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Experimental philosophy is a rather diverse movement, but at its core it involves the application of methods from the social and cognitive sciences to the study of philosophical cognition. We are learning important lessons about how our minds work and how we think about philosophical issues, and these insights are raising new concerns about philosophical methodology. The work collected here examines the philosophical foundations of this movement, as well as debates about the significance and merit of empirical work on philosophical cognition.

Introductions Joshua Alexander's Experimental Philosophy - An Introduction Joshua Knobe's "Experimental Philosophy" Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols' Experimental Philosophy, Vol.1 Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols' Experimental Philosophy, Vol.2 Joshua Knobe et al. "Experimental Philosophy"
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  1. Experimental philosophy and the fruitfulness of normative concepts.Matthew Lindauer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2129-2152.
    This paper provides a new argument for the relevance of empirical research to moral and political philosophy and a novel defense of the positive program in experimental philosophy. The argument centers on the idea that normative concepts used in moral and political philosophy can be evaluated in terms of their fruitfulness in solving practical problems. Empirical research conducted with an eye to the practical problems that are relevant to particular concepts can provide evidence of their fruitfulness along a number of (...)
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  2. Testing for the Phenomenal: Intuition, Metacognition, and Philosophical Methodology.Miguel Egler - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):48-66.
    Recent empirical studies raise methodological concerns about the use of intuitions in philosophy. According to one prominent line of reply, these concerns are unwarranted since the empirical studies motivating them do not control for the putatively characteristic phenomenology of intuitions. This paper makes use of research on metacognitive states that have precisely this phenomenology to argue that the above reply fails. Furthermore, it shows that empirical findings about these metacognitive states can help philosophers make better informed assessments of their warrant (...)
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  3. Yes There Can! Rehabilitating Philosophy as a Scientific Discipline.Amrei Bahr, Charlott Becker & Christoph P. Trueper - 2016 - In Amrei Bahr & Markus Seidel (eds.), Ernest Sosa: Targeting his Philosophy. Cambridge, Vereinigtes Königreich: pp. 67-84.
  4. The Argument From Variation Against Using One’s Own Intuitions As Evidence.Esther Goh - 2019 - Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 56 (2):95-110.
    In philosophical methodology, intuitions are used as evidence to support philosophical theories. In this paper, I evaluate the skeptical argument that variation in intuitions is good evidence that our intuitions are unreliable, and so we should be skeptical about our theories. I argue that the skeptical argument is false. First, variation only shows that at least one disputant is wrong in the dispute, but each disputant lacks reason to determine who is wrong. Second, even though variation in intuitions shows that (...)
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  5. From X-Phi to Bioxphi: Lessons in Conceptual Analysis 2.0.Jonathan Lewis - 2020 - Ajob Empirical Bioethics 11 (1):34-36.
    Recent developments in experimental philosophy (‘x-phi’) suggest that there is a new way in which the empirical and normative dimensions of bioethics can be brought into successful dialogue with one another. It revolves around conceptual analysis – though not the kind of conceptual analysis one might perform in an armchair. Following Édouard Machery, this is Conceptual Analysis Rebooted. In short, morally-pertinent medical concepts like ‘treatment’, ‘euthanasia’ and ‘sanctity of life’ can each have several meanings that underwrite inferences with different moral (...)
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  6. Methodological Triangulation in Empirical Philosophy.Benedikt Löwe & Bart Van Kerkhove - 2019 - In Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 15-37.
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  7. Must Philosophy Be Constrained?: Edouard Machery: Philosophy Within its Proper Bounds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 217pp, £40.00HB. [REVIEW]Anna Drożdżowicz, Pierre Saint-Germier & Samuel Schindler - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):469-475.
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  8. Using Experience Sampling to Examine Links Between Compassion, Eudaimonia, and Prosocial Behavior.Jason D. Runyan, Brian N. Fry, Timothy A. Steenbergh, Nathan L. Arbuckle, Kristen Dunbar & Erin E. Devers - 2019 - Journal of Personality 87 (3):690-701.
