Individual and Cross-Cultural Differences in Semantic Intuitions: New Experimental Findings

Journal of Cognition and Culture 16 (3-4):322-357 (2016)

Authors
Ryan Undercoffer
State University of New York (SUNY)
James R. Beebe
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
In 2004 Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich published what has become one of the most widely discussed papers in experimental philosophy, in which they reported that East Asian and Western participants had different intuitions about the semantic reference of proper names. A flurry of criticisms of their work has emerged, and although various replications have been performed, many critics remain unconvinced. We review the current debate over Machery et al.’s (2004) results and take note of which objections to their work have been satisfactorily answered and which ones still need to be addressed. We then report the results of studies that reveal significant cross-cultural and intra-cultural differences in semantic intuitions when we control for variables that critics allege have had a potentially distorting effect on Machery et al.’s findings. These variables include the epistemic perspective from which participants are supposed to understand the research materials, unintended anchoring effects of those materials, and pragmatic factors involved in the interpretation of speech acts within them. Our results confirm the robustness of the cross-cultural differences observed by Machery et al. and thereby strengthen the philosophical challenge they pose.
Keywords Experimental philosophy  Experimental semantics  Reference  Proper names  Cross-cultural
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/15685373-12342182
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 41,650
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The 'Gödel' Effect.Gary Ostertag - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):65-82.
Experimental Semantics.Michael Devitt - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):418 - 435.
Experimental Philosophy and the Theory of Reference.Max Deutsch - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (4):445-466.
Against Arguments From Reference.Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style.Edouard Machery [ - 2007 - In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Counteractuals, Counterfactuals and Semantic Intuitions.Jesper Kallestrup - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):35-54.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-11-28

Total views
24 ( #345,748 of 2,250,041 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #311,016 of 2,250,041 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature