On the whole our study has made a plea for the combined research into the history, methodology and philosophy of science. There is an intricate communication between these aspects of science, philosophy being both a fruit of scientific developments and a higher-level frame of reference for discussion on the inevicable metaphysical issues in science.As such philosophy can be very useful to science, but should never impose its ideas on the conduct of scientists . ... Zie: Summary.
Remarks on the Relations between Neurophysiology and Psychology. In the last decades of Analytical Philosophy, contributions to the so-called mind-body-problem have been suffering by several serious methodological misunderstandings: they have failed, for instance, to distinguish between explanations of particular and strictly general ("necessary") properties and between two important senses of existential statements; and they have overlooked the role conceptual explanations play in the development of science. Changing our methodological premisses, we should be able to put questions like that of (...) the relation between (neuro)physiological and psychological phenomena in a new way - and we should be able to see that such newly understood questions allow answers which evade the pitfalls of both reductionist and holistic positions. The paper tries to illustrate and to defend these contentions by reference to a very elementary example: the rational re-building of our concepts to identify behaviour by which a subject controls the position of his body in space. (shrink)
Though many philosophers of mind have taken an interest in the great developments in the brain sciences, the interest is seldom reciprocated by scientists, who frequently ignore the contributions philosophers have made to our understanding of the mind and brain. In a rare collaboration, a world famous brain scientist and an eminent philosopher have joined forces in an effort to understand how our brain interacts with the world. Does the brain behave as a calculator, combining sensory data before deciding how (...) to act? Or does it behave as an emulator endowed with innate models of the world, which it corrects according to the results of experiences obtained by the senses? The two authors come from very different backgrounds - the philosopher Jean-Luc Petit belongs to the philosophical tradition of Husserlian phenomenology. Alain Berthoz has long been interested in the physiology of action (movement, posture, decision-making, perception, etc.). Drawing on cutting-edge research from the cognitive sciences, the authors have produced a highly original volume showing how phenomenology and physiology can interact to further our understanding of the brain and the mind. (shrink)
We have been accustomed at least since Kant and mainstream history of philosophy to distinguish between the ‘mechanical’ and the ‘teleological’; between a fully mechanistic, quantitative science of Nature exemplified by Newton (or Galileo, or Descartes) and a teleological, qualitative approach to living beings ultimately expressed in the concept of ‘organism’ – a purposive entity, or at least an entity possessed of functions. The beauty of this distinction is that it seems to make intuitive sense and to map onto (...) historical and conceptual constellations in medicine, physiology and the related natural-philosophical discussions on the status of the body versus that of the machine. In this presentation I argue that the distinction between mechanism and teleology is imprecise and flawed, on the basis of a series of examples: the presence of ‘functional’ or ‘purposive’ features even in Cartesian physiology; work such as that of Richard Lower’s on animal respiration; the fact that the model of the ‘body-machine’ is not at all a mechanistic reduction of organismic properties to basic physical properties but on the contrary a way of emphasizing the uniqueness of organic life; and the concept of ‘animal economy’ in vitalist medical theory, which I present as a kind of ‘teleo-mechanistic’ concept of organism (borrowing a term of Timothy Lenoir’s which he used to discuss 19th-century embryology) – neither mechanical nor teleological. (shrink)
This paper revisits some early applications of audio-visual imaging technologies used in physiology in a dialogue with reflections on Henri Bergson’s philosophy. It focuses on the aspects of time and memory in relation to spatial representations of movement measurements and critically discusses them from the perspective of the observing participant and the public exhibitions of scientific films. Departing from an audio-visual example, this paper is informed by a thick description of the philosophical implications and contemporary discourses surrounding the (...) scientific inventions, technologies and theories of moving image technologies, representations of time, and the measurement of bodies in motion such as those by the French physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey. The application of Bergson’s thinking will show how the scientific graphing and representations of the body through technologies inevitably stand in tension with the limits and potentials of the ‘human apparatus’ and its abilities, filters and internalised processes of perception, memory and consciousness. It proposes an ontological approach to scientific imaging technologies and a critical engagement with the ‘realism’ debate in the discourse of audio-visual media. (shrink)