    Objective: Compassion has been associated with eudaimonia and prosocial behavior, and has been regarded as a virtue, both historically and cross-culturally. However, the psychological study of compassion has been limited to laboratory settings and/or standard survey assessments. Here, we use an experience sampling method (ESM) to compare naturalistic assessments of compassion with standard assessments, and to examine compassion, its variability, and associations with eudaimonia and prosocial behavior. -/- Methods: Participants took a survey which included standard assessments of compassion and eudaimonia. (...)
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  9. Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Mark Curtis (eds.) - 2019 - London: Bloomsbury Press.
    Until recently, experimental philosophy has been associated with the questionnaire-based study of intuitions; however, experimental philosophers now adapt a wide range of empirical methods for new philosophical purposes. New methods include paradigms for behavioural experiments from across the social sciences as well as computational methods from the digital humanities that can process large bodies of text and evidence. This book offers an accessible overview of these exciting innovations. The volume brings together established and emerging research leaders from several areas of (...)
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  10. Philosophical Expertise Under the Microscope.Miguel Egler & Lewis Dylan Ross - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1077-1098.
    Recent experimental studies indicate that epistemically irrelevant factors can skew our intuitions, and that some degree of scepticism about appealing to intuition in philosophy is warranted. In response, some have claimed that philosophers are experts in such a way as to vindicate their reliance on intuitions—this has become known as the ‘expertise defence’. This paper explores the viability of the expertise defence, and suggests that it can be partially vindicated. Arguing that extant discussion is problematically imprecise, we will finesse the (...)
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  11. Wittgensteinian 'Therapy', Experimental Philosophy, and Metaphilosophical Naturalism.Eugen Fischer - 2018 - In Kevin Cahill & Thomas Raleigh (eds.), Wittgenstein and Naturalism. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 260-286.
    An important strand of current experimental philosophy promotes a new kind of methodological naturalism. This chapter argues that this new ‘metaphilosophical naturalism’ is fundamentally consistent with key tenets of Wittgenstein’s metaphilosophy, and can provide empirical foundations for therapeutic conceptions of philosophy. Metaphilosophical naturalism invites us to contribute to the resolution of philosophical problems about X by turning to scientific findings about the way we think about X – in general or when doing philosophy. This new naturalism encourages us to use (...)
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  12. David Lewis in the Lab: Experimental Results on the Emergence of Meaning.Justin Bruner, Cailin O’Connor, Hannah Rubin & Simon M. Huttegger - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):603-621.
    In this paper we use an experimental approach to investigate how linguistic conventions can emerge in a society without explicit agreement. As a starting point we consider the signaling game introduced by Lewis. We find that in experimental settings, small groups can quickly develop conventions of signal meaning in these games. We also investigate versions of the game where the theoretical literature indicates that meaning will be less likely to arise—when there are more than two states for actors to transfer (...)
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  13. La philosophie entre intuition et empirie: comment les études du texte peuvent contribuer à renouveler la réflexion philosophique.Louis Chartrand - 2017 - Artichaud Magazine 2017 (8 juin).
  14. Introduction.James Andow - 2017 - Ratio 30 (4):381-383.
    This special issue is on the topic of Experimental Philosophy as Applied Philosophy. The issue is the result of the 2016 Annual Ratio Conference held at the University of Reading, 23–24 April 2016. The conference was also the seventh annual conference of Experimental Philosophy Group UK.
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  15. Philosophy Within its Proper Bounds.Edouard Machery - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    In Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds, Edouard Machery argues that resolving many traditional and contemporary philosophical issues is beyond our epistemic reach and that philosophy should re-orient itself toward more humble, but ultimately more important intellectual endeavors, such as the analysis of concepts.
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  16. Demythologizing Intuition.Jennifer Nado - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):386-402.
