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 experimentalphilosophy, 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)
Joshua Glasgow argues against the existence of races. His experimentalphilosophy 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)
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 experimentalphilosophy. 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 is a prelude to an experimental study of the preference concept in economics. I argue that a new empirical approach called experimentalphilosophy of science is a promising approach to advance the philosophy of economics. In particular, I discuss two debates in the field, the neuroeconomics controversy and the commonsensible realism debate, and suggest how experimental and survey techniques can generate data that will inform these debates. Some of the likely objections from philosophers (...) and economists are addressed, and possible ways of operationalizing different preference concepts are illustrated. (shrink)
The topic is experimentalphilosophy 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.
Experimentalphilosophy is often presented as a new movement that avoids many of the difficulties that face traditional philosophy. This article distinguishes two views of experimentalphilosophy: a narrow view in which philosophers conduct empirical investigations of intuitions, and a broad view which says that experimentalphilosophy 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 experimentalphilosophy, both pro and con. The article argues, first, that the broader view is the only plausible one; discussions of experimentalphilosophy should recognize that the narrow view is a caricature of experimentalphilosophy as it is currently done. It then shows both how objections to experimentalphilosophy are transformed and how positive recommendations can be provided by adopting a broad conception of experimentalphilosophy. (shrink)
One of the more visible recent developments in philosophical methodology is the experimentalphilosophy 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)
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 experimentalphilosophy. (shrink)
This paper argues that early modern experimentalphilosophy 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 experimentalphilosophy from the 1660s. (shrink)
This article offers a critique of research practices typical of experimentalphilosophy. 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 experimentalphilosophy 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 experimentalphilosophy will hinge upon improvements in research methods. (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.
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)
Claims about people's intuitions have long played an important role in philosophical debates. The new field of experimentalphilosophy seeks to subject such claims to rigorous tests using the traditional methods of cognitive science – systematic experimentation and statistical analysis. Work in experimentalphilosophy 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 experimentalphilosophy 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 experimentalphilosophy is best understood as a contribution to a more traditional sort of philosophical inquiry that long predates the birth of analytic 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)
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.
Experimentalphilosophy is a new interdisciplinary field that uses methods normally associated with psychology to investigate questions normally associated with philosophy. The present review focuses on research in experimentalphilosophy on four central questions. First, why is it that people's moral judgments appear to influence their intuitions about seemingly nonmoral questions? Second, do people think that moral questions have objective answers, or do they see morality as fundamentally relative? Third, do people believe in free will, (...) and do they see free will as compatible with determinism? Fourth, how do people determine whether an entity is conscious? (shrink)
Margaret Cavendish's 1668 edition of Observations upon ExperimentalPhilosophy, presented here in its first modern edition, holds a unique position in early modern philosophy. Cavendish rejects the Aristotelianism which was taught in the universities in the seventeenth century, and the picture of nature as a grand machine which was propounded by Hobbes, Descartes and members of the Royal Society of London, such as Boyle. She also rejects the views of nature which make reference to immaterial spirits. Instead (...) she develops an original system of organicist materialism, and draws on the doctrines of ancient Stoicism to attack the tenets of seventeenth-century mechanical philosophy. Her treatise is a document of major importance in the history of women's contributions to philosophy and science. (shrink)
It used to be a commonplace that the discipline of philosophy was deeply concerned with questions about the human condition. Philosophers thought about human beings and how their minds worked. They took an interest in reason and passion, culture and innate ideas, the origins of people’s moral and religious beliefs. On this traditional conception, it wasn’t particularly important to keep philosophy clearly distinct from psychology, history, or political science. Philosophers were concerned, in a very general way, with questions (...) about how.. (shrink)
It has been standard philosophical practice in analytic philosophy to employ intuitions generated in response to thought-experiments as evidence in the evaluation of philosophical claims. In part as a response to this practice, an exciting new movement—experimentalphilosophy—has recently emerged. This movement is unified behind both a common methodology and a common aim: the application of methods of experimental psychology to the study of the nature of intuitions. In this paper, we will introduce two different views (...) concerning the relationship that holds between experimentalphilosophy and the future of standard philosophical practice (what we call, the proper foundation view and the restrictionist view), discuss some of the more interesting and important results obtained by proponents of both views, and examine the pressure these results put on analytic philosophers to reform standard philosophical practice. We will also defend experimentalphilosophy from some recent objections, suggest future directions for work in experimentalphilosophy, and suggest what future lines of epistemological response might be available to those wishing to defend analytic epistemology from the challenges posed by experimentalphilosophy. (shrink)
Practitioners of the new ‘experimentalphilosophy’ have collected data that appear to show that some philosophical intuitions are culturally variable. Many experimental philosophers take this to pose a problem for a more traditional, ‘armchair’ style of philosophizing. It is argued that this is a mistake that derives from a false assumption about the character of philosophical methods; neither philosophy nor its methods have anything to fear from cultural variability in philosophical intuitions.