In recent years consciousness has become a significant area of study in the cognitive sciences. The Frontiers of Consciousness is a major interdisciplinary exploration of consciousness. The book stems from the Chichele lectures held at All Souls College in Oxford, and features contributions from a 'who's who' of authorities from both philosophy and psychology. The result is a truly interdisciplinary volume, which tackles some of the biggest and most impenetrable problems in consciousness. The book includes chapters considering the apparent (...) explanatory gap between science and consciousness, our conscious experience of emotions such as fear, and of willed actions by ourselves and others. It looks at subjective differences between two ways in which visual information guides behaviour, and scientific investigation of consciousness in non-human animals. It looks at the challenges that the mind-brain relation presents for clinical practice as well as for theories of consciousness. The book draws on leading research from philosophy, experimental psychology, functional imaging of the brain, neuropsychology, neuroscience, and clinical neurology. Distinctive in its accessibility, authority, and its depth of coverage, Frontiers of Consciousness will be a groundbreaking and influential addition to the consciousness literature. (shrink)
euroscience of Rule-Guided Behavior brings together, for the first time, the experiments and theories that have created the new science of rules. Rules are central to human behavior, but until now the field of neuroscience lacked a synthetic approach to understanding them. How are rules learned, retrieved from memory, maintained in consciousness and implemented? How are they used to solve problems and select among actions and activities? How are the various levels of rules represented in the brain, ranging from simple (...) conditional ones if a traffic light turns red, then stop to rules and strategies of such sophistication that they defy description? And how do brain regions interact to produce rule-guided behavior? These are among the most fundamental questions facing neuroscience, but until recently there was relatively little progress in answering them. It was difficult to probe brain mechanisms in humans, and expert opinion held that animals lacked the capacity for such high-level behavior. However, rapid progress in neuroimaging technology has allowed investigators to explore brain mechanisms in humans, while increasingly sophisticated behavioral methods have revealed that animals can and do use high-level rules to control their behavior. The resulting explosion of information has led to a new science of rules, but it has also produced a plethora of overlapping ideas and terminology and a field sorely in need of synthesis. In this book, Silvia Bunge and Jonathan Wallis bring together the worlds leading cognitive and systems neuroscientists to explain the most recent research on rule-guided behavior. Their work covers a wide range of disciplines and methods, including neuropsychology, functional magnetic resonance imaging, neurophysiology, electroencephalography, neuropharmacology, near-infrared spectroscopy, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. This unprecedented synthesis is a must-read for anyone interested in how complex behavior is controlled and organized by the brain. (shrink)
This paper seeks to reinterpret the life and work of J. B. S. Haldane by focusing on an illuminating but largely ignored essay he published in 1927, "The Last Judgment" -- the sequel to his better known work, "Daedalus" (1924). This astonishing essay expresses a vision of the human future over the next 40,000,000 years, one that revises and updates Wellsian futurism with the long range implications of the "new biology" for human destiny. That vision served as a kind of (...) lifelong credo, one that infused and informed his diverse scientific work, political activities, and popular writing, and that gave unity and coherence to his remarkable career. (shrink)
In this paper I challenge the widely held view which associates Hume’s philosophy with mechanical philosophies of nature and particularly with Newton. This view presents Hume’s account of the human mind as passive receiver of impressions which bring into motion, from the outside, a mental machinery whose functioning is described in terms of mechanical causal principles. Instead, I propose an interpretation which suggests that for Hume the human mind is composed of faculties that can be characterized by their active (...) contribution which frequently results in qualitative change. This anatomy of the mind is explored from a physiological perspective focused on the normal functioning and interaction of the mind’s various organs. While pursuing this enterprise, I suggest that Hume’s outlook is closer to eighteenth-century “philosophical chemistry” and vitalistic physiology than to the heritage of mechanical philosophies. (shrink)