    Max Deutsch’s new book argues against the commonly held ‘myth’ that philosophical methodology characteristically employs intuitions as evidence. While I am sympathetic to the general claim that philosophical methodology has been grossly oversimplified in the intuition literature, the particular claim that it is a myth that philosophers rely on intuitions as evidence is open to several very different interpretations. The plausibility and consequences of a rejection of the ‘myth’ will depend on the notion of evidence one employs, the notion of (...)
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  17. Diagnostic Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - 2017 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):117-137.
    Experimental philosophy’s much-discussed ‘restrictionist’ program seeks to delineate the extent to which philosophers may legitimately rely on intuitions about possible cases. The present paper shows that this program can be (i) put to the service of diagnostic problem-resolution (in the wake of J.L. Austin) and (ii) pursued by constructing and experimentally testing psycholinguistic explanations of intuitions which expose their lack of evidentiary value: The paper develops a psycholinguistic explanation of paradoxical intuitions that are prompted by verbal case-descriptions, and presents two (...)
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  18. Morality or Modality? What Does the Attribution of Intentionality Depend On?Bence Nanay - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1):25-39.
    It has been argued that the attribution of intentional actions is sensitive to our moral judgment. I will examine these arguments and Suggest an alternative explanation for the experiments they are based on.Joshua Knobe conducted the following experiment to support this claim. Subjects were given two vignettes that differed only in one small detail and this difference influenced their attribution of intentionality. The first vignette was the following:The vice-president of a company went to the chairman of the board and said, (...)
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  19. Are Philosophers Good Intuition Predictors?Shen-yi Liao - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (7):1004-1014.
    Some philosophers have criticized experimental philosophy for being superfluous. Jackson implies that experimental philosophy studies are unnecessary. More recently, Dunaway, Edmunds, and Manley empirically demonstrate that experimental studies do not deliver surprising results, which is a pro tanto reason for foregoing conducting such studies. This paper gives theoretical and empirical considerations against the superfluity criticism. The questions concerning the surprisingness of experimental philosophy studies have not been properly disambiguated, and their metaphilosophical significance have not been properly assessed. Once the most (...)
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  20. Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy.Wesley Buckwalter & Justin Sytsma (eds.) - 2016 - Blackwell.
    This is an anthology of experimental papers relevant to philosophical inquiry across many areas of philosophy.
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  21. Experimental Philosophy 2.0.Jennifer Nado - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):159-168.
    I recommend three revisions to experimental philosophy's ‘self-image’ which I suggest will enable experimentalist critics of intuition to evade several important objections to the 'negative' strand of the experimental philosophy research project. First, experimentalists should avoid broad criticisms of ‘intuition’ as a whole, instead drawing a variety of conclusions about a variety of much narrower categories of mental state. Second, experimentalists should state said conclusions in terms of epistemic norms particular to philosophical inquiry, rather than attempting to, for example, deny (...)
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  22. Rethinking the Scope of Experimental Philosophy: Eugen Fischer and John Collins : Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism: Rethinking Philosophical Method. London: Routledge, 2015, 302pp, $54.95 PB, $155.00 HB.Justin Sytsma - 2016 - Metascience 25 (2):301-304.
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  23. Advances in Experimental Philosophy & Philosophical Methodology.Jennifer Nado (ed.) - 2016 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    The rise of experimental philosophy is generating pressing methodological questions for philosophers. Can findings from experimental studies hold any significance for philosophy as a discipline? Can philosophical theorizing be improved through consideration of such studies? Do these studies threaten traditional philosophical methodology?
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  24. Arguments Over Intuitions?Tomasz Wysocki - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-23.
    Deutsch 2010 claims that hypothetical scenarios are evaluated using arguments, not intuitions, and therefore experiments on intuitions are philosophically inconsequential. Using the Gettier case as an example, he identifies three arguments that are supposed to point to the right response to the case. In the paper, I present the results of studies ran on Polish, Indian, Spanish, and American participants that suggest that there’s no deep difference between evaluating the Gettier case with intuitions and evaluating it with Deutsch’s arguments. Specifically, (...)
