Experimental Explication

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):672-710 (2017)
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Abstract

Two recently popular metaphilosophical movements, formal philosophy and experimental philosophy, promote what seem to be conflicting methodologies. Nonetheless, I argue that the two can be mutually supportive. I propose an experimentally-informed variation on explication, a powerful formal philosophical tool introduced by Carnap. The resulting method, which I call “experimental explication,” provides the formalist with a means of responding to explication's gravest criticism. Moreover, this method introduces a philosophically salient, positive role for survey-style experiments while steering clear of several objections that critics of “positive experimental philosophy” raise. Thus, it provides the experimentalist with a more defensible example of how empirical work can have positive philosophical import. For these reasons, experimental explication should appeal to experimental philosophers and formal philosophers alike.

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Author's Profile

Jonah N. Schupbach
University of Utah

References found in this work

Logical foundations of probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago]: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic.Rudolf Carnap - 1947 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Bayesian Epistemology.Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann - 2003 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by Stephan Hartmann.

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