Agenda 21 of United Nations demands better situation of ecology, economy, health, etc. in all countries. An evaluation of scientific contributions in international congresses of fundamental anthropological sciences (philosophy, psychology, psychosomatics, physiology, genito-urology, radio-oncology, etc.) demonstratesevidence of large discrepancies in the participation not only of developing and industrial countries, but also between the last ones themselves. Low degree of research and education leads to low degree of economy, health, ecology, etc. [Lit.: Neu, Michailov et al.: Physiology in (...) Agenda 21. Proc. Int. Un. Physiol. Sci. San Francisco, Faseb J. 19/5, A1355, 2005; Agenda 21 in Psychol. 28th Int. Congr. Psychol. Beijing, 1028.62/3028.96, 2004]. CONCEPTION: The science is leading in the social and economic development of humanity, but the misuse of science causes disastrous repercussions (ecological and self-destruction). New models for scientific education, beginning with philosophy, followed by philosophical, pedagogical, medical, theological anthropology, and research are necessary tosupport Agenda 21 and prevent misuse of science. According to proposals on foundation of experimental schools (Immanuel Kant) and international universities (Bertrand Russell) the International Academy of Science/ICSD supports these ideas and initiated the creation of first (interdisciplinary) International Faculties forAnthropology as paradigm for humanization, higher effectiveness and pluralistic internationalization of science, leading to better education ("Erziehung und Ausbildung") and research in all countries, i.e. decrease of the gap between industrial and developing countries. CONCLUSION: Foundation of international institutes for general (philosophy, pedagogy, medicine) as well as for special anthropology (theology, informatics-logic-mathematics, culture, biology, (bio-) physics/chemistry) in context of an integralanthropology via networks of national ones from selected countries of Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Europe can permit the necessary implication of philosophy in education of anthropological sciences as well as research and education (post graduate) by common international research and educational programmes, lecturers, students, etc. in one country. This project needs political and financial support by UNO, European Union, governments, banks, industries to support the education of a homo sanus, humanus et spiritualis for the future humanity. (shrink)
This book is about how we make choices. It is a compelling analysis of the nature of free will, drawing together evidence from chemistry, literature, politics, history and beyond. Psychiatrist Chris Nunn elegantly explores the revolutions in medicine, genetics, bioethics and neuroscience spurred by Julien de la Mettrie's 300-year-old tract Man the Machine . Nunn concludes that a mechanistic view of the human brain, though once fruitful, is now moribund. He proposes a powerful alternative: that stories, recorded in our memories (...) throughout life, are the mediators of free choice. Nunn demonstrates how this original approach could reconcile the latest brain-imaging results and our seemingly contradictory intuition about decision making and responsibility. (shrink)
Except for a patina of twenty-first century modernity, in the form of logic and language, philosophy is exactly the same now as it ever was; it has made no progress whatsoever. We philosophers wrestle with the exact same problems the Pre-Socratics wrestled with. Even more outrageous than this claim, though, is the blatant denial of its obvious truth by many practicing philosophers. The No-Progress view is explored and argued for here. Its denial is diagnosed as a form of anosognosia, (...) a mental condition where the affected person denies there is any problem. The theories of two eminent philosophers supporting the No-Progress view are also examined. The final section offers an explanation for philosophy's inability to solve any philosophical problem, ever. The paper closes with some reflections on philosophy's future. (shrink)
On the political nature of the analytic - continental distinction in professional philosophy and the general tendency to discredit continental philosophy while redesignating the rubric as analytically conceived.
Claims about people's intuitions have long played an important role in philosophical debates. The new field of experimental philosophy seeks to subject such claims to rigorous tests using the traditional methods of cognitive science – systematic experimentation and statistical analysis. Work in experimental philosophy thus far has investigated people's intuitions in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, and ethics. Although it is now generally agreed that experimental philosophers have made surprising discoveries about people's intuitions in (...) each of these areas, considerable disagreement remains about the philosophical significance of the key findings. Some have argued that work in experimental philosophy should be assessed by asking whether it can contribute to the kind of inquiry that is normally pursued within analytic philosophy, while others suggest that work in experimental philosophy is best understood as a contribution to a more traditional sort of philosophical inquiry that long predates the birth of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
The following is a transcript of the interview I (Yasuko Kitano) conducted with Neil Levy (The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, CAPPE) on the 23rd in July 2009, while he was in Tokyo to give a series of lectures on neuroethics at The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy. I edited his words for publication with his approval.