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  25. Experimental Philosophy.Adam Feltz - 2009 - Analyse & Kritik 31 (2):201-219.
    Experimental philosophy is a new approach to philosophy that incorporates the experimental methodologies of psychology, behavioral economics, and sociology. Experimental philosophers generally maintain that, in addition to traditional philosophical practices, these ways of gathering evidence can be instrumental in shedding light on philosophically important issues. Rather than relying on their own intuitions about specific cases, experimental philosophers perform systematic experiments to determine what intuitions people have about those cases. These intuitions are then used as evidence. In this context, four main (...)
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  26. The Experimental Turn and the Methods of Philosophy.Michael J. Shaffer - 2014 - Routledge.
    Experimental philosophy is one of the most controversial and potentially revolutionary areas of philosophical research today. X-Phi, as it is known by many of its practitioners, questions many basic concepts regarding human intuitions—concepts which have guided centuries of modern philosophers. In their place, x-phi steers philosophical research back to scientific investigations in order to better understand human intuitions, using research techniques borrowed from current research in psychology and neuroscience. While scholars debate whether experimental philosophy signals a sea change or is (...)
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  27. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 1.Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press UK.
    The new field of experimental philosophy has emerged as the methods of psychological science have been brought to bear on traditional philosophical issues. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy will be the place to go to see outstanding new work in the field. It will feature papers by philosophers, papers by psychologists, and papers co-authored by people in both disciplines. The series heralds the emergence of a truly interdisciplinary field in which people from different disciplines are working together to address a (...)
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  28. Philosophical Expertise and Scientific Expertise.Jennifer Nado - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):1026-1044.
    The “expertise defense” is the claim that philosophers have special expertise that allows them to resist the biases suggested by the findings of experimental philosophers. Typically, this defense is backed up by an analogy with expertise in science or other academic fields. Recently, however, studies have begun to suggest that philosophers' intuitions may be just as subject to inappropriate variation as those of the folk. Should we conclude that the expertise defense has been debunked? I'll argue that the analogy with (...)
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  29. Experimental Philosophy and Intuitions on What is Art and What is Not.Annelies Monseré - unknown
    It is generally agreed upon that philosophers of art rely on their intuitions to justify or criticize proposed definitions of art. Experimental philosophers, however, have questioned the role of intuition in philosophy, since empirical research shows that philosophers’ intuitions are neither widely shared nor reliable sources of justification. This article aims to apply these experimental challenges to the project of defining art. It will be demonstrated that while experimentalists are right in claiming that philosophers' intuitions cannot be used as epistemic (...)
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  30. The Theory and Practice of Experimental Philosophy.Justin Sytsma & Jonathan Livengood - 2015 - Broadview Press.
    In recent years, developments in experimental philosophy have led many thinkers to reconsider their central assumptions and methods. It is not enough to speculate and introspect from the armchair - philosophers must subject their claims to scientific scrutiny, looking at evidence and in some cases conducting new empirical research. "The Theory and Practice of Experimental Philosophy" is an introduction and guide to the systematic collection and analysis of empirical data in academic philosophy. This book serves two purposes: first, it examines (...)
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  31. Intuitions and Illusions: From Explanation and Experiment to Assessment.Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt & Aurelie Herbelot - 2015 - In Eugen Fischer & John Collins (eds.), Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism. Rethinking Philosophical Method. Routledge. pp. 259-292.
    This paper pioneers the use of methods and findings from psycholinguistics in experimental philosophy’s ‘sources project’. On this basis, it clarifies the epistemological relevance of empirical findings about intuitions – a key methodological challenge to experimental philosophy. The sources project (aka ‘cognitive epistemology of intuitions’) seeks to develop psychological explanations of philosophically relevant intuitions, which help us assess their evidentiary value. One approach seeks explanations which trace relevant intuitions back to automatic cognitive processes that are generally reliable but predictably generate (...)
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  32. The Intuitions of the Mind Inductively Investigated.James Mccosh - 1860
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  33. Experimental Epistemology: Background and Future.Francisco Varela - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 5.
