Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2701-2726 (2016)
AbstractExperimental restrictionists have challenged philosophers’ reliance on intuitions about thought experiment cases based on experimental findings. According to the expertise defense, only the intuitions of philosophical experts count—yet the bulk of experimental philosophy consists in studies with lay people. In this paper, we argue that direct strategies for assessing the expertise defense are preferable to indirect strategies. A direct argument in support of the expertise defense would have to show: first, that there is a significant difference between expert and lay intuitions; second, that expert intuitions are superior to lay intuitions; and third, that expert intuitions accord with the relevant philosophical consensus. At present, there is only little experimental evidence that bears on these issues. To advance the debate, we conducted two new experiments on intuitions about knowledge with experts and lay people. Our results suggest that the intuitions of epistemological experts are superior in some respects, but they also pose an unexpected challenge to the expertise defense. Most strikingly, we found that even epistemological experts tend to ascribe knowledge in fake-barn-style cases. This suggests that philosophy, as a discipline, might fail to adequately map the intuitions of its expert practitioners onto a disciplinary consensus.
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Citations of this work
Demographic Differences in Philosophical Intuition: a Reply to Joshua Knobe.Stephen P. Stich & Edouard Machery - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-34.
Experimental Philosophy and the Method of Cases.Joachim Horvath & Steffen Koch - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (1):e12716.
Intuitive Expertise in Moral Judgments.Joachim Horvath & Alex Wiegmann - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):342-359.
Expert or Esoteric? Philosophers Attribute Knowledge Differently Than All Other Academics.Christina Starmans & Ori Friedman - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (7).