Mathematics plays an inordinate role in the work of many of famous Western philosophers, from the time of Plato, through Husserl and Wittgenstein, and even to the present. Why? This paper points to the experience of learning or making mathematics, with an emphasis on proof. It distinguishes two sources of the perennial impact of mathematics on philosophy. They are classified as Ancient and Enlightenment. Plato is emblematic of the former, and Kant of the latter. The Ancient fascination arises from (...) the sense that mathematics explores something ‘out there’. This is illustrated by recent discussions by distinguished contemporary mathematicians. The Enlightenment strand often uses Kant's argot: ‘absolute necessity’, ‘apodictic certainty’ and ‘a priori’ judgement or knowledge. The experience of being compelled by proof, the sense that something must be true, that a result is certain, generates the philosophy. It also creates the illusion that mathematics is certain. Kant's leading question, ‘How is pure mathematics possible?’, is easily misunderstood because the modern distinction between pure and applied is an artefact of the 19th century. As Russell put it, the issue is to explain ‘the apparent power of anticipating facts about things of which we have no experience’. More generally the question is, how is it that pure mathematics is so rich in applications? Some six types of application are distinguished, each of which engenders its own philosophical problems which are descendants of the Enlightenment, and which differ from those descended from the Ancient strand. (shrink)
Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, from the (...) central position it used to have in philosophy of science and placed logic at center stage in the 20th century philosophy of science. Only in recent decades logic has begun to loose its monopoly and geometry and topology received a new chance to find a place in philosophy of science. (shrink)
Metaethics is the study of metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language, insofar as they relate to the subject matter of moral or, more broadly, normative discourse – the subject matter of what is good, bad, right or wrong, just, reasonable, rational, what we must or ought to do, or otherwise. But out of these four ‘core’ areas of philosophy, it is plausibly the philosophy of language that is most central to metaethics (...) – and not simply because ‘metaethics’ was for a long time construed more narrowly as a name for the study of moral language. The philosophy of language is central to metaethics because both the advantages of and the open problems facing different metaethical theories differ sharply over the answers those theories give to central questions in the philosophy of language. In fact, among the open problems over which such theories differ, are included particularly further problems in the philosophy of language. This article briefly surveys a range of broad categories of views in metaethics and both catalogues some of the principal issues faced by each in the philosophy of language, as well as how those arise out of their answers to more basic questions in the philosophy of language. I make no claim to completeness, only to raising a variety of important issues. (shrink)
What can--and what can't--philosophy do? What are its ethical risks--and its possible rewards? How does it differ from science? In Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline , Bernard Williams addresses these questions and presents a striking vision of philosophy as fundamentally different from science in its aims and methods even though there is still in philosophy "something that counts as getting it right." Written with his distinctive combination of rigor, imagination, depth, and humanism, the book amply demonstrates (...) why Williams was one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Spanning his career from his first publication to one of his last lectures, the book's previously unpublished or uncollected essays address metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, as well as the scope and limits of philosophy itself. The essays are unified by Williams's constant concern that philosophy maintain contact with the human problems that animate it in the first place. As the book's editor, A. W. Moore, writes in his introduction, the title essay is "a kind of manifesto for Williams's conception of his own life's work." It is where he most directly asks "what philosophy can and cannot contribute to the project of making sense of things"--answering that what philosophy can best help make sense of is "being human." Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline is one of three posthumous books by Williams to be published by Princeton University Press. In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument was published in the fall of 2005. The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy is being published shortly after the present volume. (shrink)
