensional structure of logic and belief, rationality and irrationality, in the process (...) of scientific revolution. (shrink)
This paper argues that early modern experimental philosophy emerged as the dominant member of a pair of methods in natural philosophy, the speculative versus the experimental, and that this pairing derives from an overarching distinction between speculative and operative philosophy that can be ultimately traced back to Aristotle. The paper examines the traditional classification of natural philosophy as a speculative discipline from the Stagirite to the seventeenth century; medieval and early modern attempts to articulate a scientia experimentalis; and (...) the tensions in the classification of natural magic and mechanics that led to the introduction of an operative part of natural philosophy in the writings of Francis Bacon and John Johnston. The paper concludes with a summary of the salient discontinuities between the experimental/speculative distinction of the mid-seventeenth century and its predecessors and a statement of the developments that led to the ascendance of experimental philosophy from the 1660s. (shrink)
Experimental psychology in the early 20th century was targeted by several authors who described a crisis— often expressed as a lack of theoretical and experimental progress. In the 21st century, the crisis of competing theories has been largely overcome but several current emphases hinder the development of a mature experimental science. Central among these are an ethnocentrism that focuses on Western standards and populations, neuroscientism which often treats neurological evidence independently of mental and behavioral events, and the (...) tendency for demonstration experiments to replace coordinated theoretical approaches. (shrink)
Well known quantum and time paradoxes, and the difficulty to derive the second law of thermodynamics, are proposed to be the result of our historically grown paradigm for energy: it is just there, the capacity to do work, not directly related to change. When the asymmetric nature of energy is considered, as well as the involvement of energy turnover in any change, so that energy can be understood as fundamentally "dynamic", and time-oriented (new paradigm), these paradoxes and problems (...) dissolve. The most basic consequence concerns the particle-wave dualism. For a reversible inter-conversion of a particle into a wave, subject to a dynamic energy, a self-image of information has to be generated: quantum theory has to be complemented by a theory of information. Then, quantum processes can be derived from classical ones and the second law of thermodynamics with the tendency of increasing entropy follows in a straightforward way. (shrink)
Globally, corporate social responsibility (CSR) needs to find its sustainable development via the recognition of tangible benefits that CSR will bring to organizations and their stakeholders. The less tangible but likely most important benefit lies in the continual improved leadership and management quality emerging from organizations investing in CSR. Companies’ failure to act in a CSR way and the lack of wise leadership and quality management is a dominant root factor in the past scandals and financial crisis. Looking at current (...) interactions between Chinese companies and their various influencing environmental, society and government (ESG) factors, many of the motivational drivers for Western companies to invest in CSR are today still being challenged here based on China’s market specifics. More rapid development of the regulatory framework with adequate enforcement resources, as well as incorporation of CSR “value” education at universities can accelerate this needed development. In the short term, foreign companies as “guests” of China should also be a catalyst as role models. Apart from a foreign investor’s actions, it is equally important to acknowledge and address local China challenges remaining to provide the right climate for a foreign company’s CSR programs to be successfully executed here. The world is at a cross roads of a new value-based leadership paradigm. With global interdependence accelerating and hence, management and leadership complexity expanding, there is a need for a new leadership model, bringing “common wisdom” more pronounced to the forefront, arising from a renewed focus and strengthening of an aligned set of values between family, society, and corporate life. China’s unique demographic challenges and economic progress provide a fertile environment to lead the world in this development. (shrink)
Despite the so-called ‘paradigm wars’ in many social sciences disciplines in recent decades, debate as to the appropriate philosophical basis for research in business ethics has been comparatively non-existent. Any consideration of paradigm issues in the theoretical business ethics literature is rare and only very occasional references to relevant issues have been made in the empirical journal literature. This is very much the case in the growing fields of cross-cultural business ethics and undergraduate student attitudes, and examples from (...) these fields are used in this article. No typology of the major paradigms available for, or relied upon in, business ethics has been undertaken in the wider journal literature, and this article addresses that gap. It contributes a synthesis of three models of paradigms and a tabulated comparison of ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions in the context of empirical business ethics research. The author also suggests the likely (and usually unidentified) positivist paradigm assumptions underlying the vast majority of empirical business ethics research published in academic journals and also argues for an increased reliance on less positivist assumptions moving forward. (shrink)
One view of philosophy that is sometimes expressed, especially by scientists, is that while philosophers are good at asking questions, they are poor at producing convincing answers. And the perceived divide between philosophical and scientific methods is often pointed to as the major culprit behind this lack of progress. Looking back at the history of philosophy, however, we find that this methodological divide is a relatively recent invention. Further, it is one that has been challenged over the past decade by (...) the modern incarnation of experimental philosophy. How might the reincorporation of empirical methods into philosophy aid the process of making philosophical progress? Building off of the work of Sytsma (2010), we argue that one way it does so is by offering a means of resolving some disputes that arise in philosophy. We illustrate how philosophical disputes may sometimes be resolved empirically by looking at the recent experimental literature on intuitions about reference. (shrink)
This article offers a critique of research practices typical of experimental philosophy. To that end, it presents a review of methodological issues that have proved crucial to the quality of research in the biobehavioral sciences. It discusses various shortcomings in the experimental philosophy literature related to (1) the credibility of self-report questionnaires, (2) the validity and reliability of measurement, (3) the adherence to appropriate procedures for sampling, random assignment, and handling of participants, and (4) the meticulousness of study (...) reporting. It argues that the future standing of experimental philosophy will hinge upon improvements in research methods. (shrink)