  34. Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Philosophy.Alexis Dyschkant Andrew Higgins - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (3):372-398.
    Many philosophers would, in theory, agree that the methods and tools of philosophy ought to be supplemented by those of other academic disciplines. In practice, however, the sociological data suggest that most philosophers fail to engage or collaborate with other academics, and this article argues that this is problematic for philosophy as a discipline. In relation to the value of interdisciplinary collaboration, the article highlights how experimental philosophers can benefit the field, but only insofar as they draw from the distinctive (...)
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  35. A Manual Of Experimental Philosophy. [REVIEW]Nancy Matchett - 2010 - Philosophical Practice 5 (1):593-595.
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  36. A Wittgensteinian Study of Experimental Psychology.Christopher A. Hoyt - 1998 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
    Experimental psychology emerged as an independent discipline in the mid to late nineteenth century, as one expression of the positivist movement to supplant various branches of philosophy with science. The founders of psychology claim to answer epistemological questions via their empirical research and theories, and much of their work can reasonably be regarded as naturalized epistemology. Of course, experimental psychology quickly assumed aims beyond epistemology. However, philosophical issues continued to heavily influence the aims and nature psychology at least into the (...)
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  37. Experimental Psychology, Methods of Research. [REVIEW]Marie Hayes - 1998 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 19 (1):103-104.
    Teaching experimental methods to psychology students is one of the great puzzles of the academic experience. There is a constant tradeoff between the "real story" and one that is accessible to students who have, for the most part, never done any serious research. McGuigan’s Experimental Psychology, Methods of Research is an attempt to address the tradeoff between didactic communication and the logical subtlety that is of course the basic attraction of the research endeavor in the first place.
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  38. Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism: Rethinking Philosophical Method.Eugen Fischer & John Collins (eds.) - 2015 - Routledge.
    Experimental philosophy is one of the most exciting and controversial philosophical movements today. This book explores how it is reshaping thought about philosophical method. Experimental philosophy imports experimental methods and findings from psychology into philosophy. These fresh resources can be used to develop and defend both armchair methods and naturalist approaches, on an empirical basis. This outstanding collection brings together leading proponents of this new meta-philosophical naturalism, from within and beyond experimental philosophy. They explore how the empirical study of philosophically (...)
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  39. Philosophical Expertise.Jennifer Nado - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (9):631-641.
    Recent work in experimental philosophy has indicated that intuitions may be subject to several forms of bias, thereby casting doubt on the viability of intuition as an evidential source in philosophy. A common reply to these findings is the ‘expertise defense’ – the claim that although biases may be found in the intuitions of non-philosophers, persons with expertise in philosophy will be resistant to these biases. Much debate over the expertise defense has centered over the question of the burden of (...)
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  40. Induction as a Connection Between Philosophy, Psychology and Economics: A Plea for Experimental Research.Ulrike Leopold-Wildburger - 1994 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 49 (1):175-188.
    It is the aim of this paper to find a systematic approach to the study of induction by integrating the ideas of several disciplines to have a successful instrument for analyzing processes of inference, learning and discovery. On the way to generalities which enable sensible forecasts the social and economic sciences use empirical work and nowadays we are encouraged to use more and more experimental access to investigate analogous situations. Induction is used as a fundamental concept and experimental work has (...)
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  41. Beyond “Experimental Philosophy”.Sven Ove Hansson - 2014 - Theoria 80 (1):1-3.
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  42. A Logico-Mathematic, Structural Methodology. Part II: Experimental Design and Epistemological Issues.Robert E. Haskell - 2003 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 24 (3-4):401-422.
    In this first of two companion papers to a logico-mathematic, structural methodology , a meta-level analysis of the non metric structure is presented in relation to critiques based on standard experimental, statistical, and computational methods of contemporary psychology and cognitive science. The concept of a non metric methodology is examined as it relates to the epistemological and scientific goals of experimental, statistical, and computational methods. While sharing in these goals, differences and similarities between the two methodological approaches are outlined. It (...)
