- What Do Philosophers Believe?David Bourget & David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):465-500.What are the philosophical views of contemporary professional philosophers? We surveyed many professional philosophers in order to help determine their views on 30 central philosophical issues. This article documents the results. It also reveals correlations among philosophical views and between these views and factors such as age, gender, and nationality. A factor analysis suggests that an individual's views on these issues factor into a few underlying components that predict much of the variation in those views. The results of a metasurvey (...)
Reaction to Publication
I must commend you both on a well written and superbly organized piece. Though I must confess I did not read the entirety of the work (Due largely to the fact that I am still a neophyte as it pertains to the majority of philosophical concepts surveyed among the participants.) it is clear that you two put forth much effort and time into this piece. What I actually did want to discuss though were two particular results that captured my interest. The first being that 72.8% of respondents are Atheist. Now doing the math, we see that 72.8% of the 931 philosophers who responded to this survey equates to 678 people rounding up. Though I did not formally submit a survey I belong to this camp. These results are surely indicative that philosophical thought has all but breezed past the likes of Kant, Spinoza, Aquinas, etc.
The result that I found far more fascinating and admittedly somewhat perplexing, was the popularity of Egalitarianism. 34.8% of people partake in Egalitarianism as their political philosophy which was second to Other which had 41%. Doing the math again, 34.8% of 931 is 324 people rounding up. Now what's ironic is that the last paper I wrote and subsequently added to the PhilPapers database, was a commentary against Rawls' Veil of Ignorance and Egalitarianism. If either of you have time I would be honored if you checked it out where we could have a deeper discussion of the political philosophy itself there. Suffice it to say however that these results frightened me to a degree. I say this because when you look at Rawls' ideology or at least, my personal interpretation of it, it panders to the least advantaged. The Veil of Ignorance in itself seems like a device to carve a welfare state which I am vehemently against. What's worse, Rawls' welfare state seems to be one that completely negates personal liberty and achievement and cares to function solely on the principles of social cooperation. I have to wonder if these results are any reflection of the political climate currently enveloping us? I say that with no bitterness or harshness it is a legitimate inquiry seeing as how Obama seems to give off the vibe of an Egalitarian at times.
Again I do not wish to go down too deep into this rabbit hole here so if you guys would care to read my commentary on Rawls it is on my profile. I am curious to know though as a parting question; How did you feel about the Egalitarian and Atheist results and what result was most surprising to you gentlemen and why? Keep up the exceptional work gentlemen. I cannot wait to jump in this ocean when I graduate knowing that philosophers like you are swimming in it!