Throughout his career, Husserl identifies naturalism as the greatest threat to both the sciences and philosophy. In this paper, I explicate Husserl’s overall diagnosis and critique of naturalism and then examine the specific transcendental aspect of his critique. Husserl agreed with the Neo-Kantians in rejecting naturalism. He has three major critiques of naturalism: First, it (like psychologism and for the same reasons) is ‘countersensical’ in that it denies the very ideal laws that it needs for its own justification. Second, (...) naturalism essentially misconstrues consciousness by treating it as a part of the world. Third, naturalism is the inevitable consequence of a certain rigidification of the ‘natural attitude’ into what Husserl calls the ‘naturalistic attitude’. This naturalistic attitude ‘reifies’ and it ‘absolutizes’ the world such that it is treated as taken-for-granted and ‘obvious’. Husserl’s transcendental phenomenological analysis, however, discloses that the natural attitude is, despite its omnipresence in everyday life, not primary, but in fact is relative to the ‘absolute’ transcendental attitude. The mature Husserl’s critique of naturalism is therefore based on his acceptance of the absolute priority of the transcendental attitude . The paradox remains that we must start from and, in a sense, return to the natural attitude, while, at the same time, restricting this attitude through the on-going transcendental vigilance of the universal epoché. (shrink)
Is Bayesian decision theory a panacea for many of the problems in epistemology and the philosophy of science, or is it philosophical snake-oil? For years a debate had been waged amongst specialists regarding the import and legitimacy of this body of theory. Mark Kaplan had written the first accessible and non-technical book to address this controversy. Introducing a new variant on Bayesian decision theory the author offers a compelling case that, while no panacea, decision theory does in fact have (...) the most profound consequences for the way in which philosophers think about inquiry, criticism and rational belief. The new variant on Bayesian theory is presented in such a way that a non-specialist will be able to understand it. The book also offers new solutions to some classic paradoxes. It focuses on the intuitive motivations of the Bayesian approach to epistemology and addresses the philosophical worries to which it has given rise. (shrink)
Over the past three decades, philosophy of science has grown increasingly “local.” Concerns have switched from general features of scientific practice to concepts, issues, and puzzles specific to particular disciplines. Philosophy of neuroscience is a natural result. This emerging area was also spurred by remarkable recent growth in the neurosciences. Cognitive and computational neuroscience continues to encroach upon issues traditionally addressed within the humanities, including the nature of consciousness, action, knowledge, and normativity. Empirical discoveries about brain structure and (...) function suggest ways that “naturalistic” programs might develop in detail, beyond the abstract philosophical considerations in their favor. -/- The literature distinguishes “philosophy of neuroscience” and “neurophilosophy.” The former concerns foundational issues within the neurosciences. The latter concerns application of neuroscientific concepts to traditional philosophical questions. Exploring various concepts of representation employed in neuroscientific theories is an example of the former. Examining implications of neurological syndromes for the concept of a unified self is an example of the latter. In this entry, we will assume this distinction and discuss examples of both. (shrink)
Nursing as a profession has a social mandate to contribute to the good of society through knowledge-based practice. Knowledge is built upon theories, and theories, together with their philosophical bases and disciplinary goals, are the guiding frameworks for practice. This article explores a philosophical perspective of nursing's social mandate, the disciplinary goals for the good of the individual and society, and one approach for translating knowledge into practice through the use of a middle-range theory. It is anticipated that the integration (...) of the philosophical perspective and model into nursing practice will strengthen the philosophy, disciplinary goal, theory, and practice links and expand knowledge within the discipline. With the focus on humanization, we propose that nursing knowledge for social good will embrace a synthesis of the individual and the common good. This approach converges vital and agency needs described by Hamilton and the primacy of maintaining the heritage of the good within the human species as outlined by Maritain. Further, by embedding knowledge development in a changing social and health care context, nursing focuses on the goals of clinical reasoning and action. McCubbin and Patterson's Double ABCX Model of Family Adaptation was used as an example of a theory that can guide practice at the community and global level. Using the theory-practice link as a foundation, the Double ABCX model provides practising nurses with one approach to meet the needs of individuals and society. The integration of theory into nursing practice provides a guide to achieve nursing's disciplinary goals of promoting health and preventing illness across the globe. When nursing goals are directed at the synthesis of the good of the individual and society, nursing's social and moral mandate may be achieved. (shrink)