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  43. Experimental Philosophy Is Here to Stay.Chris Weigel - 2009 - Analyse & Kritik 31 (2):221-242.
    Experimental philosophy is comprised of two broad projects, the negative project and the positive project, each of which is a response to a kind of armchair use of intuitions. I examine two examples of the negative project—the analysis of knowledge and the theory of reference—and two examples of the positive project—free will and intentional action—and review criticisms of each example. I show how the criticisms can be met and argue that even if they could not have been met, experimental philosophy (...)
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  44. 20 Intuitions and Experimental Philosophy: Comfortable Bedfellows.Neil Levy - 2013 - In Matthew C. Haug (ed.), Philosophical Methodology: The Armchair or the Laboratory? Routledge. pp. 381.
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  45. Philosophy: Traditional and Experimental Readings.Ron Mallon & Shaun Nichols - 2012 - Oup Usa.
    Recently, the fields of empirical and experimental philosophy have generated tremendous excitement, due to unexpected results that have challenged philosophical dogma. Responding to this trend, Philosophy: Traditional and Experimental Readings is the first introductory philosophy reader to integrate cutting-edge work in empirical and experimental philosophy with traditional philosophy. Featuring coverage that is equal parts historical, contemporary, and empirical/experimental, this topically organized reader provides students with a unique introduction to both the core and the vanguard of philosophy.
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  46. Philosophy’s Future as a Problem-Solving Discipline.Richard Kamber - 2011 - Essays in Philosophy 12 (2):7.
    Scientists often reach provisional agreement solutions to problems central to their disciplines, whereas philosophers do not. Although philosophy has been practiced by outstanding intellects for over two thousand years, philosophers have not reached agreement, provisional or otherwise, on the solution or dissolution of any central philosophical problem by philosophical methods. What about philosophy’s future? Until about 1970, philosophers were generally optimistic. Some pinned their hopes on revolution in methodology, others on reform of practice. The case for gradual reform still finds (...)
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  47. The Reliability of Armchair Intuitions.Krist Vaesen, Martin Peterson & Bart Van Bezooijen - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (5):559-578.
    Armchair philosophers have questioned the significance of recent work in experimental philosophy by pointing out that experiments have been conducted on laypeople and undergraduate students. To challenge a practice that relies on expert intuitions, so the armchair objection goes, one needs to demonstrate that expert intuitions rather than those of ordinary people are sensitive to contingent facts such as cultural, linguistic, socio-economic, or educational background. This article does exactly that. Based on two empirical studies on populations of 573 and 203 (...)
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  48. Restrictionism and Reflection: Challenge Deflected, or Simply Redirected?Jonathan M. Weinberg, Joshua Alexander, Chad Gonnerman & Shane Reuter - 2012 - The Monist 95 (2):200-222.
    It has become increasingly popular to respond to experimental philosophy by suggesting that experimental philosophers haven’t been studying the right kind of thing. One version of this kind of response, which we call the reflection defense, involves suggesting both that philosophers are interested only in intuitions that are the product of careful reflection on the details of hypothetical cases and the key concepts involved in those cases, and that these kinds of philosophical intuitions haven’t yet been adequately studied by experimental (...)
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  49. Experimental Philosophy and the Methods of Ontology.Amie L. Thomasson - 2012 - The Monist 95 (2):175-199.
    Those working in experimental philosophy have raised a number of arguments against the use of conceptual analysis in philosophical inquiries. But they have typically focused on a model that pursues conceptual analysis by taking intuitions as a kind of (defeasible) evidence for philosophical hypotheses. Little attention has been given to the constitutivist alternative, which sees metaphysical modal facts as reflections of constitutive semantic rules. I begin with a brief overview of the constitutivist approach and argue that we can defend a (...)
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  50. Experimental Philosophy as an Elephant.Mark Phelan - 2012 - Philosophy Now 92:13-16.
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