This paper develops a sympathetic critique of recent experimental work on free will and moral responsibility. Section 1 offers a brief defense of the relevance of experimentalphilosophy to the free will debate. Section 2 reviews a series of articles in the experimental literature that probe intuitions about the "compatibility question"—whether we can be free and morally responsible if determinism is true. Section 3 argues that these studies have produced valuable insights on the factors that influence (...) our judgments on the compatibility question, but that their general approach suffers from significant practical and philosophical difficulties. Section 4 reviews experimental work addressing other aspects of the free will/moral responsibility debate, and section 5 concludes with a discussion of avenues for further research. (shrink)
What is the nature of human well-being? This paper joins the ancient debate by rejuvenating an ancient claim that is quite unfashionable among moral philosophers today, namely, the Aristotelian claim that moral virtue is (non-instrumentally) necessary for human well-being. Call it the Aristotelian Virtue Condition (AVC). This view can be revived for contemporary debate by a state-of-the-art approach that we might call constructivist experimentalphilosophy, which takes as its goal the achievement of a reasonable constructivist account of well-being (...) and takes the investigation of actual folk intuitions as the central means to achieving that goal. The paper motivates this approach and challenges the commonplace philosophical rejection of AVC by arguing (1) that folk intuitions should count as evidence in the debate, especially if we aim at a constructivist account of well-being, (2) that folk intuitions can be accurately elicited through a thought experiment (the “Crib Test”), and (3) that there is some reason (subject to experimental confirmation) for thinking that folk intuitions, thus elicited, support AVC. Aristotelian ethics, and indeed the entire virtue ethics tradition, has come under fire recently by empirically informed philosophers who question the empirical adequacy of the postulation of robust character traits, but regardless of how that debate turns out, other parts of this tradition might be empirically supported rather than undermined. This paper sketches a promising, empirically informed way of supporting Aristotelian views of well-being. (shrink)
Experimentalphilosophy 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 experimentalphilosophy 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 we understand as the result of a form of conceptual ecology, in which concepts become adapted to specific epistemic niches. (shrink)
Recent years have seen an explosion of new work at the intersection of philosophy and experimental psychology. This work takes the concerns with moral and conceptual issues that have so long been associated with philosophy and connects them with the use of systematic and well-controlled empirical investigations that one more typically finds in psychology. Work in this new field often goes under the name "experimentalphilosophy".
I use a recent 'experimentalphilosophy' study of the concept of the gene conducted by myself and collaborators to discuss the broader epistemological framework within which that research was conducted, and to reflect on the relationship between science, history and philosophy of science, and society.
We discuss recent work in experimentalphilosophy on free will and moral responsibility and then present a new study. Our results suggest an error theory for incompatibilist intuitions. Most laypersons who take determinism to preclude free will and moral responsibility apparently do so because they mistakenly interpret determinism to involve fatalism or “bypassing” of agents’ relevant mental states. People who do not misunderstand determinism in this way tend to see it as compatible with free will and responsibility. We (...) discuss why these results pose a challenge to incompatibilists. (shrink)
Editorial: Dimensions of ExperimentalPhilosophy Content Type Journal Article Pages 315-318 DOI 10.1007/s13164-010-0037-9 Authors Joshua Knobe, Program in Cognitive Science and Department of Philosophy, Yale University, New Haven, CT USA Tania Lombrozo, Department of Psychology, UC Berkeley, 3210 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA Edouard Machery, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017 CL, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA Journal Review of Philosophy and Psychology Online ISSN 1878-5166 Print ISSN 1878-5158 Journal Volume (...) Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 3. (shrink)
Recent attention given to the upstart movement of experimentalphilosophy is much deserved. But now that experimentalphilosophy is beginning to enter a stage of maturity, it is time to consider its relation to other philosophical traditions that have issued similar assaults against ingrained and potentially misguided philosophical habits. Experimentalphilosophy is widely known for rejecting a philosophical reliance on intuitions as evidence in philosophical argument. In this it shares much with another branch of (...) empiricist philosophy, namely, pragmatism. Taking Kwame Anthony Appiah's forthright and cautious endorsement of experimentalphilosophy as my model, I show that experimentalphilosophy and pragmatist philosophy share more than adherents of either philosophical method have yet to allow. I then use this comparison to show how the new experimentalisms could benefit from a rereading of century-old pragmatist insights about philosophical methodology. (shrink)
