The experimental and the empirical: Arne Naess' statistical approach to philosophy

Abstract

ABSTRACTExperimental philosophy often draws its data from questionnaire-based surveys of ordinary intuitions. Its proponents are keen to identify antecedents in the work of philosophers who have referred to intuition and everyday understanding [e.g. Knobe, Joshua, and Shaun Nichols, ‘An Experimental Philosophy Manifesto’. In Experimental Philosophy, edited by Joshua Knobe and Shaun Nichols, 3–14. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007]. In this context, ‘Empirical Semantics’, pioneered by Arne Naess early in the twentieth century, offers striking parallels. Naess believed that much contemporary philosophy was unempirical because it made no reference to ordinary understanding or use of language. In response, he attempted large-scale studies of ordinary understanding of philosophically significant terms [e.g. Naess, Arne. ‘Truth’ as Conceived by Those Who Are Not Professional Philosophers. Oslo: Jacob Dybwad, 1938]. This article will compare Empirical Semantics and experimental philosophy, and assess what su...

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Siobhan Chapman
University of Liverpool

References found in this work

The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics.Alfred Tarski - 1943 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 4 (3):341-376.
Experimental Philosophy.Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.) - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Experimental Philosophy and Philosophical Intuition.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):99-107.
The Rise and Fall of Experimental Philosophy.Antti Kauppinen - 2007 - Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):95 – 118.

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