From its inception in Kant's efforts to articulate a "religion within the limits of reason alone," the Continental tradition has maintained a strict division of labor between theological and philosophical reflection on religion. In what follows, I examine this continental legacy in the context of Jacques Derrida's recent work on the concept of responsibility. First I discuss three guiding themes (the limits of speculative analysis, the idea of nondogmatic religion, and the importance of the other) that characterize the continental tradition's (...) general orientation toward philosophy of religion, as well as Derrida's approach to the concept of responsibility. I turn next to elucidating Derrida's account of responsibility as developed in "Force of Law: The Mystical Foundations of Authority" and The Gift of Death. I conclude with a discussion of the uses and limits of this account for religious (and theological) reflection, as well as for the task of articulating a contemporary continental philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Does the Buddhist doctrine of no-self imply, simply put, no-other? Does this doctrine necessarily come into conflict with an ethics premised on the alterity of the other? This article explores these questions by situating Emmanuel Levinas’s ethics in the context of contemporary Japanese philosophy. The work of twentieth-century Japanese philosopher Watsuji Tetsurō provides a starting point from which to consider the ethics of the self-other relation in light of the Buddhist notion of emptiness. The philosophy of thirteenth-century Zen (...) Master Dōgen casts doubt on Watsuji’s commitment to reciprocal self-other relationality, showing that the idea of self-emptiness disrupts any conventional understanding of reciprocity and promotes instead other-oriented compassion. Despite interesting similarities between the ethics of alterity and Buddhist compassion, a Buddhist-influenced understanding of alterity differs from Levinas on important points, by making possible the claim that all others—human, animal, plant, and mineral—are ethical others. (shrink)
Social constructivists maintain that we invent the properties of the world rather than discover them. Is reality constructed by our own activity? Or, more provocatively, are scientific facts--is everything --constructed? Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science is a clear assessment of this critical and increasingly important debate. Andre Kukla presents a comprehensive discussion of the philosophical issues involved and analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of a range of constructivist arguments, illustrating the divide between the sociology and the (...) class='Hi'>philosophy of science through examples as varied as laboratory science, time, and criminality. He argues that current philosophical objections to constructivism are drastically inconclusive, while offering and developing new objections. Throughout, Kukla distinguishes between the social causes of scientific beliefs and the view that all ascertainable facts are constructed. (shrink)
This volume of newly commissioned essays provides comprehensive coverage of African philosophy, ranging across disciplines and throughout the ages. Offers a distinctive historical treatment of African philosophy. Covers all the main branches of philosophy as addressed in the African tradition. Includes accounts of pre-colonial African philosophy and contemporary political thought.
Abstract Recently, some philosophers of psychiatry (viz., Rachel Cooper and Dominic Murphy) have analyzed the issue of psychiatric classification. This paper expands upon these analyses and seeks to demonstrate that a consideration of the history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) can provide a rich and informative philosophical perspective for critically examining the issue of psychiatric classification. This case is intended to demonstrate the importance of history for philosophy of psychiatry, and more generally, the potential (...) benefits of historically-informed approaches to philosophy of science. (shrink)
Criticisms of analyticphilosophy have increased in intensity in the last decade, denouncing specifically its closing in on itself, which results in barrenness and ignorance of real human problems. The thought of C. S. Peirce is proposed as a fruitful way of renewing the analytic tradition and obviating these criticisms. While this paper is largely a reflection on Hilary Putnam’s study of the historical development of analyticphilosophy, not only can some of its main roots (...) be traced back to Peirce, but also the recent resurgence of pragmatism can be regarded as a pragmatist renovation of the analytic tradition. Further, Peirce’s thought offers suggestions for tackling some of the most stubborn problems in contemporary philosophy, thereby enabling us to shoulder once more the philosophical responsibility which has been abdicated by much of twentieth-century philosophy. The most accurate understanding of Peirce is to see him as a traditional and systematic philosopher, but one dealing with the modern problems of science truth, and knowledge from a valuable personal experience as a logician and an experimental researcher in the bosom of an interdisciplinary community of scientists and thinkers. (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)