First, we briefly familiarize the reader with the emerging field of “experimentalphilosophy,” in which philosophers use empirical methods, rather than armchair speculation, to ascertain laypersons’ intuitions about philosophical issues. Second, we discuss how the surveys used by experimental philosophers can serve as valuable pedagogical tools for teaching philosophy—independently of whether one believes surveying laypersons is an illuminating approach to doing philosophy. Giving students surveys that contain questions and thought experiments from philosophical debates gets them (...) to actively engage with the material and paves the way for more fruitful and impassioned classroom discussion. We offer some suggestions for how to use surveys in the classroom and provide an appendix that contains some examples of scenarios teachers could use in their courses. (shrink)
In disputes about conceptual analysis, each side typically appeals to pre-theoretical 'intuitions' about particular cases. Recently, many naturalistically oriented philosophers have suggested that these appeals should be understood as empirical hypotheses about what people would say when presented with descriptions of situations, and have consequently conducted surveys on non-specialists. I argue that this philosophical research programme, a key branch of what is known as 'experimentalphilosophy', rests on mistaken assumptions about the relation between people's concepts and their linguistic (...) behaviour. The conceptual claims that philosophers make imply predictions about the folk's responses only under certain demanding, counterfactual conditions. Because of the nature of these conditions, the claims cannot be tested with methods of positivist social science. We are, however, entitled to appeal to intuitions about folk concepts in virtue of possessing implicit normative knowledge acquired through reflective participation in everyday linguistic practices. (shrink)
It is argued on a variety of grounds that recent results in 'experimentalphilosophy of language', which appear to show that there are significant cross-cultural differences in intuitions about the reference of proper names, do not pose a threat to a more traditional mode of philosophizing about reference. Some of these same grounds justify a complaint about experimentalphilosophy as a whole.
Experimentalphilosophy has emerged as a very specific kind of response to an equally specific way of thinking about philosophy, one typically associated with philosophical analysis and according to which philosophical claims are measured, at least in part, by our intuitions. Since experimentalphilosophy has emerged as a response to this way of thinking about philosophy, its philosophical significance depends, in no small part, on how significant the practice of appealing to intuitions is to (...)philosophy. In this paper, I defend the significance of experimentalphilosophy by defending the significance of intuitions—in particular, by defending their significance from a recent challenge advanced by Timothy Williamson. (shrink)
Levin argues that the results of the most methodologically sound and philosophically relevant studies discussed in this volume [ExperimentalPhilosophy] could have been obtained from the armchair, and thus that experimentalphilosophy may not present a serious challenge to the traditional methods of analytic philosophy.
Experimentalphilosophy is the name for a recent movement whose participants use the methods of experimental psychology to probe the way people think about philosophical issues and then examine how the results of such studies bear on traditional philosophical debates. Given both the breadth of the research being carried out by experimental philosophers and the controversial nature of some of their central methodological assumptions, it is of no surprise that their work has recently come under attack. (...) In this paper we respond to some criticisms of experimentalphilosophy that have recently been put forward by Antti Kauppinen. Unlike the critics of experimentalphilosophy, we do not think the fledgling movement either will or should fall before it has even had a chance to rise up to explain what it is, what it seeks to do (and not to do), and exactly how it plans to do it. Filling in some of the salient details is the main goal of the present paper. (shrink)
Experimentalphilosophy is a new and somewhat controversial method of philosophical inquiry in which philosophers conduct experiments in order to shed light on issues of philosophical interest. This typically involves surveying ordinary people to find out their "intuitions" (roughly, pre-theoretical judgments) about hypothetical cases important to philosophical theorizing. The controversy surrounding this methodology arises largely because it departs from more traditional ways of doing philosophy. Moreover, some of its practitioners have used it to argue that the more (...) traditional methods are flawed. In ExperimentalPhilosophy, Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols are set with the task of introducing readers to this burgeoning field by putting together a collection of some of its most important articles. Given how controversial it has become, this is a heavy burden. I'm happy to say that they have put together a valuable collection that serves as a diplomatic introduction to this exciting new style of research. (shrink)
Experimentalphilosophy is a comparatively new field of research, and it is only natural that many of the key methodological questions have not even been asked, much less answered. In responding to the comments of our critics, we therefore find ourselves brushing up against difficult questions about the aims and techniques of our whole enterprise. We will do our best to address these issues here, but the field is progressing at a rapid clip, and we suspect that it (...) will be possible to provide more adequate answers a few years down the line. (shrink)
Kauppinen argues that experimentalphilosophy cannot help us to address questions about the semantics of our concepts and that it therefore has little to contribute to the discipline of philosophy. This argument raises fascinating questions in the philosophy of language, but it is simply a red herring in the present context. Most researchers in experimentalphilosophy were not trying to resolve semantic questions in the first place. Their aim was rather to address a more (...) traditional sort of question, the sort of question that was regarded as absolutely central in the period before the rise of analytic philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss some underlying motivations common to most strands of experimentalphilosophy, noting that most forms of experimentalphilosophy have a commitment to the claim that certain empirical evidence concerning the level of agreement on intuitive judgments across cultures, ethnic groups or socioeconomic strata impugns the role that intuitions play in traditional “armchair” philosophy. I then develop an argument to suggest that, even if one were to grant the truth of the data (...) adduced by experimentalists regarding the level of agreement—or lack thereof—regarding intuitive judgments among various groups, this would nevertheless not yet provide sufficient basis to reject the role of intuitions in traditional philosophical theorizing. Though this argument, if successful, will not prove fatal to all forms of experimentalphilosophy, it would limit the scope of experimental philosophical criticisms of traditional philosophical practice. (shrink)
This paper considers three package deals combining views in Philosophy of Mind, Meta-Philosophy, and ExperimentalPhilosophy. The most familiar of these packages gives center-stage to pumping intuitions about fanciful cases, but that package involves problematic commitments both to a controversial descriptivist theory of reference and to intuitions that ‘negative’ experimental philosophers have shown to be suspiciously variable and context-sensitive. In light of these difficulties, it would be good for future-minded experimental philosophers to align themselves (...) with a different package deal. This paper suggests two alternatives. Experimentalists might help fans of “Naturalized” approaches discover what natural kinds have been playing an appropriate role in causing us to use concepts as we do. Or—better still—experimentalists might instead help pragmatists and teleo-semanticists discover how our concept usage regularly yields beneficial outcomes, so that we can then craft philosophical analyses that will enable us to yield such beneficial outcomes more consistently. Using free will and explanation as instructive examples, this paper offers concrete guidance and suggestions for how experimental philosophers can pursue new positive projects that will be both pragmatically and philosophically useful. (shrink)
Many philosophical problems are rooted in everyday thought, and experimentalphilosophy uses social scientific techniques to study the psychological underpinnings of such problems. In the case of free will, research suggests that people in a diverse range of cultures reject determinism, but people give conflicting responses on whether determinism would undermine moral responsibility. When presented with abstract questions, people tend to maintain that determinism would undermine responsibility, but when presented with concrete cases of wrongdoing, people tend to say (...) that determinism is consistent with moral responsibility. It remains unclear why people reject determinism and what drives people’s conflicted attitudes about responsibility. Experimentalphilosophy aims to address these issues and thereby illuminate the philosophical problem of free will. (shrink)
This anthology mixes together previously published and new work in experimentalphilosophy, by many of its leading figures (among whom the editors feature prominently). Experimentalphilosophy is a burgeoning movement that urges philosophers to leave their armchairs and test their philosophical claims empirically. It builds upon but goes further than the movement that Jesse Prinz, in his contribution, calls empirical philosophy; philosophy that turns to existing scientific literature to find evidence for philosophical claim. (...) class='Hi'>Experimentalphilosophy involves philosophers actually getting their hands dirty by conducting experiments. (shrink)
Recent empirical work on the concept of intentionality suggests that people’s assessments of whether an action is intentional are subject to uncertainty. Some researchers have gone so far as to claim that different people employ different concepts of intentional action. These possibilities have motivated a good deal of work in the relatively new ﬁeld of experimentalphilosophy. The ﬁndings from this empirical research may prove to be relevant to medical ethics. -/- In this article, we address this issue (...) head on. We ﬁrst describe a study we conducted on intention ascription. Drawing on recent work in experimentalphilosophy, we investigated the possibility that the ascription of intentions to clinical actors in clinical settings is inﬂuenced by prior judgments about the goodness or badness of the consequences of the action in question. Our study was modeled on experimental studies in other contexts that have shown that people, when presented with a range of scenarios, are more likely to classify a side effect of an action as intended if the side effect is negative or reﬂects poorly on the actor than if it is positive or reﬂects well on the actor. We investigated whether this asymmetry in intention ascriptions was also present among physicians who were asked to ascribe intentions to clinical actors in certain well-deﬁned clinical scenarios. After describing the study and its results, we discuss its implications for medical ethics. (shrink)
Various facets of the MBI are discussed, and how it can be used in connection with experimentalphilosophy, 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 Tononi and Baars is referred to. (shrink)